Reflections on 2019 and a Look Ahead for 2020

It’s 2020—a new year and a new decade, with many new beginnings. With each new year, I take time to review the previous one and see what made news. In a similar fashion, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released nine health threats that made headlines last year, ranging from the outbreak of mysterious lung-injury deaths to America’s near loss of its measles elimination status.

According to CDC, some of the biggest health issues of 2019 include:

•    Lung injuries linked to e-cigarette use, vaping (EVALI)
•    Opioids
•    Antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance
•    Foodborne outbreaks
•    Pregnancy-related deaths
•    HIV
•    Measles
•    Immunization and vaccination
•    Ebola 

While these health threats continue into the new decade, I remain hopeful and focused on the CDC Foundation’s vision to improve the health and safety of all people by substantially enhancing the impact of CDC. Together with your help we can battle the toughest health crises in America and around the world. These are just a few of the many critical health issues we are taking on in 2020:

Global Health Security
More than 70 percent of the world remains underprepared to prevent, detect and respond to a public health emergency. As part of the Global Health Security Agenda, we are working with CDC to strengthen public health systems and contain outbreaks at the source, before they spread into regional epidemics or global pandemics.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is experiencing the world’s second largest Ebola epidemic in history with more than 3,300 cases and over 2,100 deaths. We are working to raise support to beat back Ebola, through on-the-ground contract tracing, vaccination and surveillance in DRC.

Data modernization
A modernized public health data system is critical to CDC’s ability to detect, prevent and respond to health threats. We are working to extend government investment with philanthropic sector support to ensure our nation’s health through more robust and rapid information flows, making sure data and data systems are timely, active and predictive to keep us safe from the next health threat.

I look forward to all that we can accomplish this year—and throughout the next decade—to improve the health and safety of all people. Together our impact is greater. 

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