Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Role in the United States (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is located in Atlanta. The mission of the CDC is to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. The organization is charged with protecting the public health of the United States by providing leadership and direction in the prevention and control of disease and other preventable conditions and responding to public health emergencies. The CDC claims to hold three core values. The first is accountability. As a diligent steward of public trust and public funds, the CDC acts decisively and compassionately in service of the people’s health. The CDC ensures that its research and services are based on sound science and meet real public needs to achieve public health goals. The second is respect. The CDC respects and understands the interdependence of all people both inside the agency and throughout the world. It values their contributions and individual and cultural diversities. The CDC is committed to achieving a diverse workforce at all levels of the organization. The third is integrity. The CDC is honest and ethical in all it does. The CDC prizes scientific integrity and professional excellence.
The CDC is responsible for maintaining, recording, and analyzing disease trends of all types of diseases, including communicable diseases and diseases resulting from lifestyle, occupational, and environmental causes. The...
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Prevention and Health Promotion (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
The mission of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion is to prevent death and disability from chronic diseases; to promote maternal, infant, and adolescent health; to promote healthy personal behaviors; and to accomplish these goals in partnership with health and education agencies, major voluntary associations, the private sector, and other federal agencies.
Chronic diseases are health conditions that last longer than three months. In the United States, the leading causes of death are chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes, which are often the result of an unhealthy lifestyle. Within the center, there are divisions of cancer prevention and control, diabetes, arthritis, epilepsy, genomics, smoking and health, nutrition and physical activity, reproductive health, oral health, adolescent and school health, and adult and community health.
Within this center there are three divisions: the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, the Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Prevention, and the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination. As the name implies, the mission of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention is to prevent HIV infection and reduce illness and death related to HIV/AIDS. In collaboration with community, state, national, and international partners, the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention conducts research on behavioral intervention, program...
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Vaccination and Immunization (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
The National Vaccine Program Office is designated to provide leadership and coordination among federal agencies and to oversee that they work together to carry out the goals of the National Vaccine Plan. The National Vaccine Plan provides a framework, including goals, objectives, and strategies, for pursuing the prevention of infectious diseases through immunizations. This office develops and implements strategies for achieving the highest possible level of prevention of human diseases through immunization and the highest possible level of prevention of adverse reactions to vaccines.
The National Immunization Program (NIP) is a disease prevention program that provides leadership for the planning, coordination, and conduct of immunization activities nationwide. NIP provides consultation, training, and statistical, educational, epidemiological, and technical services to assist health departments in planning, developing, and implementing immunization programs. NIP assists health departments in developing vaccine information management systems to facilitate identification of children who need vaccinations, to help parents and providers to ensure that all children are immunized at the appropriate age, to assess vaccination levels in state and local areas, and to monitor the safety and efficiency of vaccines by linking vaccine administration information to adverse event reporting and disease outbreak patterns. NIP also...
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Other Agencies and Offices (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
As a federal agency, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is responsible for conducting research into the full scope of occupational disease and injury and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related disease, injury, and disability. The occupational diseases range from lung disease in miners to carpal tunnel syndrome in computer users. Each day, an average of 9,000 U.S. workers sustain disabling injuries on the job, 17 workers die from an injury sustained at work, and 137 workers die from work-related diseases. The economic burden of occupational health problems is high. NIOSH is a diverse organization made up of professionals representing a wide range of disciplines including industrial hygiene, nursing, epidemiology, engineering, medicine, and statistics. NIOSH investigates potentially hazardous working conditions when requested by employers or employees and provides training to occupational safety and health professionals.
The overall health of the United States depends on the health status of its minority populations. The major minority groups in the United States include African Americans, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic Americans, who may be of any race. Compared to the United States as a whole, minority populations, particularly African Americans, suffer higher rates of morbidity and mortality. Native Americans and Hispanics also...
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Perspective and Prospects (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
The CDC had its origin in the U.S. antimalaria program of World War II and was recognized as the Communicable Disease Center in 1946, when the main health problems were infectious diseases. It became the Center for Disease Control in 1970, then the Centers for Disease Control in 1980, and the words “and Prevention” were added in 1992, though Congress requested that “CDC” remain the agency’s initials. Currently, the CDC conducts research into the origin and occurrence of communicable diseases as well as noncommunicable diseases and develops methods for their control and prevention. The CDC is a powerful leader in the public health of the United States.
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For Further Information: (Magill’s Medical Guide, Sixth Edition)
Etheridge, Elizabeth W. Sentinel for Health: A History of the Centers for Disease Control. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992. A history of the Centers for Disease Control from its inception during World War II through the mid-1980’s, written by a professor of history.
Giesecke, Johan. Modern Infectious Disease Epidemiology. 2d ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. Divided into two sections. The first covers the tools and principles of epidemiology from an infectious disease perspective. The second covers the role of contact pattern from an assessment angle, exploring such topics as infectivity, incubation periods, seroepidemiology, and immunity.
McCormick, Joseph B., Susan Fisher-Hoch, and Leslie Alan Horvitz. Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC. Rev. ed. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1999. A popular account of the role of the CDC in identifying, tracking, and containing viruses.
Mintzer, Richard. The National Institutes of Health. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2002. An excellent book for teens that traces the history of infectious disease epidemics in the United States, as well as the history of the National Institutes of Health, the structure and role of that institution, and current major health concerns that are its focus.
Regis, Edward. Virus Ground Zero: Stalking the Killer Viruses with the Centers for Disease Control. New...
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Federal Agency Profiles)
PARENT ORGANIZATION: Department of Health and Human Services
ESTABLISHED: July 1, 1946
ADDRESS: 1600 Clifton Rd. NE Atlanta, GA 30333
PHONE: (404) 639-3311
TOLL FREE: (800) 311-3435
DIRECTOR: Jeffrey P. Koplan, M.D.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR: Claire V. Broome
WHAT IS ITS MISSION?
According to the agency, the mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is "to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability." As the nation's prevention agency, the CDC works with partners throughout the nation and the world to detect and investigate health problems, conduct research to improve prevention activities and treatment options, and provide leadership and training to the health care community.
HOW IS IT STRUCTURED?
The CDC is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, a cabinet-level department in the executive branch of the federal government. In addition to the director's office, the CDC contains 11 major operating components: the...
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Encyclopedia of Major Marketing Campaigns)
1600 Clifton Rd. NE
AMERICA RESPONDS TO AIDS Campaign
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), under the supervision of the U.S. Public Health Service, began the first major federal AIDS prevention program in October 1987. The launch of the $20 million education program coincided with what the federal government declared to be National AIDS Awareness and Prevention Month and was designed to educate the general public about the disease and its prevention. The CDC worked in conjunction with state and local health departments, as. well, as with numerous health care and labor organizations, to implement its ambitious program, which consisted of a $4.6 million national media campaign, the establishment of a national toll-free AIDS hotline and information clearing-house., distribution of educational pamphlets and materials, and the creation of numerous outreach and assistance programs.
Although the CDC had not employed an outside advertising agency since 1981, it hired Ogilvy & Mather to...
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Encyclopedia of Public Health)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a federal agency, under the United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), whose vision is to promote healthy people in a healthy world through prevention. CDC's mission is to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. The agency addresses a broad range of preventable health problems, from infectious disease to chronic diseases and risk factors to negative environmental effects on health. Most of CDC's seven thousand employees live and work in Atlanta, Georgia, the agency headquarters. CDC employees are also stationed in state and local health departments in all fifty states and in about twenty countries worldwide. CDC has facilities in Alaska, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Washington, and West Virginia.
CDC has three primary functions: to actively protect the health and safety of the nation; to provide credible information so that the general public, health care providers, and leaders in government can make well-informed health decisions; and to promote better health in all stages of life through strong partnerships.
CDC has always demonstrated a strong commitment to protecting health and safety. In 1942, malaria in the southeast United States was more common, so it made sense to establish the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas in Atlanta. Dr. Joseph Mountin, a leader of the Public Health Service, wanted to create a national organization to keep more than six hundred bases and essential war-industrial establishments in the southern United States malaria-free. At the end of World War II, Mountin created the Communicable Disease Center from these initial malaria-control efforts. The agency's purpose was to gather physicians, entomologists, and engineers in the battle against a wide range of infectious health risks.
Over the past fifty-three years, CDC's name has changed along with the evolution of its focus. The agency has maintained its commitment to the prevention and control of infectious disease, while building its efforts to address the leading health threats of the nation, including environmental hazards like lead poisoning, chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease, occupational illnesses, and injuries at home, on the road, and on the playground. CDC has worked to reduce the spread of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) since its recognition in 1981. CDC has instituted important changes in treating and controlling the spread of this disease, including ensuring that the nation's blood supply is safe and reducing the risk of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) transmission in health care settings.
Along with actively protecting health and safety, CDC provides credible health information to various decision makers, including individuals making personal health decisions and policy leaders making decisions affecting larger populations. Working with state and local partners, CDC collects and analyzes data to monitor health threats, detect disease outbreaks, and identify risk factors and causes of diseases and injuries. CDC also conducts research to identify what works in disease and injury control and prevention.
CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), for example, is the nation's most comprehensive study of the health and nutritional status of Americans. Each year, approximately five thousand randomly selected residents in twelve to fifteen counties across the country have the opportunity to participate in the survey. NHANES is a unique resource for health information in the United States. Without it, decision makers would not have adequate data on health conditions and issues, such as obesity, environmental (secondhand) tobacco smoke, and lead poisoning.
CDC also provides information to the public via comprehensive public health communication programs on such issues as diabetes, skin and colorectal cancer, HIV, and hepatitis C. International travelers turn to CDC to obtain timely updates on disease outbreaks in foreign countries and a list of suggested immunization. The agency also publishes guidelines, such as its Community Prevention Guidelines, to identify evidence-based practices for disease control and prevention.
CDC's third function is to promote better health in all stages of life through strong partnerships. The agency has forged relationships with other federal, state, and local health agencies, not for-profit organizations, and members of private industry who have an interest in reducing the burdens of disease, injury, and disability. CDC's strongest traditional partnerships have been with state and local health departments. Through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, for example, CDC is providing funds and technical assistance to fifty states, five U.S. territories, the District of Columbia, and fifteen American Indian/Alaska Native organizations. This program exemplifies how the combination of public health expertise in screening and detection, quality assurance, professional and public education, and coalition building can address critical gaps in health care needs. The program delivers critical breast and cervical cancer screening services to underserved women, including older women, women with low incomes, and women of racial and ethnic minority groups.
CDC has evolved from an agency focused on fighting infectious diseases to one that addresses a variety of health issues on both national and international fronts. In the future, it may need to address additional health issuesuch as responding to bioterrorism, using genetic information to improve health, reducing violence in society, and closing the gap in health disparities among racial and ethnic groups.
JEFFREY P. KOPLAN
(SEE ALSO: Communicable Disease Control; Noncommunicable Disease Control)
Etheridge, E. W. (1992). Sentinel for Health: A History of the Centers for Disease Control. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Centers for Disease Control (World of Microbiology and Immunology)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the primary public health institutions in the world. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with facilities at 9 other sites in the United States. The centers are the focus of the United States government efforts to develop and implement prevention and control strategies for diseases, including those of microbiological origin.
The CDC is home to 11 national centers that address various aspects of health care and disease prevention. Examples of the centers include the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health promotion, National Center for Infectious Diseases, National Immunization Program, and the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention.
CDC was originally the acronym for The Communicable Disease Center. This center was a redesignation of an existing facility known as the Malaria Control in War Areas. The malaria control effort had been mandated to eradicate malaria from the southern United States during World War II. The Communicable Disease Center began operations in Atlanta on July 1, 1946, under the direction of Dr. Joseph M. Mountin.
Initially, the center was very small and was staffed mainly by engineers and entomologists (scientists who study insects). But under Mountin's direction, an expansion program was begun with the intent of making the center the predominant United States center of epidemiology. By 1950 the center had opened a disease surveillance unit that remains a cornerstone of CDC's operations today. Indeed, during the Korean War, the Epidemiological Intelligence Service was created, to protect the United States from the immigration of disease causing microorganisms.
Two events in the 1950s brought the CDC to national prominence and assured the ongoing funding of the center. The first event was the outbreak of poliomyelitis in children who had received an inoculation with the recently approved Salk polio vaccine. A Polio Surveillance Unit that was established at CDC confirmed the cause of the cases to be due to a contaminated batch of the vaccine. With CDC's help, the problem was solved and the national polio vaccination program recommenced. The other event was a massive outbreak of influenzae. Data collected by CDC helped pave the way for the development of influenza vaccines and inoculation programs.
In the 1950s and 1960s, CDC became the center for venereal disease, tuberculosis, and immunization programs. The centers also played a pivotal role in the eradication of smallpox, through the development of a vaccine and an inoculation instrument. Other accomplishments include the identification of Legionnaire's disease and toxic shock syndrome in the 1970s and 1980s, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in 1993, and, beginning in 1981, a lead role in the research and treatment of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.
In 1961, CDC took over the task of publishing Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Then as now, the MMWR is a definitive weekly synopsis of data on deaths and selected diseases from every state in the United States. A noteworthy publication in MMWR was the first report in a 1981 issue of the disease that would come to be known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.
Another advance took place in 1978, with the opening of a containment facility that could be used to study the most lethal viruses known to exist (e.g., Ebola). Only a few such facilities exist in the world. Without such high containment facilities, hemorrhagic viruses could not be studied, and development of vaccines would be impossible.
Ultimately, CDC moved far beyond its original mandate as a communicable disease center. To reflect this change, the name of the organization was changed in 1970 to the Center for Disease Control. In 1981, the name was again changed to the Centers for Disease Control. The subsequent initiation of programs designed to target chronic diseases, breast and cervical cancers and lifestyle issues (e.g., smoking) extended CDC's mandate beyond disease control. Thus, in 1992, the organization became the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the acronym CDC was retained).
Today, CDC is a world renowned center of excellence for public health research, disease detection, and dissemination of information on a variety of diseases and health issues.
See also AIDS, recent advances in research and treatment; Bacteria and bacterial infection; History of public health; Public health, current issues
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (World of Forensic Science)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a federal agency primarily focused on protecting public health and safety. The CDC was founded in 1946 and is organized under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency's headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia. Various programs of the CDC are directed toward disease prevention, controlling the spread of disease, promotion of good health practices, and public education to improve health. More recently, preparedness for health threats and bioterrorism have become key activities of the CDC. Forensic scientists are involved in almost all departments of the DCD, from identifying the cause of death during a disease outbreak, to supplying data and testimony at legal proceedings about injury trends and environmental or other health hazards.
The annual budget for operations within the CDC is just under $8 billion, including approximately $5 billion for primary CDC activities, and an additional $3 billion for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), childhood vaccines, and terrorism programs. Two broad areas of spending are in health promotion and prevention of disease, and in preparedness for health threats and terrorism.
The CDC employs more than 8,500 people within the United States, approximately 65% of whom are located in the Atlanta area with less than 20% at the primary headquarters. More than 100 employees of the CDC are stationed overseas in 45 different countries at any given time.
There are seven different National Centers within the CDC including:
- The National Crenter on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities provides national leadership for preventing birth defects and developmental disabilities and for improving the health and wellness of people with disabilities.
- The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion works toward prevention of premature death and disability from chronic diseases and promotion of healthy lifestyles.
- The National Center for Environmental Health focuses in the prevention and control of disease and death resulting from environmental agents.
- The National Center for Health Statistics is a key national resource that provides statistical information to guide actions and policies to improve health.
- The National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention engages in prevention and control of human immunodeficiency virus infection, sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis.
- The National Center for Infectious Diseases is primarily concerned with the prevention of illness, disability, and death caused by infectious agents (bacteria, viruses, and other organisms) in the United States and around the world.
- The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control works to prevent death and disability from injuries that are not work-related, including both acts of violence and unintentional causes.
The CDC also operates a National Immunization Program (NIP), providing leadership for planning, organizing, and implementation of immunization activities across the country. Primary activities within the NIP include consultations, training, statistical support, promotion, education, health monitoring, and technical services to assist health departments with immunization related services.
The Epidemiology Program Office at the CDC operates to strengthen the public health system through health monitoring, and provides national and international support for such public health efforts through scientific communications, consultation in epidemiology and statistics, and by training experts in disease surveillance, epidemiology, applied public health, and prevention effectiveness.
The Public Health Practice Program Office at the CDC attends primarily to four elements of public health practice: the public health workforce, organizational
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is an institute within the CDC that serves as the primary government-sponsored agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injuries and illnesses. Occupational injuries number in the millions each year in the United States, and thousands of deaths due to occupational injuries occur each year, with an annual cost of $40 billion. Additionally, work-related diseases result in nearly 50,000 deaths each year. NIOSH, and its sister organization in the Labor Department, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), were created by the U.S. Congress in 1970. While OSHA plays a more regulatory role in monitoring and enforcing safety standards, NIOSH provides research, training, education, and information directed toward the improvement of occupational safety and identification of potential hazards.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is an adjunct CDC agency focused on critical health assessment work related to toxic waste sites, and improving the health consequences of related exposures. ATSDR serves the public by using the best science, taking responsive public health actions, and providing trusted health information to prevent harmful exposures and disease related to toxic substances.
The CDC has identified a number of challenges and future programs will be developed to meet these challenges. This includes enhancing the extent to which science is applied to improving health, prevention of violence and unintentional injury, health and safety needs of a changing workforce, utilization of new technologies to provide credible health information, protection against the threats of bioterrorism and newly emerging infectious diseases, elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities, fostering safe and healthy environments, and promoting good health globally.
SEE ALSO Bioterrorism; Epidemiology; Toxicology.