Published: January 23, 2008
Reverend Bernice King and Joe Henderson sign the partnership agreement between CDC and the King Center. Photo by Greg Knobloch
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the King Center entered into a partnership agreement, January 15, 2008, to support the mutual goals of both agencies.
Through the agreement, the King Center has pledged to work with CDC in its efforts to increase diversity, foster a collaborative environment, and assist the agency in implementing its civil rights and diversity programs. CDC, in turn, pledged to support the King Center's efforts to increase the knowledge and awareness of all Americans to the importance the Agency's public health mission and to promote community service and volunteerism.
Reverend Bernice King joined Joe Henderson, CDC's Acting Chief Operating Officer, in signing the agreement during the Agency's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Program. Following the signing, King urged the CDC workforce to, "make a life of service by remembering it's not just a day on, but a life on."
"The signing of this agreement is but the first of many steps that are needed to continue the progress we have made in health care," said Henderson. "CDC reaffirms our dedication to do our part to ensure an inclusive work environment that values diversity, respects the dignity of each individual, and promotes the development of each and every member of the organization."
Within 60 days of signing the agreement, each party will designate an individual to serve as a liaison and develop recommendations on ways in which to make the partnership agreement serve in the best interest of each agency.
"We are excited about the possibilities than an agreement of this magnitude presents," said Carlton Duncan, Deputy Chief Operating Officer. "CDC's public health mission is reinforced by our relationships with our many partners, and a partner like the King Center will help us focus on our commitment to the Atlanta community and the nation as a whole."
Prior to signing the agreement, CDC joined AETNA Insurance, the YMCA and local organizations, Jan. 11, 2008, in a Health Forum on Childhood Obesity in Minority Communities hosted by the King Center.
In support of this critical health issue, Dr. William Dietz and Annie Carr, both of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, represented CDC to discuss and highlight many of the health and risk factors associated with obesity including coronary disease, hypertension and diabetes. They also discussed some of the associated "social justice" issues such as the decline of physical activities and recess in school, lack of sidewalks, and lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables in many minority communities.
This face-to-face interaction with members of the community provided concerned parents and citizens the opportunity to address their concerns about children's health in an open forum.
According to Duncan, this agreement with the King Center and the health forum, are excellent examples of the Agency's vision to improve health through strong partnerships and providing reliable health information.
The King Center is the official, living memorial dedicated to the advancement of the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., leader of America's greatest nonviolent movement for justice, equality and peace. Established in 1968 by King's wife, the late Coretta Scott King, the King Center offers a unique view of exhibits illustrating his life and teachings, the King Center's Library, archives, his final resting place, his birth home, and other facilities. More than 650,000 visitors from all over the world are drawn annually to the King Center in Atlanta.