Boston Public Health Commission - Davies Public Health Award

Boston Public Health CommissionThe Boston Public Health Commission, the country’s oldest health department, is an independent public agency providing a wide range of health services and programs. It is governed by a seven-member board of health appointed by the Mayor of Bosto​n

Public service and access to quality health care are the cornerstones of their mission - to protect, preserve, and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly those who are most vulnerable. The Commission’s more than 40 programs are grouped into six bureaus: Child, Adolescent & Family Health; Community Health Initiatives; Homeless Services; Infectious Disease; Addictions Prevention, Treatment & Recovery Support Services; and Emergency Medical Services.

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The Communicable Disease Control Division (CDCD) is within the Infectious Disease Bureau of the BPHC and is responsible for communicable disease surveillance and control. Massachusetts and city of Boston regulations require that notifiable conditions diagnosed in Boston be reported to BPHC. In 2008 the BPHC CDCD investigated over 3000 reported cases of infectious disease.

The CDCD utilizes multiple surveillance systems to detect and assess potential public health threats in the city of Boston. These include: reportable disease and outbreak reporting by health care providers and biological laboratories (research and diagnostic), review of death certificates, trend analysis of Bosto EMS transport data and poison control calls, and syndromic surveillance of Boston emergency departments (EDs) and community‐based urgent care centers. CDCD staff are on‐call 24 hours a day to respond to potential public health emergencies or reports of immediately notifiable diseases.