Skip to main content

Lessons Learned from a DoD and Virginia Data Sharing Pilot using NSSP ESSENCE


The DoD and VDH both maintain local ESSENCE installations to monitor the health status of their military and civilian populations, respectively, and submit syndromic surveillance data to the NSSP ESSENCE to foster data sharing and collaborative initiatives among public health entities. Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs), housed on DoD installations, provide healthcare to all service members and their beneficiaries stationed in the area. Service members and their beneficiaries represent a substantial portion of the local community and interact with the civilian population throughout daily activities. Sharing syndromic surveillance data between DoD and public health jurisdictions can provide public health situational awareness among both civilian and military populations to support disease surveillance. DoD and VDH engaged in a pilot project to develop processes and procedures for data sharing, data access, and communication with the aim they can serve as best practices for other jurisdictions seeking to share syndromic surveillance data with DoD.

Objective: This panel will focus on the experiences from the Department of Defense (DoD) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH) data sharing project using the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) ESSENCE and will discuss lessons learned, challenges, and recommendations within the following areas: 1) data sharing authority, 2) coordination and implementation of data sharing with a focus on personnel, training, and managing access and 3) communication between local, state, and federal agencies.

Submitted by elamb on