Upcoming COCA Call

Preventing the Spread of Novel or Targeted Multidrug-resistant Organisms (MDROs) in Nursing Homes through Enhanced Barrier Precautions

Date: Thursday, October 24, 2019
Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm (Eastern Time)

In the United States, nursing homes provide complex medical care to residents at high risk of acquiring multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs). Through outbreak responses to novel or targeted MDROs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health partners have found that gaps in infection prevention practices, such as inadequate use of gowns and gloves, contribute to the spread of MDROs. In nursing homes, it can be challenging to implement the contact isolation precautions used in hospitals when caring for patients with MDROs. CDC recently introduced a new approach called Enhanced Barrier Precautions to help address these challenges. Enhanced Barrier Precautions are recommended for preventing the transmission of novel or targeted MDROs in nursing homes involved in a public health containment response. Enhanced Barrier Precautions fall between Standard and Contact Precautions, and require gown and glove use for certain residents during specific high-contact resident care activities that have been found to increase the risk for MDRO transmission.

During this COCA Call, clinicians will learn about Enhanced Barrier Precautions, with a detailed discussion of the residents and high-contact resident care activities for which they apply.

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

Recent COCA Calls

Update: Interim Guidance for Health Care Providers Evaluating and Caring for Patients with Suspected E-cigarette or Vaping Product Use Associated Lung Injury

Thursday, October 17, 2019

During this COCA Call, clinicians learned about updates to prior interim recommendations for U.S. health care providers caring for patients with suspected or known lung injury associated with e-cigarette or vaping products as published in MMWR on October 11, 2019.

Continuing education is not offered for this COCA Call. 

2019–2020 Recommendations for Influenza Prevention and Treatment in Children: An Update for Pediatric Providers

Thursday, September 26, 2019

During this COCA call, subject matter experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and CDC discussed strategies pediatric providers can use to improve influenza prevention and control in children for the 2019–2020 influenza season.

Free continuing education (CE) is available for this COCA Call. 

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

New CDC Opioid Training for Nurses: Earn Free CE

CDC released a new module, A Nurse's Call to Action for Safer Opioid Prescribing Practices, in the interactive online training series Applying CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids. This module helps nurses learn how they can support the implementation of the CDC Guideline to address the opioid overdose epidemic. From a nursing perspective, participants will learn risk mitigation strategies, quality improvement practices, patient communication techniques, and care coordination approaches that support safer opioid prescribing. Clinical scenarios, knowledge feedback prompts, and a resource library are used to enhance learning. 

All trainings in the series feature recommendations from CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, offer free continuing education, and are available on the Training for Providers webpage.

Start Your Health Literacy Training Here 

Training in health literacy, plain language, and culture and communication is essential for anyone working in health information and services. Whether you are new to these topics, need a refresher, or want to train your entire staff, CDC offers seven online health literacy courses for health professionals. 

CDC recommends that you take the introductory course "Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals" first and "Writing for the Public" second. The other courses can be taken in any order, depending on your interests. Free CE is offered for some of these courses.

  1. Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals 
  2. Writing for the Public
  3. Speaking with the Public
  4. Creating Easier to Understand Lists, Charts, and Graphs
  5. Fundamentals of Communicating Health Risks
  6. Using Numbers and Explaining Risk
  7. Effective Communication for Healthcare Teams: Addressing Health Literacy, Limited English Proficiency, and Cultural Differences 

COCA Partner Trainings
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Find information about upcoming trainings and conferences organized or sponsored by federal agencies or COCA partner organizations, including non-federal organizations. The page includes updated information about conferences from September–December 2019.

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 October session of Grand Rounds, “Addressing Gaps in Health Care for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities,” highlights efforts to improve health outcomes for people with intellectual disability, and how data can be a useful tool to help communities and healthcare professionals reach this goal. Tim Shriver, PhD, chairman of the International Board of Directors for Special Olympics, speaks to the benefits of athleticism and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

This session is available for CE. Register here using the course information.
CDC Course Code: PHGR10
CPE UAN: 0387-0000-19-010-H04-P

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

CDC Learning Connection

Discover CDC Learning Connection’s featured training for October!

Enhance Collaboration in Opioid Prescribing

Strong relationships with your patients can help reduce harms of opioids. Learn to enhance collaboration with Fostering Collaborative Patient-Provider Relationships.

Sign up on the Learning Connection home page for a free monthly e-newsletter to stay up to date on public health trainings from CDC, other federal agencies, and federally funded partners.


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 Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) as our October COCA Partner Spotlight!

SOPHE is a nonprofit, independent professional association that represents a diverse membership of nearly 4,000 health education professionals and students in the United States and 25 countries.

SOPHE's mission is to provide global leadership to the profession of health education and health promotion and to promote the health of society.

SOPHE members work in schools, universities, voluntary organizations, health care settings, worksites, and in local, state and federal government agencies to help raise awareness of the connection between behavioral sciences, health education, health promotion, and the surrounding environment. 

SOPHE strives to build knowledge and skills to help health educators respond to public health emergencies. They also work to increase capacity among SOPHE chapters to work with local communities in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities and improve advocacy efforts by educating policy makers and providing training and resources to help public health workers improve advocacy skills.

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! Each month, we feature a CDC clinician, a clinician who has collaborated with COCA, or a presenter from a COCA Call. This month we’re excited to feature Jonathan Epstein, DVM, MPH, PhD.

Dr. Epstein is the Vice President for Science and Outreach at EcoHealth Alliance in New York. Dr. Epstein received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and his Master’s in Public Health from Tufts University. He then went on to complete his PhD from Kingston University.

Dr. Epstein’s research has focused on understanding the ecology of zoonotic viruses in their natural reservoirs, with a particular focus on bat-borne viruses 

such as Nipah virus, Ebola, and coronaviruses related to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). He has worked extensively throughout Asia and parts of Africa, catching and sampling bats and other animals and testing them for high consequence pathogens such as Nipah virus and Ebola. His work at EcoHealth Alliance typically entails large, international collaborations using a multidisciplinary approach to examine how viruses circulate within wildlife populations and the mechanisms they have used to spill over into domestic animals and people. In 2004, he was part of the team that discovered bats were the natural reservoir for SARS coronavirus. He currently serves as a technical lead for the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats, PREDICT program. The aim of the program is to enhance capacity to detect and respond to novel zoonotic viruses that may emerge from wildlife in key hotspots around the world. EcoHealth Alliance is a partner in the PREDICT consortium which is active in more than 30 countries in Asia and Africa.   

Listen to Dr. Epstein present during a past COCA Call: The Ecology of Emerging Zoonotic Diseases. Free CE is available until December 2019.


Vaccinating Pregnant Women

Not enough women receive Influenza and Tdap vaccines during each pregnancy. Influenza and pertussis cause substantial disease burden among pregnant women and infants too young to be vaccinated. Babies less than 6 months old are at the highest risk of all children for hospitalization from influenza. Vaccinating pregnant women with influenza and Tdap vaccines can reduce influenza and pertussis risk for themselves and their infants.

  • Approximately half of pregnant women reported receiving each vaccine.
  • About 2 in 3 pregnant women do not receive both recommended vaccines.
  • Among pregnant women who didn’t get Tdap, 38% say they didn’t know the vaccine was needed in each pregnancy.
  • Recommendations from healthcare providers are one of the strongest motivators for pregnant women to get vaccinated.
  • Even among pregnant women reporting vaccination offers or referrals from a health care provider, approximately one third remained unvaccinated.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that all women who are or will be pregnant during influenza season receive influenza vaccination, which can be administered anytime during pregnancy. ACIP also recommends that women receive a dose of Tdap during each pregnancy, preferably during the early part of gestational weeks 27–36.

Healthcare Providers Should:
  • Discuss the benefits of vaccination with pregnant women early and often.
  • Strongly recommend flu and Tdap vaccines to pregnant women.
           - CDC and provider organizations’ resources are available to help providers convey strong, specific recommendations for influenza and Tdap vaccination that are responsive to pregnant women’s concerns.
  • Offer flu and Tdap vaccines to pregnant women or provide referrals to other vaccination providers.
  • Reinforce that vaccination is the best way to protect young babies from influenza and pertussis.
Read the MMWR Vital Signs for more information.

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

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