142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

“Putting on the blitz: An intensive outreach and screening drive in response to a cluster of syphilis cases in Milwaukee, WI"

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Paul A. Biedrzycki, MPH, MBA , City of Milwaukee Health Department, Milwaukee, WI
Irmine Reitl, MSN , City of Milwaukee Health Department, Milwaukee, WI
William Borzon, MA , City of Milwaukee Health Department, Milwaukee, WI
During August of 2013, a cluster of seven (7) confirmed syphilis cases in close geographic proximity were reported to the City of Milwaukee Health Department (MHD) Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Program.  A subsequent epidemiological investigation by the MHD revealed suspected heterosexual transmission between individuals at two rental housing units in a neighborhood noted for high drug traffic and saleable sex.  The MHD initiated a “blitz” at each complex during a single day period that entailed intensive educational outreach and testing offered to building occupants.  The intent of the “blitz” was to provide effective and targeted education, screening, and Field Delivered Therapy to identified symptomatic cases for purposes of interrupting continued transmission in this setting and disease spread within the larger community. MHD field staff conducted in a single evening field interviews of approximately 200 persons residing or visiting each building complex.  Each person contacted received STD educational material and condoms. Fifty-three (53)  of two-hundred (200) contacts (26.5%) were tested for syphilis resulting in 5.6% positivity  Approximately 92% of those tested were African American and 55% male with an age range of 13-64 years.   As a result of the initial syphilis cluster identification, the MHD strategically mobilized to prevent potential additional exposure and cases of syphilis infection in a high-risk setting.  The  MHD syphilis “blitz” required significant coordination between public health authoriteis, law enforcement and the property owner to ensure safety of the community and department staff.  Furthermore, this type of intervention required close calibration of outreach, screening, testing and laboratory resources for efficient use of potential STD contact interaction opportunities.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the City of Milwaukee Health Department's (MHD) planning process involved in designing the syphilis educational outreach and screening “blitz” conducted by the MHD in August 2013. Define the objectives of conducting the syphilis outreach and client screening “blitz” in the target area identified by the MHD. Explain resources and coordination between local public health agencies and community stakeholders necessary to safely and effectively conduct "blitz" interventions. Discuss lessons-learned from this type of event and recommendations for improving process and quality of intervention in the future.

Keyword(s): STDs/STI, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Currently working as Communicable & Infectious Disease Program Coordinator assigned to the Sexually Transmitted Disease and Tuberculosis Control Program at Keenan Health Center. In this position I am responsible for the assessment and monitoring of the STD/HIV/ TBCC programming in the Milwaukee community. This includes the development and implementation of STD/ HIV/ TBCC programs with an emphasis on community involvement, collaboration and community advocacy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.