Looking Forward to Building on Our Work Together in 2019

With 2018 winding down, I thank our partners for their commitment to working with the CDC Foundation through our programs with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make the world healthier and safer for us all. In 2018 through the support of our partners, we had the privilege of extending CDC’s lifesaving work in a variety of important efforts across the globe. A few highlights are:

Preventing infections in cancer patients: This year, the CDC Foundation launched the first educational tool using virtual human technology to improve patient-provider conversations about a side effect of chemotherapy that may increase infection risk, known as neutropenia. This innovative new tool is part of the Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients program, which has been led by CDC and the CDC Foundation since 2009, with financial support from Amgen.

Responding to the opioid epidemic: States need guidance on how best to monitor opioid usage trends in real time using various data sources, detect high priority areas within their jurisdictions for action and effectively guide deployment of resources to address challenges. Through support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the CDC Foundation is working with CDC to provide targeted technical assistance and tools so that states and localities can roll out their own procedures for responding to opioid overdoses modeled after the RxStat initiative, a program which has been effectively utilized in New York City.

Louise Martin, DVM, MS, EIS ’85 Endowed Memorial Scholarship: Following a matching gift from Walter and Mabel Dowdle, the CDC Foundation this year raised more than $46,000 for the Starehe Girls’ Centre and School for disadvantaged young women and girls in Kenya. The fundraising campaign was conducted in memory of former CDC staff member Louise Martin, who died 20 years ago in the bombing of the American Embassy in Kenya. The endowment at the CDC Foundation currently provides scholarships for disadvantaged young women in Kenya to attend the Starehe Girls Centre and School, a respected national school in Kenya.

Hurricane response: The CDC Foundation worked with a number of donors in support of the ongoing response to the 2017 hurricanes that inflicted terrible damage on the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). A variety of efforts were underway this year aimed at bolstering the work of territorial health departments that are continuing to recover from last year’s storms. Among the many activities underway this year were an island-wide vaccination campaign in Puerto Rico and the development of a mobile health clinic for carrying out public health efforts in USVI. 

Piloting the Cardiff Model for Violence Prevention: Through a CDC Foundation grant funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a local Cardiff Model partnership in metropolitan Atlanta was created with Grady Memorial Hospital and the DeKalb County Police Department. This partnership worked closely with CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention, which provided technical assistance and support for adapting the Cardiff Model to the United States and selecting public health approaches for violence prevention. A new toolkit of education materials designed to help communities interested in implementing the Cardiff Model was launched on CDC’s website this year.

We are excited about our progress together in 2018, and we know that none of this work would be possible without you, our dedicated partners, and CDC’s team of scientists and subject matter experts. Together our impact is greater!

Thanks for all that you do, and best wishes for a happy and healthy new year in 2019.

Judy Monroe, MD, is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.