CDC puts research into practice to advance public health, save lives

Dr. Frieden - Milken

Recently I had the opportunity to attend the 2013 Milken Institute Global Conference, attended by 3,700 global leaders from across the health, education, philanthropy, government, media, finance, business and energy sectors, including 18 members of Congress. At the conference in Los Angeles, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden outlined CDC’s important role in the nation’s health security and offered insights into CDC’s life-saving work, such as efforts focused on HIV/AIDS, polio eradication and preventing and responding to pandemics. 

The conference provided a terrific forum to hear from global leaders including Bill Gates, Tony Blair, Al Gore, Dr. Francis Collins, Jean Case and many others who presented innovative models and solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges.

One topic that excited me centered on advancements in scientific research and the variety of new programs being implemented to put that research into practice to advance public health. Of course, challenges are ever present, including having the funding necessary in the face of ongoing budget cuts to move forward with both research and funding.

Dr. Frieden made a notable point in this regard, stating “we need to have a balanced portfolio. We have to invest in research to create the tools of tomorrow, but we also have to invest in programs to make sure they’re used. The best research will not save lives if it’s not used.”
View the presentation – this segment begins at 1:09:43 in the video.

In discussing the mindset of CDC staff in approaching their jobs, Dr. Frieden said “all they want are the resources to protect you as well as humanly possible. All they want are the resources to go from the availability of technology to protect people and keep us safe to applying that technology so that we’re safer, our economy is more robust and people live longer.”
View the presentation – scroll to 51:33 to hear this segment.


Learn More

> Learn about the 2013 Milken Institute Global Conference

> See Dr. Frieden’s panel presentations

> Read a panel blog post

Charles Stokes is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.