Health Infrastructure Support Program

Our national public health infrastructure is the first – and in many cases the only – line of defense. Like our system of national military preparedness, our public health armaments – a skilled professional workforce, robust information and data systems, and strong health departments and laboratories – must be at a constant state of “battle readiness” nationwide. Because of this many Health Infrastructure Support Programs have started up with their main agenda is to lay the foundation for systemic change in health human resources, ensuring that people have access to the health care providers that they need both now and in the future.

One of the Nations leading Health Infrastructure Programs NACCHO's creates tools to build local health department (LHD) infrastructure and systems; collect, analyze, and disseminate knowledge and insights from demonstration and pilot sites; lead trainings, informatics, and MAPP; and conduct research to strengthen LHD infrastructure by informing public policy and identifying needs.

strategic investments are made with national and regional organizations, rather than allocations made to communities and regions based on community-based or population-based formulae.

In response to a request from the Senate Appropriations Committee to write “a report that assesses the current state of the Nation’s public health infrastructure” , CDC, with its public health partners, has reviewed the current state of the public health infrastructure and proposes a major national initiative, linking partners at the local, State, and Federal levels, to address crucial gaps in:
  • Workforce capacity and competency
  • Information and data systems
  • Organizational capacities of local and State health departments and laboratories

Recommendations by the HISP to be implemented:

  1. By 2010, ensure that all public health workers have specific competencies in their areas of specialty, interest, and responsibility, including public health officers, epidemiologists, nurses, occupational and environmental health specialists, laboratorians, behavioral and social scientists, health educators, health communicators, and informatics specialists. This should be accomplished both through the training and credentialing of existing professional staff as well as the addition of new credentialed public health professionals.
  2. By 2010, fully deploy a national, “lifelong distance-learning system” for frontline public health practitioners to ensure continuing education and skill enhancement and to certify core skills in: public health methods, public health surveillance, evidence-based prevention, health promotion, informatics, quality improvement, leadership, program management, and key technical disciplines.
  3. By 2010, ensure that all State and local public health officers have received formal training as senior public health officials.
  4. By 2010, ensure that all public health practitioners are competent in the culture(s) and language(s) of the people they serve.

Web Resources:

Related Terminology:
  • Minority Research Infrastructure Support Program (M-RISP)
  • Building Research Infrastructure and Capacity (BRIC)