Organization Updates: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Michelle Wolff
By: Michelle Wolff

Founded on July 1, 1946, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention originated with a goal to expertise in field investigation, training, and control of communicable diseases. They started out relatively small with only one floor in a small building in Atlanta, but one year later bought 15 acres from Emory University to expand field stations and laboratories. With these expansions, the institution would now deal with all communicable diseases, and serve all the states by providing help whenever called on. The CDC serves to protect America from health threats that originate in the country as well as foreign. This includes diseases that are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, as well as expected or unexpected. They work not only to combat disease but to work with individuals in communities to educate the public. Doing this helps to protect the health of the U.S. by protecting citizens from health threats which in turn saves lives.

There are multiple actions the CDC takes to protect the health of U.S. citizens. First, they use the latest technology to compile numerous amounts of data on global disease threats. This is done through lab analysis and computing which gives the most accurate solutions in a timely manner. Furthermore, they will continue to track a disease to find out how it is making people sick and then figure out the best way to prevent the illness in the future. Through research they also look for the discovery of new germs to see if there is any correlation to potential diseases in the future. They use their knowledge not only to cure and prevent diseases, but also to educate the public on individual health care. Overall, the CDC works to ensure they have the best public health leaders not only at a national level but also at state and local levels to protect Americans from health threats.

To help the CDC accomplish everything they do, the CDC Foundation was made by congress as an independent, nonprofit organization. The foundation works to connect the CDC with private-sector organizations and individuals to establish health programs to make the world a safer place to live. With their help, new programs are created as well as expansions of existing programs, and funding is given to broaden scientific research. Since the CDC is a federal agency, all the scientific findings are available to the public, which allows anyone to review them. In the past 20 years, the CDC Foundation has provided more than $662 million to support the CDC’s work and has initiated almost 900 programs around the world that are committed to supporting public health.

The CDC continues to be recognized around the world as a global leader in health promotion and prevention. Today, the CDC still works towards its original goal to prevent and control infectious and chronic diseases and environmental health threats. In addition to this goal, the CDC is now focusing on five specific areas: “supporting state and local health departments, improving global health, implementing measures to decrease leading causes of death, strengthening surveillance and epidemiology, and reforming health policies.”1


  1. Centers for Disease and Control Website., Accessed January 13th, 2016.

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