Stories of Our Work in Action

Learn more about the many people and communities who are making an impact in health around the world. Below is a selection of highlights. For a full list, view all stories.

Latest Stories

/
Transforming Trauma into Triumph: Voices Today For Change Tomorrow

In the annals of U.S. medical history, one study stands out for its profound impact on the ethics of medical research—the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Study of Untreated Syphilis at Tuskegee and Macon County, Alabama.

/
David Kotok: Champion of Public Health through Philanthropy and Ethical Leadership

Throughout his career, which has included time in the United States military, as the founder of an investment management firm, as an author and as a philanthropist supporting the CDC Foundation, David Kotok has recognized and supported the advancement of urgent public health initiatives and ethical service.

/
Building A Strong Response to Drug-Resistant Malaria in Africa

Launched in 2014, PARMA was designed to bring together malaria experts across Africa and the U.S. to track emerging resistance so countries can adapt treatment protocols. Nowhere is this work more critical than in the hard-hit countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

Notes from the Field

/
Positive Vibes for Public Health: Inspiring Island Students

Public health analyst Amulen Wirsiy, of the Overdose Response Strategy program, has been busy visiting schools across Puerto Rico, leading discussions around dealing with peer pressure, smart decision-making and self-reliance, as well as the physical and emotional effects of various substances.

/
Breathing Easier: Air Quality Monitors Track Wildfire Smoke

Hotter, drier summers are giving rise to more wildfires and the health threats they pose. Here's how Montana is tackling the challenge.

/
Building A Strong Response to Drug-Resistant Malaria in Africa

Launched in 2014, PARMA was designed to bring together malaria experts across Africa and the U.S. to track emerging resistance so countries can adapt treatment protocols. Nowhere is this work more critical than in the hard-hit countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

/
Overdose Doesn’t Mean It’s Over: Rhode Island’s Response to the Opioid Crisis

Just weeks ago, Lily Rivera saved a life. On the corner of Peace and Broad in Providence, Rhode Island, Lily works at an agency that organizes outreach teams and provides education to high-risk populations struggling with opioid addiction.

/
Protecting Health in Haiti Amid Crisis

In today’s interconnected world, a health threat anywhere is a health threat everywhere. In addition to the rise of drug-resistant pathogens, environmental disasters and armed conflict represent some of the biggest ongoing threats to global health security in Haiti.

/
World Rabies Day: Bat Women Battle Rabies

A pair of "bat women" are battling rising rabies exposures in Illinois: Lab scientist Dusty Staake is testing for rabies-positive bats, and Senior Epidemiologist Chanée Massiah and her team are ensuring that community members exposed to the deadly disease are properly vaccinated.

Supporting Stronger Communities

/
Sharing Lifesaving Messages to Help Prevent Pregnancy-Related Deaths

Hear Her is a national campaign that supports CDC’s efforts to prevent pregnancy-related deaths. The latest phase of the program reaches out to American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) women, who are twice as likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than white women.

/
Detroit Team Helps Residents Prepare for Changing Climate

Deandra Smith, director of the AmeriCorps Climate R.E.A.D.Y. program at Wayne State University, and her team of 11 volunteers work in Detroit to help residents remedy flooding.

/
Transforming Trauma into Triumph: Voices Today For Change Tomorrow

In the annals of U.S. medical history, one study stands out for its profound impact on the ethics of medical research—the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Study of Untreated Syphilis at Tuskegee and Macon County, Alabama.

/
CDC Foundation Team Aids in Effort to Create Tribal Public Health Department

A team assigned to the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians are working to establish a public health department to offer public health services provided by tribal members for tribal members.

/
Strengthening Community Relationships as the Foundation for Change

Cross-sector relationships are pivotal to ensuring the community is at the forefront of public health decisions. A systems change approach helps sustainably build these partnerships.

/
Nothing For Us Without Us: How Connecticut is Rethinking Their Funding Systems

Connecticut, like many states, has varied demographics and different priorities across their 20 health districts. All the state’s communities have one overarching challenge, though: public health funding.

Donor Highlights

/
Gary Cohen: Applying Business-Sector Skills to Impact Public Health

Gary Cohen has dedicated his life to serving others with compassion and ethical leadership, leading public health organizations and agencies on projects spanning the globe. He is an expert on applying knowledge gained in the business sector to achieve tangible social change worldwide and has been a close collaborator with the CDC Foundation, where he has been a donor every year since 2006 and former board of directors chair and member.

/
Kathy Bremer: A Public Service Expert Chooses the CDC Foundation

Through careers in journalism, public relations, nonprofit and executive search work, Kathy Bremer has combined her passions for public service, fostering connections and making a difference.

/
From Field to Print: Peter Drotman's Unique Legacy in Infectious Disease Response

Throughout his career, Dr. Peter Drotman has been guided by his passion for global public health, leaving his own distinct mark on the field. As one of the last epidemiologists to see a case of smallpox, Drotman also became one of the first to see a case of HIV/AIDS.

/
Valerie Kokor: A Remarkable Journey to a Public Health Calling

“It’s a calling,” says Valerie Kokor about her long career in public health, “but you don’t always know your calling right away.” Valerie’s story is one of twists and turns, successes and failures, and an ongoing commitment to the field of public health—even in retirement today.

/
Walt and Mabel Dowdle Leave a Lasting Legacy in Honor of Dr. Louise Martin

On August 7, 1998, just months after Dr. Louise Martin began work with Walt Dowdle on the Task Force Malaria Team, she was killed in the terrorist bombing of the American Embassy in Kenya. In her honor, Walt and his wife Mabel have established the Louise Martin Scholarship.

/
Hero Fund Honors a Legacy of Caring

“Public health isn’t just about epidemiology; it’s about taking care of these people who volunteer to help vaccinate in places where there is the threat of true danger,” says the program manager for the Bob Keegan Polio Eradication Heroes Fund.

/
Honoring Dr. Stephen B. Thacker’s Legacy by Inspiring a Passion for Public Health in Students

Dr. Stephen B. Thacker was extraordinarily dedicated to public health service. Now his family works to continue his legacy by supporting the public health leaders of tomorrow.

2023 in Review

/
Protecting Children from Rotavirus

An estimated 58 million children still do not have access to rotavirus vaccines due to high vaccine costs and a lack of access to health care. In response, the CDC Foundation is working with 11 priority countries to protect children from this deadly virus.

/
Serving Veterans by Preventing Suicides

It is important to honor those who have served and protected the United States. Part of that recognition is understanding and providing support for the unique challenges veterans and military families face. Suicide remains one of the most serious public health issues for veterans.

/
Improving Community Health Using Public Health Data

With insights from CDC and support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the CDC Foundation has developed data equity principles to create more equitable data planning and sharing processes.

/
Mobilizing Communities to Reduce Opioid Overdose Deaths

The CDC Foundation’s Overdose Response Strategy (ORS) program is making an impact by addressing fatal and non-fatal overdoses community by community—and often block by block.