Working Together to Combat Antibiotic Resistance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in the United States, antibiotic-resistant bacteria sickens 2 million people each year, with 23,000 dying as a result. Dr. Jonathan Perlin, president of clinical services and chief medical officer of Hospital Corporation of America, wrote a thought-provoking commentary for Forbes about the crucial need to work together to protect our nation from the threat of antibiotic resistance. Dr. Perlin noted that the number of deadly superbugs resistant to most antibiotics is increasing, threatening Americans’ health and contributing to rising healthcare costs. 

As Dr. Perlin points out, all of us—in healthcare and in other sectors—share responsibility for reversing the crisis of antibiotic resistance, which will save lives and lower healthcare costs. “Businesses of all sizes can help protect employees’ health by asking their health insurance companies to partner with physicians and hospitals committed to CDC’s recommendations to help hospitals develop antibiotic prescribing improvement programs,” he said. “Engaging employees in conversations about medical best practices can reinforce the message about preventing unnecessary and inappropriate antibiotic use.”

Our work at the CDC Foundation aims to advance CDC’s mission through public-private partnerships that protect the health, safety and security of America and the world, and we share Dr. Perlin’s concern about the urgent need to protect people from the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. Through our Safe Healthcare Initiative, a partnership coordinated by CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion and the CDC Foundation, the CDC Foundation is seeking partners to support several CDC-led initiatives to educate and inform healthcare providers, patients and caregivers about improving the use of antibiotics. To learn more, contact Alison Thompson,

We applaud HCA for taking aggressive action to turn the tide against antibiotic resistance and we encourage all businesses and healthcare providers to work together to save lives and improve antibiotic effectiveness.

Charles Stokes is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.