The Office of Planning & Epidemiology responsibilities:
- The District Public Health Office provides epidemiological services including technical assistance and expert consultation regarding disease reporting, data management, investigation and disease intervention to county health departments and others entities to investigate outbreaks of infectious and other communicable diseases that have epidemic potential.
- Public Health is responsible for analyzing information collected during epidemiologic investigations of chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and other similar conditions.
- Other functions within Public Health include developing district-wide policies for disease prevention and intervention strategies for disease containment or control, conducting special studies to assess health risk associated with newly emerging infectious agents and other public health hazards.
- Public Health also maintains, develops, and monitors various Public Health Surveillance systems.
One important goal of Planning and Epidemiology Department is assisting providers, laboratorians, and infection control practitioners with reporting of notifiable diseases. Georgia physicians, laboratories, and other health care providers are required by law to report the occurrence of certain diseases and conditions to Public Health. This notifiable disease reporting system links public health officials to clinicians, infection control professionals, and laboratorians who are often the first to become aware of public health threats. Disease reporting enables outbreak (epidemic) detection as well as characterization of epidemiology of endemic diseases.