The New Mexico Emerging Infections Program (NM EIP) is an active partner in the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs), and Respiratory Disease Activity surveillance (FluSurv-Net). New Mexico has also participated in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccine effectiveness studies for both pediatric cases and older adults since the 2006-07 influenza season. In response to the (HlNl) 2009 influenza pandemic, New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) conducted statewide surveillance for influenza hospitalizations during the 2009-10 season. NMDOH manages the NM EIP. As such, it contracts with the University of New Mexico (UNM) as a key partner in the program. Current NM EIP staffing is stretched thin. While NM EIP is able to conduct all core activities of the EIP network, there is not much flexibility to more proactively pursue national EIP leadership roles and more state-based analytic and dissemination activities, such as contributing to the influenza burden projections project. The objective of this funding request through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA): Emerging Infections Program (EIP) is to allow such pursuits to be undertaken. Specifically, NM EIP would like to pursue the following activities: I) influenza polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and 2) influenza burden projections. To address these activities and strengthen a number of functions across multiple NM EIP activities, one additional full-time equivalent employee for each of the following functions are needed: a) laboratory at NMDOH; b) epidemiology at NMDOH; c) data management at NMDOH; d) epidemiology at UNM. Position 1, laboratorian at NMDOH Scientific Laboratory Division (SLD), would initially dedicate their time to influenza RT-PCR human clinical specimen testing and assurance of timely reporting of results to submitters and to NM EIP personnel contributing to influenza surveillance, vaccine effectiveness and burden projections project. This position could be cross-trained (as is the practice at SLD) to provide support to other NM EIP projects. Position 2, advanced epidemiologist at NMDOH, would support the NM EIP Principal Investigator (PI), ABCs, FoodNet and Influenza PIs and Coordinators, and core NM EIP staff such as the Surveillance Officers (SOs). That position would take leadership and assurance roles around crosscutting and high-level functions including: a) analyses and dissemination; b) training; c) coordination and integration of programs and activities; d) strategic and operational planning. Position 3, data manager at NMDOH, would gain expertise with ABCs, FoodNet, Influenza, and NM-EDSS databases (housed and maintained on NMDOH servers). Position 4, Surveillance Officer at UNM, would initially focus on the influenza burden projections project while also becoming familiar with the core activities conducted by the current SOs. If sustained, this position would become integrated into the current SO team to support them and enable all SOs to take on additional duties with national EIP projects as well as state-specific projects and activities. The overall goal of this funding for NM EIP is to build and strengthen EIP infrastructure while also enhancing general epidemiology and laboratory capacity related to influenza surveillance and related activities.