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IDSA Awarded Second CDC Grant for Continued COVID-19 Support for Health Care Workers


As the U.S. health care system grapples with unrelenting increases in COVID-19 cases during a pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 Americans, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have extended their partnership to equip frontline health care professionals with the latest information on fighting the disease.

Since May 2020, IDSA and CDC have partnered to bring frontline healthcare professionals from numerous specialties together to share resources and to provide fast access to the latest information and guidance on treating those infected with COVID-19 and how to contain its spread. Under the initial grant, awarded last spring, IDSA began an active role in CDC’s clinical call line, through which health care providers treating COVID-19 patients can receive guidance from infectious diseases specialists. The grant also funded the creation of the COVID-19 Real-Time Learning Network, an online center for frontline clinicians to learn, collaborate and share treatment best practices that receives more than 200,000 monthly views on average. IDSA’s COVID-19 practice guidelines on diagnostics, treatment and management also receive funding through the grant. Under the partnership, weekly clinician teleconferences provide health care professionals access to experts with the latest information on this rapidly developing novel virus. The calls frequently draw more than 500 attendees.

An advisory group of members from 11 medical societies representing front line specialties helps inform the work of the Real-Time Learning Network—identifying the most pressing questions and the latest resources to help care for patients with COVID-19. Medical societies represented in the advisory group include:

  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American College of Emergency Physicians
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Geriatrics Society
  • American Thoracic Society
  • Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine
  • Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
  • Society of Hospital Medicine
  • Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists

Under the newly awarded grant of $3.2 million, each of these activities will continue and expand with a particular focus on reaching health care professionals who work in health care settings disproportionately affected by COVID-19, such as nursing homes, long-term care facilities and those caring for patients at increased risk for COVID-19, such as racial/ethnic minorities and low socioeconomic status individuals.

“Never in our lifetime has the health care community come together on such a scale to fight an illness. Given the role that infectious diseases professionals play within the health care system, working with multidisciplinary teams to treat and prevent the spread of infections, we are well positioned to bring the collective knowledge of all those in the health care community generating  knowledge about COVID together under one ‘roof’. I believe this partnership has a direct connection to saving lives,” remarked IDSA President Barbara D. Alexander, MD, MHS, FIDSA.

Among the activities included in the grant are:

  • Support and further development of the COVID-19 Real-Time Learning Network website
  • Rapid clinical guidelines development
  • Management of the CDC’s weekly COVID-19 Clinician Teleconference
  • Development of a Disparities and Culturally Competent Care Toolkit
  • Production of COVID-19 podcasts

 “Partnering with IDSA has helped CDC quickly and efficiently inform and disseminate knowledge about COVID-19 to the healthcare community,” reflected CDC’s Incident Manager, Henry Walke, MD, MPH. “We still have a long way to go to control this pandemic. CDC’s continued collaboration with IDSA and the entire Real-Time Learning Network is vital to amplifying critical guidance and data needed by those on the front lines treating the thousands of people diagnosed with COVID-19 every day in the United States.”


About the Infectious Diseases Society of America:

IDSA is a leader on issues of importance to ID professionals, including education and training, policy and advocacy, setting guidelines for patient care, and developing resources for clinical practice. It remains at the forefront of global health issues such as antimicrobial resistance and HIV/AIDS. Housed within IDSA is the HIV Medicine Association, (HIVMA) which represents medical providers and researchers working on the front lines of HIV. More than 12,000 IDSA and HIVMA members work across the United States and in nearly 100 other countries on six different continents.  For more information visit Follow IDSA on Facebook and Twitter.

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