The following is excerpted from the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists website.

CSTE works to advance public health policy and epidemiologic capacity. We also provide information, education, and developmental support of practicing epidemiologists in a wide range of areas as well as expertise for program and surveillance efforts.

CSTE is an organization of member states and territories representing public health epidemiologists. CSTE works to establish more effective relationships among state and other health agencies. It also provides technical advice and assistance to partner organizations and to federal public health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CSTE members have surveillance and epidemiology expertise in a broad range of areas including occupational health, infectious diseases, environmental health, chronic diseases, injury, maternal and child health, and more. CSTE supports effective public health surveillance and sound epidemiologic practice through training, capacity development, and peer consultation.

In the 1950s, Alexander Langmuir, CDC’s first Epidemiology Division Director, recognized the importance of state input in decision making and asked ASTHO to convene the State Epidemiologists and charge them with the responsibility of deciding which diseases should be reported nationally. The first fully-documented list of notifiable diseases was generated by this conference of state and territorial epidemiologists, held in 1951. CSTE has continued to hold the responsibility for defining and recommending which diseases and conditions are reportable within states and which of these diseases and conditions will be voluntarily reported to CDC. Since this beginning, CSTE has grown into a national organization for state, local, tribal, and territorial epidemiologists across disciplines and disease categories.

In August 1992, CSTE opened its national headquarters office in Atlanta, Georgia with two employees. CSTE is governed by a ten-member Executive Board, which includes four officers, three Members-at Large, and three chairs who represent infectious disease; maternal and child health, chronic disease, and oral health; and injury, environmental health, and occupational health. The CSTE Executive Board meets regularly to provide a forum at which federal and state programs can collaborate on topics of mutual interest.

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