Last week, we hosted our seventh annual Arizona Infectious Disease Training and Exercise, where nearly 400 partners from a wide variety of organizations joined together to learn and share about current infectious disease trends in Arizona and surrounding states. We hosted speakers from local Arizona jurisdictions, other states, CDC, and even from Sonora, Mexico. Our agenda details each of the fascinating topics discussed during the event, and slides will be posted in the coming weeks if you missed out or want to revisit any of the talks.

Key threads throughout the event were the importance of multi-disciplinary partnerships to address public health problems with a One Health approach. This was underscored by participation from non-traditional public health partners who actually have a large role in infectious disease prevention and response like the National Park Service, the USDA, and schools of veterinary medicine. Partnership building among this diverse group of participants is vital to achieving coordinated public health responses in the face of infectious disease threats. We benefited by hearing about experiences of other states, both in the U.S. and Mexico, to contemplate how Arizona can better be prepared.

We also used this event as an opportunity to launch our brand new infectious disease app for healthcare providers and encourage participation in our Health Alert Network so we can better connect public health with the rest of our partners. Events like this are critical to growing the state’s collective capacity to respond to infectious disease issues.