CDC announces new goals and organizational structure

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Julie Gerberding announced today new goals and integrated operations that will allow the federal public health agency to have greater impact on the health of people around the world. Today’s announcement evolved from an ongoing strategic development process called the Futures Initiative which began a year ago at CDC and has included hundreds of employees, other agencies, organizations, and the public.

Dr. Gerberding announced that CDC will align its priorities and investments under two overarching health protection goals: 1) Preparedness: People in all communities will be protected from infectious, environmental, and terrorists threats. 2) Health Promotion and Prevention of Disease, Injury and Disability: All people will achieve their optimal lifespan with the best possible quality of health in every stage of life. In addition, the agency is developing more targeted goals to assure an improved impact on health at every stage of life including infants and toddlers, children, adolescents, adults, and older adults.

The integrated organization coordinates the agency’s existing operational units into four coordinating centers to help the agency leverage its resources to be more nimble in responding to public health threats and emerging issues as well as chronic health conditions.

“For more than half a century this extraordinary agency with the greatest workforce in the world has accomplished so much for the health of people here and around the world,” said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. “However, today’s world characterized by tremendous globalization, connectivity, and speed poses entirely new challenges. The steps we are taking through this initiative will better position us to meet these challenges head on. Our aim is to help ensure that all people are protected in safe and healthy communities so they can achieve their full life expectancy.”

The new coordinating centers and their directors are:

Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases – includes the National Center for Infectious Diseases, the National Immunization Program, and the National Center for STD, TB, and HIV Prevention. Dr. Mitchell Cohen will lead this coordinating center.

Coordinating Center for Health Promotion – includes the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Donna Stroup will lead this coordinating center.

Coordinating Center for Environmental Health, Injury Prevention, and Occupational Health – includes the National Center for Environmental Health, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Dr. Henry Falk will lead this coordinating center.

Coordinating Center for Health Information and Services – includes the National Center for Health Statistics, a new National Center for Health Marketing, and a new Center for Public Health Informatics. Dr. James Marks will lead this coordinating center.

Office of Global Health – Dr. Stephen Blount will lead this office.

Office of Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response – Dr. Charles Schable will lead this office.

In addition, Dr. Gerberding announced the following:

  • Dr. Stephen Thacker will head a newly formed Human Capital Management Office to oversee professional development, recruitment, training, and workforce development at CDC.
  • Dr. Dixie Snider is the Chief Officer for Science and will primarily be responsible for overseeing the agency’s Office of Extramural Research.
  • Dr. Ed Thompson is the Chief of Public Health Improvement and will be responsible for assuring that the standards CDC sets for the public health system are met.
  • Ms. Kathy Cahill will head the newly created Office of Strategy and Innovation and will be responsible for overseeing goals management and analysis.
  • Mr. William Gimson remains the Chief Operating Officer responsible for overseeing all management and business operations activities at CDC.
  • Mr. Robert Delaney remains Chief of Staff responsible for managing the Office of the Director.

Dr. Gerberding congratulated and thanked the thousands of employees and partners who have participated in the process and she reminded them all that they really are the cornerstone of CDC’s future. She said the time is right to move forward with these changes. “CDC is very strong and credible agency that has - and will always - base its decisions on the best of science. The time for change to enhance your impact is when you’re at your best and for CDC that time is right now.”

Dr. Gerberding and executive leaders throughout CDC will be moving forward to implement these changes by October 1, 2004, the start of the next fiscal year.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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