CDC Foundation Announces Public Health And Safety Team (PHAST) Funding Recipients


According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2021, over 107,000 overdose deaths occurred in the U.S., the highest number recorded in any previous year. In the face of such statistics, there is a critical need to sustain and renew efforts to address this crisis. To have a lasting impact, overdose response and prevention requires coordination across multiple sectors and agencies, each bringing unique expertise, knowledge, and data to drive action.

The Public Health and Safety Team (PHAST) Framework and Toolkit was initially developed in 2019 by the CDC Foundation, in collaboration with CDC for use by local jurisdictions. Government agencies in cities, counties, and tribal communities are well-positioned to adopt and implement overdose prevention strategies, leverage existing strengths, and address local-level needs.

PHAST supports local jurisdictions in establishing and navigating data-driven partnerships among the public health and public safety sectors to prevent overdose deaths. It offers guiding principles on collaboration, strategies to inventory and utilize data, and tools designed to enhance coordination. PHAST helps communities develop a shared understanding of the local overdose crisis, optimize local capacity to prevent overdose deaths, and establish shared accountability for effective overdose prevention efforts.

“The Public Health and Safety Team (PHAST) framework positioned us to engage partners that want to be more involved with developing an understanding of the impact of opioid/substance use on the community, monitoring our collective impact and identifying systemic changes,” said one local jurisdiction.

CDC Foundation, in collaboration with CDC, is excited to announce three jurisdictions that will receive funding this month to support their implementation of PHAST. The awardees include:

• Winnebago County Health Department, in partnership with the Oshkosh Fire Department (Wisconsin): Awarded $148,102 to apply the PHAST Framework to their existing cross-sector work, including their Overdose Fatality Review Team, and leverage data to enhance evidence-based interventions, including a peer-led rapid response program to address non-fatal overdoses.

• Camden Health and Human Services, in partnership with the Camden County Prosecutor's Office (New Jersey): Awarded $150,000 to launch a PHAST and advance local data integration and analysis efforts to streamline overdose prevention and response.

• Alliance for Prevention and Wellness a program of BHcare, Inc., in partnership with the State Police Statewide Narcotics Taskforce (Connecticut): Awarded $149,105.66 to launch a PHAST, expand data analysis and evaluation capacity, and coordinate evidence-based harm reduction initiatives across rural municipalities to strengthen overdose response.

From June 2022 to June 2023 each site will receive technical assistance and access to the latest version of the PHAST Toolkit, expected to be publicly available by September 2022.

For website and toolkit updates and to hear about new opportunities to join PHAST learning collaboratives, email us at

The PHAST Toolkit was developed by the CDC Foundation and CDC as part of the Public Health and Safety Partnerships to Reduce Opioid Overdose. Financial support was provided by the Bloomberg Overdose Prevention Initiative through a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

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Anna Barnes, MPH, is a Senior Program Officer overseeing projects designed to improve overdose prevention data collecting and reporting and support medical examiner and coroner offices in strengthening their death investigation data systems.