|BOARD OF HEALTH STAFF REPORT (SR 21-080)|
September 14, 2021
|Authorize the Administrative Officer to approve the hiring of two additional DOH-funded DIS positions to support the CD and STD programs, dependent on funding award (SR 21-080; C. Parker)|
|Prevention Services / Carrie Parker, Assistant Division Director |
In June 2021 the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reached out to the prevention services division and the communicable disease (CD) program to notify of pending federal funds anticipated to support communicable disease investigation work. The intent of these supplemental funds is to increase the available disease investigation specialist (DIS) workforce at the local level that would, in turn, be available to respond to future pandemic or outbreak responses. The Health District was asked to identify areas where we could most utilize additional (non-COVID) DIS staffing.
Current rates and trends in the CD Program led the District to identify the STD/HIV Program as the highest need program best poised to absorb additional positions. These conditions include:
- A YTD and YTY morbidity report (through July), that denotes a 38% increase in syphilis (53% increase in primary and secondary, 88% increase in early latent and stable latent/late latent infections) in Snohomish County.
- Current lab interpretation that is completed by one individual at DOH and consistently backlogged, resulting in delayed contact and/or validation of treatment, contact tracing with testing/treatment for identified partners, and complications (illness progression, congenital complications, etc.).
- Lack of designated subject matter expertise to review syphilis cases/investigations.
- Increasing STD and HIV caseloads.
- The need for additional staffing to increase bandwidth for testing of high-risk groups and those without a medical home.
The funding will be delivered through amendments to the consolidated contract (ConCon) with DOH. The first amendment will be for July 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021 and will have a maximum amount of $163,366.64 to support the following proposed positions:
- Syphilis surveillance DIS
- New hire of an STD/HIV DIS
The same positions will be fully supported for the second year of the supplemental funding with future amendments to the ConCon.
Consistent with Resolution 19-20 and the revised Division of Responsibilities (10/8/19), the Board of Health has authority over the Health District budget. In accordance with Resolution 18-27, no hiring of additional employees is allowed without the review and approval of the Executive Committee and the Board of Health.
Move to authorize the Administrative Officer to approve the hiring of two additional DOH-funded DIS positions to support the CD and STD program dependent on funding award.