Upcoming COCA Call


HHS Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Analgesics

Date: Thursday, January 30, 2020
Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm (Eastern Time)


An estimated 3% to 4% of adults in the United States use opioids long-term to help manage chronic pain. Evidence is accumulating that the use of non-opioid strategies may provide equal or more effective pain relief with lower risks than opioids for most patients with chronic pain. Also, the benefits of long-term opioid therapy often diminish over time while the risks may not.

In October, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a guide to help clinicians reduce risks and improve outcomes related to opioid dose reduction or discontinuation among patients prescribed opioids to manage pain, particularly chronic pain. The HHS Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Analgesics emphasizes the importance of shared decision-making with patients, individualized and slow tapering, and integrated pain management and behavioral support for patients.

During this COCA Call, presenters will discuss the HHS guide and the advice it provides to clinicians who are contemplating or initiating a reduction in opioid dosage or discontinuation of long-term opioid therapy for a patient with chronic pain. 


If you are unable to attend this live COCA Call, it will be available on-demand a few days after the call. Free CE will be available. 


Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)—Interim Guidance for Clinicians

Date: Friday, January 31, 2020
Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm (Eastern Time)


During this COCA Call, clinicians will learn about the current epidemiology, infection control and prevention recommendations, specimen collection and testing, and clinical management for patients with 2019-nCoV infection.


CE will not be offered for this COCA Call.

Recent COCA Call


Update on Ebola Diagnostics at the State and Federal Levels in the United States


Thursday, December 19, 2019

During this COCA Call, clinicians learned about options for testing for suspected Ebola virus infection in coordination with state and local public health authorities and CDC, as well as the benefits and limitations of existing diagnostic tools.  


Free CE is available.


2019–2020 Influenza Season Update and Recommendations for Clinicians


Tuesday, January 28, 2020

During this COCA Call, clinicians learned about current 2019–2020 influenza activity and CDC’s recommendations for healthcare providers, including influenza vaccination and the appropriate use of antiviral medications.


Free CE will be available. 

On-Demand COCA Calls 


COCA Calls offer the most up-to-date information and guidance for clinicians about key emergency preparedness and response topics and emerging public health threats. If you were unable to attend a live call, you may view it on-demand. Free CE is available for most COCA Calls.

Training and Conference Opportunities


COCA Partner Trainings
Page saying training
Find information about upcoming trainings and conferences organized or sponsored by federal agencies or COCA partner organizations, including non-federal organizations. The webpage includes updated information about conferences from January 2020–December 2020.


Public Health Grand Rounds


Public Health Grand Rounds is a monthly webcast created to foster discussion about major public health issues. The Grand Rounds sessions highlight how CDC and its partners are already addressing these challenges and discuss recommendations for future research and practice. 


The January session of Grand Rounds, “The Emerging Role of Pathogen Genomics in Public Health” addressed the rapid advances in the Advanced Molecular Detection (AMD), how AMD technologies are being applied in public health, and their future uses.


Free CE is available for Grand Rounds Sessions.


Visit Grand Rounds On-Demand to browse upcoming and previous presentations.



Looking for training about other public health topics? CDC TRAIN, CDC's online learning system, provides access to more than 1,000 courses that CDC programs, grantees, and other funded partners have developed. CDC has approved and verified courses offered by CDC providers. 

Emergency Preparedness and Response Training Resources


Learn about emergency preparedness and response training resources that CDC, other federal agencies, and COCA partners offer, including scheduled and on-demand courses. Be sure to view these valuable resources.

COCA partners, do you have a training course that is related to emergency preparedness and response? If so, send an email to coca@cdc.gov and we will include your course.

COCA Partner Spotlight 


COCA is pleased to feature the American Association of Medical Society Executives (AAMSE) in our January COCA Partner Spotlight! 

AAMSE is the professional association of more than 1,300 medical society executives and staff specialists. Through its more than 300 member organizations, AAMSE advances the profession of medicine through education, communication of knowledge, leadership development, and collaboration.

Member organizations include county, regional, state, state specialty, national, national specialty, and international medical societies, as well as affiliated health care organizations and industry partners.

AAMSE is committed to educating and supporting medical society professionals to advance the profession of medical society management, medical societies, and the physicians they serve.

AAMSE's vision is to be the foremost resource for America’s medical society professionals in achieving excellence in medical society management.

To learn more about AAMSE, visit their website and like them on Facebook.

Partnerships with professional associations are vital to CDC’s ability to share information with clinicians about public health emergencies, CDC guidance, health alert messages, and training opportunities.

Clinician's Corner 


Welcome to the Clinician’s Corner! This month COCA is excited to feature Paige Armstrong, MD, MHS, a medical epidemiologist at CDC. 

Dr. Armstrong is the Epidemiology Team Lead for the Rickettsial Zoonoses Branch in CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. She is responsible for the surveillance, research, and prevention of spotted fever rickettsioses, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, and Q fever.

Dr. Armstrong received her undergraduate degree and Masters in Health Sciences from Johns Hopkins University, completed her medical degree at the University of Connecticut, and her residency in emergency medicine at George Washington University. She subsequently completed the Epidemic Intelligence Service fellowship with the Mycotic Diseases Branch at CDC. As a medical officer with the United States Public Health Service, Dr. Armstrong has responded to various disease outbreaks in the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Panama.

In her current position, Dr. Armstrong focuses heavily on supporting states, tribal communities, and international partners in combating outbreaks of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the highly fatal tickborne infection, and educates clinicians on how to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with other rickettsial diseases. Dr. Armstrong is also the lead investigator for a novel condition, alpha-gal syndrome, an allergic reaction to meat associated with ticks. She is conducting the first epidemiologic studies to better understand risk factors for this condition and its public health implication in the United States.

Listen to Dr. Armstrong present during a recent COCA Call: A Leopard without Spots: Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Free CE is available.



Healthcare Providers Can Protect Patients from Deadly Staph Infections


In collaboration with Medscape, CDC recently released a new interactive case designed to help healthcare providers protect patients from deadly staph infections. The scenario featured in the case begins following a patient’s death from a bloodstream staph infection and a healthcare provider’s realization that their facility’s staph infection rate is higher than the national rate.


CDC calls on healthcare facilities, providers, and administrators to protect patients from these deadly infections and has released a new framework of strategies to reduce device-and procedure-related infections. CDC also recommends that all healthcare facilities assess their staph infection data on an ongoing basis and implement prevention actions where needed. 


By reviewing this case, healthcare providers can challenge themselves to see if they would know how to respond to protect patients in their facility from serious staph infections that can lead to sepsis or death.


The Emergency Risk Communication Branch in the Division of Emergency Operations, Center for Preparedness and Response is responsible for the management of all COCA products.

For information about this update or other clinical issues, or to send your feedback, please contact us at coca@cdc.gov

CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity Facebook page—connect with COCA on Facebook

Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity—resources for healthcare providers

COCA RSS Feed—subscribe to be notified of conference calls, updates, and CDC guidance for health providers

Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication Training—training program that draws from lessons learned during public health emergencies, and incorporates best practices from the fields of risk and crisis communication

Health Alert Network—CDC's primary method of sharing cleared information about urgent public health incidents with public information officers; federal, state, territorial, and local public health practitioners; clinicians; and public health laboratories


CDC LogoCDC and HHS logos are the exclusive property of the Department of Health and Human Services and may not be used for any purpose without prior express written permission. Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Links to non-federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by CDC or the federal government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organizations.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Rd   Atlanta, GA 30329   1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)   TTY: 888-232-6348
Questions or Problems  |  Unsubscribe