CDC Readies for 21st Century Health Threats

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is using its reorganization to deal more efficiently and effectively deal with 21st-century health threats.

Following notification by the Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, Congress has approved CDC's reorganization, which includes the creation of four new coordinating centers and two national offices.

"Transforming our healthcare system to help Americans live longer, healthier and better lives is our challenge in the 21st Century," said Leavitt. "CDC has taken a bold step to face that challenge. CDC is transforming itself by breaking down artificial walls between its scientists, eliminating redundancies, and strengthening collaboration with partners."

The new structure includes the creation of four new coordinating centers and two new national centers. The new centers are:

  • The Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention
  • The Coordinating Center for Health Promotion
  • The Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases
  • The Coordinating Center for Health Information and Services
  • The National Center for Public Health Informatics, which applies computer and information sciences to achieve public health outcomes and is vital in translating scientific data into usable information.
  • The National Center for Health Marketing, which will use research and science to develop messages that help Americans make sound health decisions.

Dr. Henry Falk was selected as the director of the Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention. Dr. Donna F. Stroup was selected as the director of the Coordinating Center for Health Promotion. Dr. Mitchell L. Cohen was named the director of the Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases.

"CDC is now a 21st Century agency ready for the challenges of 21st Century health threats," said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. "Any corporation or large organization will tell you, realignments are typically tough to achieve. The exciting part is the payoffs we're already seeing as we emerge from this initiative as a modern, flexible, goal-oriented agency."

With the new coordinating centers, Gerberding says CDC's scientists are better able to share their expertise to solve public health problems, emergencies or not; streamline the flow of information for leadership decision-making; and better leverage the expertise of partners.

"The compassionate, scientific core of CDC remains the same. The changes add greater agility and accountability," said Gerberding. "We have transformed CDC into a learning organization. We learn as we go and what we learn we apply quickly. What CDC has learned is paying dividends today and will continue to as we confront the health threats of the future."

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