Our Commitment to Advancing Health Equity


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Today we find ourselves searching for answers. That’s because the past week and half have again emphasized just how far we must go on our path to ensuring a more inclusive and equitable America for each and every one of our citizens.

Our team at the CDC Foundation is deeply saddened by the racial violence and the aftermath of that violence we have seen on the streets of so many communities across America, including our home city, Atlanta. We are frustrated that our society is not making more progress in working to address some of the deep inequities we see, particularly in income, education and health in African Americans and other groups brought about by centuries of racism.

We continue to see, over and over again, the disparity in health outcomes for African Americans—higher rates of maternal mortality, infant mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental health issues. Of course, racism can lead to economic disadvantages for African Americans that then feed back into health challenges, thus continuing the cycle from generation to generation.

At the CDC Foundation, we don’t believe it has to be this way. The outcomes don’t have to always be the same.

Our organization is not naïve. We know that our society has a daunting task in front of us to address health inequity. We also know the path forward will be fraught with challenges. But we believe as a nation we are up to the task. Over and over again, Americans have shown we can muster the will and the mettle to effect positive change.

Let’s unite to answer this one question: How much better would America be for all of us—our children and our children’s children—if we can tackle racism and the effects it has on our society? At the CDC Foundation, our mission along with the agency we support and the donors and partners who support us is tightly focused on saving and improving lives. This includes addressing a variety of health conditions, such as taking on disparities in maternal mortality, tackling specific diseases, like sickle cell disease or COVID-19, or examining how laws and policies can improve health outcomes.

We at the CDC Foundation implore each of us to commit to doing more at all levels—government, philanthropic, private sector and as individuals. When we work together, anything is possible, including treating and caring for others as we would like others to treat and care for us.

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