Dealing with disease can be difficult on the body, mind, and finances. In 2023, there have been 13,087 cases of reportable infectious disease so far in the state. For Arizonans combating disease, the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Office of Rapid Response Disease Investigation (ORRDI) is here to help, connecting them with assistance so they can focus on their health.
ORRDI fights disease at every stage in coordination with local health jurisdictions. The ORRDI team investigates diseases, preventing spread and protecting the community. They provide education and guidance to Arizonans on disease prevention, empowering them to protect themselves. They also provide support to those diagnosed with a disease, offering information on management and treatment options.
These investigators will also refer Arizonans they encounter during case investigation and contact tracing to Community Navigators who can help connect them to vital services. More than 900 people have connected to Community Navigators for assistance so far in 2023. Those Community Navigators have helped Arizonans receive services in their communities approximately 4.5 times each day, providing them support while they heal including:
- Emergency food box delivery
- Utility assistance
- Eviction prevention
- Rental assistance
- Senior services
- Medical and health services
Community Navigators have made a significant difference to Arizonans recovering from disease, especially those living in rural counties. Rural county Arizonans needed 14% more support services compared to those in urban counties. This aligns with ADHS’ findings that 65% of Arizona’s primary care areas (most in rural counties) are medically underserved.
Emergency food box delivery (27% of requests to Community Navigators), utility assistance (23% of requests), and food box/hot meal site assistance (23% of requests), were the most requested forms of support for those in rural and urban counties, showing how needed this help with fundamental essentials is during times of illness, especially for those living far from other resources.
Visit the ORRDI website for more information. If a public health representative reaches out to you regarding contact tracing and disease investigation, be assured your case will be handled confidentially and with care. We want to ensure you have the resources to heal properly.