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Letter from the Director

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There is no work quite like public health, and there is no agency quite like CDC. As America's health protection agency, we are unique in our ability to safeguard America's health security 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether it's an infectious disease, emergency, chronic condition, or deliberate attack, CDC's expertise in preparedness, rapid disease detection, and response saves lives and protects communities from health threats.

Despite the critical nature of our work, CDC's ability to protect Americans has been challenged in recent years. We face new threats every day, including "nightmare bacteria" that can resist all known antibiotics. We need new technologies and methods, such as combining DNA sequencing and advanced computing, or America's public health system is in danger of becoming obsolete.

CDC's work helps millions of people across the U.S. and around the world. It can take decades to beat a disease or ensure global health threats don't cross borders—but it takes only a short time for a new health threat to gain the edge if a public health system isn't prepared. As a result, CDC is committed to achieving the greatest health benefit by focusing on three major priorities:

  • Improving health security at home and around the world
  • Better preventing the leading causes of illness, injury, disability, and death
  • Strengthening collaboration between public health and healthcare providers

Each priority targets strategic areas where CDC plays a crucial public health role. We hope this report illustrates how a strong public health system is the most effective and cost-efficient way to keep America safe, secure, and healthy.

Sincerely,

Signature: Thomas Frieden

Tom Frieden, MD, MPH

Dr. Tomas Frieden, MD, MPH

WE INVESTIGATE.
24/7 operations center to track disease and respond to health crises


WE FIGURE OUT WHAT WORKS.
The best solutions to fight disease and protect health


WE GET RESULTS.
Proven, lifesaving ways to defend against health threats


WE WORK 24/7 TO KEEP YOU SAFE.

 
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