October 6, 2023
MCHD observes Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) Recognition Day
MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department and health departments across the country will participate today in the 12th annual National Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) Recognition Day. Celebrated each year on the first Friday of October, this honors the DIS workforce, the backbone of infectious disease prevention and control activities.
The DIS staff are public health warriors who work in health departments and community health centers to perform contact tracing, partner services, and emergency response. They utilize critical skills in communication, counseling, interviewing, case analysis, and community engagement to respond to disease threats. These threats include tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, rabies, and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
MCHD’s DIS staff work closely with community healthcare providers and service organizations to raise awareness about disease prevention and ensure linkage and retention in treatment for those diagnosed. For example, our DIS staff have collaborated with academic partners in the “Ending the HIV Epidemic” initiative to advocate for testing and preliminary treatment.
The DIS team monitors trends in other infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and congenital syphilis, to stage timely interventions. DIS brave unsafe conditions, work weekends and nights, and respond to crises outside of STD/HIV prevention, including pertussis, H1N1 influenza, E. coli, COVID-19, and other outbreaks.
“I am proud to recognize the tremendous efforts of MCHD’s disease investigators. They work on the front lines of public health to reduce disease and death in our community,” said Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County.
“The DIS staff are incredibly skilled investigators and contact tracers and champions of prevention measures like vaccination, testing, and treatment. They remain a trusted resource for their clients and community partners, and they have my highest gratitude and respect for their commitment to improving health.”
MCHD thanks our staff members for their commitment to public health, dedication to community education, and resilience to new challenges.