CDC Foundation Debuts Original Song to Honor Those Protecting Health of People Worldwide

“Against All Odds” Highlights the Critical Need for Collaboration to Address Health Challenges

The CDC Foundation today debuted an original song and video in honor of those who work to protect the health of people across the globe. “Against All Odds” is performed by Kelley Elle, an emerging recording artist from Los Angeles, who wrote the song with her producers and co-writers, Grammy Award winners Charlie Midnight (James Brown, Joni Mitchell and Barbra Streisand) and Jan Fairchild (Justin Timberlake, Mos Def and Whitney Houston). The song encourages strength and resilience in the face of the seemingly impossible challenges we face today, including health crises ranging from the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the opioid crisis in the United States.

In writing “Against All Odds,” Kelley Elle drew inspiration from the CDC Foundation’s work in helping the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) save lives throughout the world. “Although the world faces complex health challenges, we can beat the odds and have tremendous impact,” said Kelley Elle. “It was an honor to work on this song with Charlie and Jan, and my hope is that it inspires us all to come together and fight health threats with determination and strength.”

This song is for all who are tackling the greatest health threats of our time, including our partners and donors who rise up to meet significant needs across the globe.

According to the World Health Organization, noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, a global influenza pandemic, HIV, air pollution and Ebola are some of the multitude of health challenges the world faces today. These health threats require innovation and partnership, and it is imperative that the public, philanthropic and private sectors remain committed to addressing the needs and challenges.

“This song is for all who are tackling the greatest health threats of our time, including our partners and donors who rise up to meet significant needs across the globe,” said Judy Monroe, MD, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “We hope this song inspires continued collaboration on tough health issues, because together our impact is greater.”

Monroe has spent all of her career in the fields of health and public health, but tackling the tough issue of health challenges is personal for her and her family, including her daughter, Kelley Elle. Use of the song is a gift to the CDC Foundation from the songwriters, and the video production is made possible by the Monroe family in tribute to Verna Monroe, Dr. Monroe’s mother and Kelley’s grandmother.

“My mother Verna passed away earlier this year at the age of 97, having overcome tough health challenges including contracting polio during the height of U.S. epidemic in the 1950s and myriad other health issues,” said Monroe. “She was able to live longer thanks to improvements and advancements in health and healthcare, which wouldn’t have been possible without the support of partners, individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to improve health and save lives.”

The song is available on all streaming platforms, and the music video is available for viewing on YouTube. For more information, visit