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TB Notes 3, 2003

Dear Colleague:

The National TB Controllers Association (NTCA) and the Division of TB Elimination (DTBE) planned and carried out a very successful TB Controllers Workshop this summer in Washington, DC. Over 300 people attended the meeting, which was held June 10 to 11, 2003, at the Capital Hilton. This year’s conference theme was "Maintaining Momentum." Rather than describe every talk that was given, I will summarize several highlights.

On June 9, in addition to the usual annual meetings, there were a number of presentations on the collaborative work that is being done to support and maintain the Tuberculosis Information Management System (TIMS) pending the deployment of the standardized National Electronic Database for Disease Surveillance, or NEDDS. On the morning of June 10 we heard a thought-provoking presentation entitled "TB and Public Health: Politics, Funding, and the Race to Stop a Killer" from the keynote speaker, The Honorable Sherrod Brown of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dr. Randall Reves, President of the NTCA, gave the NTCA welcome and update, and announced the upcoming retirement of Walter Page, who has been the Executive Director of the NTCA for the past 6 years. Walt is working with the NTCA in the search for a new Executive Director. Dr. Zachary Taylor of DTBE provided information on current and future cooperative agreement funding policies. Reminding us that the purpose of cooperative agreement funding is to complement state and local TB control efforts, and that CDC is operating with level funding (amounting to a reduction in purchasing power owing to the effects of inflation), he explained that in fiscal year (FY) 2005, TB control programs will receive 80% of current-level funding; the remaining 20% will go into a "variable pool." The variable-pool funds will be distributed based on various caseload and epidemiologic factors. In subsequent years, the 80/20 ratio will gradually shift to a smaller percentage of financial assistance and a greater percentage of distributed variable-pool funds. Future funding will be based on progress toward performance goals.

In a session on case management and treatment, we heard presentations on the new TB treatment statement, which was published this year, and on the revised infection control guidelines, which will be published in 2004. In another session, we heard about the NTCA/CDC recommendations for contact investigations, which will be available in 2004, and about the theory and application of laboratory techniques such as DNA fingerprinting and the QuantiFERON test. We also heard about new training and research initiatives from some of our branches and from the Model Centers. If you attended the workshop, you have been sent a CD-ROM that contains the schedule of events and speakers, slide sets from speakers’ presentations, a list of the participants, and abstracts that were presented. This replaces the print version of the workshop proceedings previously prepared each year.

Those programs that are recipients of cooperative agreement funding from CDC should by now have received guidance on preparing and submitting FY 2004 cooperative agreement applications. These applications should be received by DTBE in mid September. If you have any questions, please contact your TB Program Consultant.

DTBE has undergone a reorganization to more acurately reflect our functional components. This reorganization has resulted in the following changes: the International Activities office, initially a one-person unit in the Office of the Director, is now officially a branch. Other branches have been renamed. The Communications and Education Branch is the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch; the Computer and Statistics Branch is now the Information Technology and Statistics Branch; the Field Services Branch has become the Field Services and Evaluation Branch; the International Activities office is now the International Research and Programs Branch; the Research and Evaluation Branch is the Clinical and Health Systems Research Branch; and the Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch becomes the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Outbreak Investigations Branch. While the functions and the staffing remain unchanged, these revisions are now official and will be used in all references to the branches. Please note these new names, and also see the revised organization chart included here:

The two research consortia that were established by DTBE researchers, the TB Trials Consortium (TBTC) and the TB Epidemiologic Studies Consortium (TBESC), are both enrolling patients for important studies. The TBTC trial Study 27 has just begun enrolling patients in North America. The TBESC trial "Enhanced Surveillance to Identify Missed Opportunites for TB Prevention in the Foreign-born" will begin in the fall. Please see the articles describing these studies in this issue.

Please take note of the following meetings and publications: The third annual meeting of the TB Education and Training Network is being convened August 13-15. The Program Managers Course for 2003 is scheduled for October 20-24, and the TB Behavioral and Social Science Research Forum will be held December 10 and 11. All three meetings will be held in Atlanta. The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that contains a reprint of the Treatment of Tuberculosis statement (MMWR 2003;52[No. RR-11]) is available for ordering; continuing education credits can be earned for this publication. And the revised recommendations on using rifampin and pyrazinamide for treating latent TB infection were published in the MMWR on August 8; see MMWR 2003;52(31):735-739.

Kenneth G. Castro, MD


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

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