Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs Helps AFHSD Protect Health and Readiness of Deployed Forces

September 02, 2022

The U.S. military must remain in a state of operational readiness at all times. Every soldier, Marine and sailor is armed with the right tools, equipment and weapons. They train and prepare themselves physically and mentally because their health is a vital component of their overall success.

To help identify health events that may impact the operational readiness of the joint forces, the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division (AFHSD) introduced its Health Surveillance Explorer (HSE) tool. In 2018, they were looking for a strategic partner to help upgrade the HSE and extended a contract to Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs (CNSP), a Cherokee Federal company.

“The client wanted to enhance the capabilities of its health surveillance products,” says Jeffrey Cummings, senior program manager at CNSP. “Originally the data was sent to users as a five-page report. We have turned it into an interactive tool that provides near real-time information about diseases and health concerns impacting the DoD community.”

CNSP’s team of epidemiologists and information technology analysts contributed unique, technical expertise that transformed the HSE into a secure online application that can be accessed by authorized personnel anywhere in the world.

The positive outcomes of Cherokee’s work are clearly visible. The HSE is used by military planners and geographic combatant commanders to identify global health threats and disease outbreaks that may impact troops and beneficiary populations, which helps protect the health and readiness of deployed forces.

CNSP’s team tracks the spread of diseases and creates disease maps that are similar to Google Maps and Waze. They added several dashboards to highlight reported cases of COVID-19 surveillance, COVID-19 variants of concern, influenza and hazards related to heat/cold injuries.

“We were there from the beginning and helped to automate the tool,” says Greg Sampson, a geographic information system (GIS) administrator for CNSP. He remembers when it took several hours to update the database. “Over the years the team has streamlined the process and now it takes less than 30 minutes to update.”

CNSP developers continue to add new features such as a pop-up newsroom box, symbols and dashboards. The HSE database expanded from 1,200 locations to 3,000. These additional geographic points allow users to track a reported health threats by state, province or region.

“The HSE is a useful tool,” Greg says. “We’ve never heard a negative word about the application. Those who know about it see the benefits and want to find out what else it can do.”

About Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs

From intelligence and cybersecurity to vulnerability assessment and mission assurance, Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs provides experience and results. Building on a reputation as a dedicated, disciplined and tightly knit organization, CNSP supports the Department of Defense and federal clients in the execution of their critical, strategic and operational programs. CNSP is an 8(a), OASIS SB Pool 1 and Schedule 70 certified professional services company.

About Cherokee Federal

Cherokee Federal, a division of Cherokee Nation Businesses, is a team of tribally owned federal contracting companies that serve more than 60 federal clients. Our team of more than 3,600 employees has completed more than 5,300 federal missions in more than 20 countries.

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