OVERVIEW of the DIS CERTIFICATION PROJECT
Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) have long been a critical part of public health, working directly with communities. Historically, DIS have worked in STD, HIV, and TB programs, but now work in a variety of other disease areas, including other infectious disease outbreak and emergency response where their on-the-ground investigative skills and community engagement play a key role in public health improvement. Many health departments across the country have someone performing DIS job functions. Increasingly, DIS are also needed as patient navigators and networkers to ensure patients are linked to care through expanded relationships with health care providers. DIS are a critical part of the public health infrastructure and in building the link to health care into the future.
The goal of certification of the DIS workforce is to improve public health services provided to communities by DIS through a high quality, standardized approach to the professional development of this workforce. Certification can standardize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of DIS; drive the standardization and improvement of training; increase the quality and consistency of service delivery; and increase recognition of the skills and abilities of DIS.
In 2013, International Credentialing Associates (ICA) was contracted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to conduct a DIS certification feasibility assessment. Based on the feasibility assessment, ICA recommended that CDC pursue the development of a DIS certification. In September 2014, CDC funded the second phase of the national DIS Certification Project, and PHAB became the coordinating organization. This phase of the DIS Certification Project, called the Assessment Phase, was designed to explore and determine the best model for DIS certification and undertake foundational activities for any national certification program, including conducting a job task analysis and enumerating the DIS workforce. The Assessment Phase of the project concluded June 30, 2017.
to view the project deliverables.