STIs are the focus of a new program at the Springfield-Greene County Health Department
The Disease Intervention Specialist Program consists of 2 DIS specialists and a community health advocate.
A new program at the Springfield-Greene County Health Department is focused on sexually transmitted illness.
The health department partnered with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for the Disease Intervention Specialist program or DIS. Stephanie Woehl, health program coordinator for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, said it’s an effort to help decrease STIs in Greene County, which have been on the rise locally and nationwide.
"This partnership will help us focus and really be an extra resource to our community so that we can bring the resources needed to help curb the spread of disease," said Woehl.
The new DIS program, based locally, will take over case management for STI cases, previously done by Missouri DHSS. It will also allow the local health department to expand STI education and outreach in the community.
"We were able to hire — through this partnership — two disease intervention specialists or DIS specialists and also a community health advocate to help round out that program," said Woehl.
The new program will focus primarily on syphilis and HIV. The specialists will reach out to those who test positive, connect them with treatment and help them identify and contact those who may have been exposed.
The CHA will provide STI prevention education and connect people with community resources.
Last year, there were 280 cases of syphilis reported in Greene County, and 19 cases of HIV or AIDS were reported in 2021, according to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. As of 2021, there were more than 450 people living with an HIV or AIDS diagnosis in Greene County.
For more information on STIs, how to prevent them, a list of illnesses the health department tests for and to sign up for free STI testing at the health department, call 417-864-1684 or visit health.springfieldmo.gov/STI.