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About the CoP
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The National Syndromic Surveillance Program Community of Practice (NSSP-CoP) membership includes CDC-funded grantees, non-funded states and jurisdictions that contribute data to the BioSense Platform, public health practitioners who use local syndromic surveillance systems, CDC programs, other federal agencies, partner organizations, hospitals, healthcare professionals, and academic institutions to advance the science and practice of syndromic surveillance. While BioSense addresses SyS technology, the NSSP-CoP is the social framework for public health workers on the front lines of public health surveillance and emergency preparedness.


Mission of the Community of Practice

The NSSP-CoP serves the needs and interests of the SyS community through leveraging the expertise and resources of its members; and strengthens health surveillance capabilities nationwide by advancing SyS practice and the utilization of SyS platforms (including the NSSP BioSense Platform).

Vision for the Community of Practice

The NSSP-CoP has an overarching goal to
harness the energy and expertise of individuals in the SyS community to better serve their professional development, organizational capabilities in surveillance, and the health of the American population.

Short-term outcomes will focus on building a strong NSSP-CoP among a geographically distributed target population, measured by informal, formal, and virtual engagement; assessment of perceived value in activities; ongoing mapping of the SyS landscape; access to a comprehensive resource repository; sharing of success stories; and public and private community spaces that promote member interaction, recognition, recruitment, and retention.

Mid-term outcomes include a more collaborative network; greater understanding of the utility of SyS; increased application of SyS systems and knowledge; additions to the evidence-base for SyS practice; enhanced use of the BioSense Platform; cross-jurisdictional data sharing; curation of the resource repository; and collaborations in response to routine and emerging public health threats.

Long-term outcomes will include community level improvements in the use of timely, accurate, representative, and automated data to inform public health decision-making; advocating for the SyS community with national stakeholders; the sharing of best practices; and fostering a collaborative environment among community members.

Goals of the Community of Practice

The approach utilized by the NSSP-CoP for addressing a broad, complex, strategic issue such as increasing the quality, utility, and availability of syndromic surveillance data requires skilled facilitation of the community. The defined approach relies on providing opportunities for members to learn from one another, collaborate on common issues/challenges, and keep members informed of local, regional, national and international initiatives and emerging trends in the practice community.

The intent of the NSSP-CoP is to support open and dynamic participation of any individual or organization working on/or interested in increasing the quality, utility, and availability of syndromic surveillance data. The activities of the community are based on an analysis of issues and learning needs identified through surveys, synthesis of information from stakeholders, funders and partners, and conversations with the members. Key to this approach in facilitating a community is to have routine communication with the members. This involves assessing members’ integration efforts, understanding what the issues and challenges are and translating this information into opportunities for knowledge creation and knowledge transfer.

The goals of the NSSP-CoP include the following:

  1. Increasing the availability of SyS training, learning and knowledge-sharing events for SyS community members, strengthening the confidence and trust among community members in the utility of SyS data, and increasing the sharing of SyS data among community members (where appropriate and state/local laws allow).
  2. Implementing a process for requesting peer-to-peer and expert-to-apprentice mentoring and sharing of success stories/best practices.
  3. Identifying gaps and barriers to knowledge sharing and increasing the quality, utility and availability of syndromic surveillance data, developing strategies, products and activities designed to mitigate or to address the identified obstacles.
  4. Disseminating materials, products and practices that are developed by the community to the broader audiences of public health, clinical providers, and other interested parties.


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