Responding to Emergencies with Elevance Health CARES

The CDC Foundation is thrilled to announce its new partnership with Elevance Health CARES, a public charity created to complement the work Elevance Health Foundation does to advance health equity across America, through their support of the CDC Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund with funding that is ready for the next public health emergency. Elevance Health CARES’ generous gift will provide immediate, flexible resources to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) experts addressing emergencies affecting public health ranging from natural disasters, emerging disease outbreaks or bioterrorist threats in the US and around the world. This commitment is critical and can save and improve lives during a public health emergency where federal appropriations are limited or not available. Building on more than a collective 40 years’ experience for improving the health of socially vulnerable populations, this partnership reflects the CDC Foundation and Elevance Health CARES' pledge to improve the health of humanity, advance equity and strengthen communities even in challenging times.

When a health threat strikes, speed saves lives. As the health protection agency for the United States, CDC is prepared to rapidly deploy disease detectives, lifesaving vaccines and medicines and other essential support during a health emergency at home or abroad. However, federal dollars, even during emergencies, are tied to restrictions and purchasing procedures that can limit CDC’s ability to act quickly to meet the health needs of the public, in particular, under-resourced communities. Flexible, readily available resources within the Fund allows the CDC Foundation to quickly address any key gaps in CDC's response effort and serve as a critical stopgap until federal appropriations may become available.

The CDC Foundation operates at the intersection of federal, state, local and community-level public health infrastructure. From this position, the CDC Foundation develops and supports cross sectoral partnerships to create solutions to complex public health issues and drive impact beyond the public health sector. The CDC Foundation has the unique experience of combining various funding streams, including federal, state and private resources, to address complex health issues. Since 2001, the Emergency Response Fund has provided support to CDC’s emergency response efforts during public health threats such as COVID-19, Ebola, mpox, Zika and extreme weather events including the Haiti earthquake, Southern Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.

Armed with the resources of the Fund, the CDC Foundation uses its nonprofit status and its congressionally authorized capacity to provide staff, supplies and other services to the CDC and other key partners, such as health departments, ministries of health or community-based organizations (CBOs) when activated. The flexible funding provided by the Fund has advanced a wide range of critical public health interventions for disproportionally affected groups, including essential procurement of supplies and equipment, tailored communication campaigns to key audiences, coordination of vaccination and testing, community outreach activities and support for CBOs in their outreach to people who are not equitably served.

As emergencies are unpredictable, having pre-positioned funds to support core capacity to meet immediate needs of people, especially those at disproportionate risk, is critical and can save and improve lives. The utilization of Elevance Health CARES funds will be vital to scale up quickly in responding to future needs. Both the CDC Foundation and Elevance Health CARES believe that people, groups and organizations have greater positive impact and can accomplish more collectively than individually. By aligning diverse interests and resources and leveraging all parties' strengths, focused collaborations with government, private and philanthropic partners help create greater impact than any single entity can alone.

Please join us in supporting the preparation for and response to crisis situations by providing flexibility to meet both immediate and planned needs that may not otherwise be readily available. Together our impact is greater. To learn more, contact or 404.623.0790.  

Ian Hamilton
Ian Hamilton is a senior advancement officer for the CDC Foundation.