Advancing Health and Environmental Disease Tracking: A 5-Year Follow-Up Study

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Abstract

Objectives.

Our goal was to gain an understanding of the extent to which environmental public health tracking (EPHT) has progressed since the release of the 2000 Pew Environmental Health Commission report examining the nation's EPHT infrastructure.

Methods.

As a follow-up to the Pew Commission report, we conducted a telephone survey of state practitioners in an effort to assess EPHT trends and changes in state-level capacities and activities over the past several years.

Results.

We found that new and enhanced federal-state partnerships; improved surveillance, data analysis, and communication capacities; and enhanced support of tracking personnel have provided a foundation for progress in the area of EPHT. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's support of EPHT has strengthened the national environmental public health infrastructure and capacity to track environmental hazards, exposures, and health.

Conclusions.

Improved funding, data access, and translation of data to prevention activities are critical to sustaining progress in EPHT and developing the evidence base necessary for assessing the longer-term impacts and efficacy of EPHT and related environmental health improvements.

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