Responding to Marcus Appeal, 15 Corporations Contribute Equipment to CDC’s Emergency Operations Center

One year after Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus pledged $3.9 million to equip an emergency operations center at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and called on corporations for additional support, 15 companies have donated or provided discounted equipment through the CDC Foundation.

“We knew a year ago that CDC urgently needed a state-of-the art facility to coordinate responses to public health emergencies. But we did not know if adequate government funding would be available to quickly build the kind of facility that CDC leaders envisioned,” says Marcus, immediate past board chair of the CDC Foundation. “Thanks to companies like Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Rockwell Collins, Christie, Shure, and Dell that provided their top-of-the-line equipment, CDC now has a world-class operations center ready to handle any public health emergency that might arise. None of this could have happened without the CDC Foundation, which brokered the sensitive negotiations necessary for this public-private sector success.”

CDC’s Marcus Emergency Operations Center became fully operational in March. The center was recently activated to assist in the global investigation of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which has sickened hundreds of people worldwide. During such an event, the center serves as a central communications and command hub. Personnel working in the facility have access to multiple audio, video and data feeds from health organizations and scientists in the field, allowing for real-time analysis and decision-making. Teams gather in theater-style workstations surrounded by large plasma video screens to view images from remote locations and track the spread of a disease or threat.

“The technologies available to scientists working in the operations center are truly cutting edge,” says Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “Bernie Marcus had remarkable vision when he and the Marcus Foundation stepped forward to help equip the center. The Marcus Foundation gift, along with the generous contributions of the corporate partners, have allowed CDC to build one of the most impressive command centers in the country.”

Corporations that made contributions to the center include AMX Corporation, C & S Antennas, Christie Digital Systems, Inc., ClearOne Communications, Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard, JVC, Liberty Communications, Linkspoint, Motorola, Rockwell Collins, Shure Incorporated, Starin Distributing, Symbol Technologies, and The Sytex Group.

The Marcus Foundation and the corporate contributors were honored at a dedication ceremony for CDC’s Marcus Emergency Operations Center on April 1.

The CDC Foundation is an independent nonprofit enterprise that forges effective partnerships between CDC and others to fight threats to health and safety.

Corporations that Contributed to CDC’s Marcus Emergency Operations Center:

Outright Donations:

  • C&S Antennas, Inc.: Antenna equipment worth $5,600
  • Hewlett-Packard Company: $35,000 worth of computer printers
  • Motorola, Inc.: Radio equipment worth $51,000
  • Rockwell Collins: High frequency communications accessories worth 41,500
  • Shure Incorporated: Microphones and audio electronics worth $22,000

Discounted Equipment

  • AMX Corporation: AV equipment worth approximately $60,000, at a 33 percent discount
  • Christie Digital Systems, Inc.: AV equipment worth almost $200,000, at a 50 percent discount
  • ClearOne Communications, Inc.: AV equipment worth $25,000, at a 30 percent discount
  • Dell Computer Corporation: Computer equipment worth almost $300,000, at a 42 percent discount
  • JVC: Digital video cameras equal to $35,000, at a 50 percent discount
  • Liberty Communications: $8,000 in in-kind services
  • LinksPoint, Inc.: Global positioning equipment worth $49,000, at a 50 percent discount
  • Starin Distributing, Inc.: AV equipment worth $10,000, at a 50 percent discount
  • Symbol Technologies, Inc.: Over $26,000 worth of global positioning software and equipment, at a 50 percent discount
  • The Sytex Group, Inc.: Discounted fee for systems integration and installation