Putting CDC's Public Health Work in Focus

FriedenThe end of a calendar year provides an opportunity for reflecting on the previous year and looking forward to the one ahead. For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2012 was a very active and effective year – one that CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, recalls in an interview for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Public Health blog. In that interview, Dr. Frieden also provides a glimpse at what to expect in 2013.

From a public health security perspective, as Dr. Frieden recounts, CDC in 2012 got even better at detecting outbreaks and then halting them. And, CDC’s work in prevention continued to save lives and help employers and families reduce spending on healthcare costs.

CDC’s work on the global front helps address disease outbreaks, such as Ebola in Uganda, before they reach the United States. And CDC’s global efforts are supporting an intensive effort aimed at eradicating polio, for instance. Of course, CDC also plays a vital role protecting people through its support of state and local health departments. As Dr. Frieden says in the interview, “about two-thirds of our budget goes out to state and local entities. We have more than 500 staff embedded in state and local entities to help implement programs, and we frequently provide on-site or distance input as requested.”

Today, public health faces many challenges, from disease outbreaks to chronic killers, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, to funding pressures at the local, state, national, and international levels. We at the CDC Foundation appreciate the efforts of our CDC colleagues in 2012. And, we look forward to working with them in 2013 in support of their crucial work to keep our nation’s citizens and businesses safe and secure.

Charles Stokes is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.