National Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) Recognition Day

For Immediate Release
October 4,2013; 3:45pm
DPHSS Release No. 2013-078

" National Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) Recognition Day"

The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) announces the “2nd National
Disease Intervention Specialists (DIS) Recognition Day” on Friday, October 4, 2013.  This
national annual event honors the workforce of DIS essential to the DPHSS STD/HIV Program
and nationwide Health Departments.  A work force vital to preventing the spread of sexually
transmitted diseases including HIV, DIS personnel conduct voluntary confidential interviews
with patients to obtain information that helps them assure patients who are infected, or
have been exposed to an infection are notified and treated.  The DPHSS STD/HIV Program’s
DIS team diligently works to break the chain of disease transmission and protects the
community’s health by coordinating efforts with island wide and military clinics.

“Disease intervention specialists across the country are rising to public health challenges
with selfless abandon, dedication and commitment.  This workforce is a “jack of all trades:
detective, educator, counselor, and advocate among many other things,” stated William Smith,
Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors (www.ncsddc.org).   “Not only
is this position critical for the functions of public health and STD control, but it also
serves as a position that helps to grow future leaders in the field of public health.”

The STD/HIV Program’s DIS workers are in many ways the front-line guardians of public health.
Whether it be their day-to-day efforts to curb the spread of STDs, or containing communicable
disease outbreaks, they are often a first line of defense, working to preserve the island’s
health and well-being.  The DIS complete an extensive Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
training course which provides a strong foundation for field investigation techniques, making
their skill set essential to containing other disease outbreaks such as Tuberculosis and Viral
Hepatitis.  For additional information, please contact Ms. Bernadette P. Schumann, STD/HIV Program
Supervisor at 735-3604 or bernadette.schumann@dphss.guamdev.com
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