EMERGEncy ID NET is a sentinel network for surveillance and research of emerging infectious diseases. It is comprised of 11 high-volume, geographically-diverse, and academically-affiliated emergency departments in the United States. EMERGEncy ID NET was created in 1995 in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) strategic plan to enhance surveillance mechanisms using novel approaches. A CDC cooperative grant has funded the network for the last 20 years during which EMERGEncy ID NET has studied a wide range of infections and has been a model for the creation of multi-center, clinical syndrome-based research networks. The research network has continued to successfully address the threat of emerging infectious diseases by assessing disease prevalence, risk factors, and management practices for acute presentations from the community among a diverse population presenting to emergency departments. Numerous peer-reviewed publications have resulted from EMERGEncy ID NET research in journals that include The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Emerging Infectious Diseases, and Annals of Emergency Medicine. The EMERGEncy ID NET program plans to continue collaboration with the CDC to conduct ongoing investigations of various emerging and prevalent infections in the United States. This will be accomplished by: 1) identifying emerging and prevalent infections among emergency department patients; 2) developing study objectives and materials to conduct prospective studies; 3) obtaining necessary approvals to conduct the research from Human Subject Protection Committees; 4) implementing studies through enrollment and follow-up of emergency department patients; 5) managing data collected; 6) generating results from studies and reporting our findings in peer-reviewed publications and at scientific conferences; and 7) expanding the network to involve more emergency departments to improve our capability of generalizing our findings to additional populations in the United States. The accomplishments of the EMERGEncy ID NET program over the past 20 years demonstrate its capability to rapidly address a variety of urgent public health infectious disease problems and propagate the results of investigations effectively to infectious disease, public health, emergency medicine practitioners, and the public. EMERGEncy ID NET investigators have several ongoing and new projects planned to address current and anticipated emerging infection threats.