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CDC Strategic Priorities for Combating Antimicrobial Resistant Infections Workshop

On December 6 and 7, 2011 CDC convened an invited panel of internationally recognized experts in clinical medicine, veterinary medicine, microbiology, public health and health policy to provide opinions regarding current and proposed national and international public health efforts for reducing the disease burden of infections caused by antimicrobial resistant microorganisms. During a series of breakout group discussions, consultants were asked to provide their individual assessment of the relative priority of a list of CDC activities drawn from the document A Public Health Action Plan to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance [PDF - 34 pages]. This Federal Action Plan, which is revised and updated annually, lays out key goals and actions to which federal departments and agencies are committed in the areas of surveillance, prevention and control, research, and product development. While CDC has important roles in all of these areas, CDC is the coordinator for many of the actions in the Focus Areas on surveillance and prevention and control. Because the science and the public health imperatives in these areas continue to evolve rapidly, we wish to ensure that CDC’s activities are maximally effective and fully integrated into the overall Federal effort and the broad array of initiatives being carried out in the public health and clinical communities. Thus, we sought opinions and feedback from a selected group of consultants on potential strategic priorities and specific projects and activities that CDC might pursue during the next three years to fulfill its role in the Federal Action Plan.

Through presentations by CDC staff on the first morning of the workshop, participants were provided with overviews of several possible strategies and were asked, during breakout sessions, to provide their individual insights and opinions on which activities may be most successful based on the following criteria:

  • Disease burden prevented: Activities which could prevent the most morbidity, mortality, and economic cost
  • Feasibility: Activities which are most likely to show measurable progress within a three year timeframe starting in 2013
  • Scope of CDC influence: Activities for which CDC actions can have the most direct influence on prevention of AR diseases/infections
  • Innovation: Activities which are innovative and offer new approaches to addressing existing or emerging problems.
  • Opportunities for prevention:
    • Activities which fill gaps in prevention by addressing missed opportunities to implement known prevention strategies, especially if these prevention strategies are highly cost-effective (positive return on investment
    • Activities which fill gaps in prevention by developing prevention strategies where effective strategies are not known or proven
    • Activities which fill gaps in prevention by working in critical areas where other groups/agencies/organizations are not currently active

CDC Strategic Priorities for Combating Antimicrobial Resistant Infections: Report of a Workshop [PDF - 26 pages] summarizes the results of that meeting and explains, in a set of appendices, the processes used to arrive at the conclusions reached.

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