CDC Moving Forward
CDC Moving Forward represents CDC’s efforts to transform how the agency operates by refining and modernizing its structures, systems, and processes to address longstanding challenges and strengthen its ability to deliver on its core mission: to equitably protect the health, safety, and security of Americans. These changes are designed to not only strengthen CDC, but also to shift its culture towards timely action and clear, accessible communication.
Over the past 20 years, the world has seen and dealt with the emergence of new diseases, such as H1N1, COVID-19, and MPox, all while working to address long standing public health challenges, such as diabetes, cancer, and maternal mortality. In April 2022, CDC leadership launched a review to identify how CDC can modernize systems and processes to better share science and data to better serve and protect the American public. Taking into account perspectives from leadership, staff, and partners, the review identified several improvement areas which CDC is committed to and actively working toward improving.
- Share Scientific Findings and Data Faster
- Translate Science into Practical, Easy to Understand Policy
- Prioritize Public Health Communications
- Develop a Diverse Workforce Prepared for Future Emergencies – CDC and Nationwide
- Promote Results-based Partnerships
- Enhance Laboratory Science and Quality
- Integrate Health Equity
- Modernize Data
CDC is committed to the following:
- To provide timely and accurate data to the American public, CDC is working to share scientific findings and data faster by releasing information more quickly with the American public and partners about CDC’s current level of understanding of the science and data.
- To make science and data easier for broad audiences to interpret, CDC is translating science into practical, easy to understand policy by clarifying and presenting scientific language so that anyone can understand it and standardizing guideline development across the agency.
- To help CDC speak in one voice during and across public health emergencies, CDC is prioritizing public health communications by improving how the American public interacts with CDC, including a review of the entire CDC.gov website to assess content and functionality.
- To continuously monitor the public health landscape for risks to the health of communities and the nation, CDC is developing a workforce prepared for future emergencies by providing training, hiring additional staff, and creating tools to quickly and strategically deploy staff to respond in the event of an emergency.
- To improve the efficiency and accuracy of lab testing during and out of public health emergencies, CDC is enhancing laboratory quality and science by improving key laboratory processes and coordination between internal and external partners.
- To increase collaboration with partners to solve major health problems, CDC is promoting results-based partnerships agency-wide by increasing partner engagement through new management systems and communication and providing more avenues to receive partner feedback.
- To expand the agency’s ability to provide effective public health services to all Americans, CDC is integrating and expanding health equity by developing and launching goals and guidelines to embed health equity considerations across all of CDC’s programs, Centers, and Offices.
- To improve the timeliness and accuracy of its data reporting, CDC is modernizing data by adopting innovative data systems that get information to CDC and the public quickly and accurately.
- To identify public health threats to the United States through our work in CDC country and regional offices and partnerships with ministries of health and nongovernmental organizations.
- CDC launched Clean Slate to overhaul the CDC.gov website and streamline content by more than 60% so that people will be better able to find the information they’re looking for to protect their health. The relaunch of CDC.gov is expected to occur in early 2024.
- In 2022, CDC increased laboratory capacity for responses by developing a formalized process with eight federal and private sector laboratory partners. The agreement defines a process for all labs to work together to provide laboratory testing capacity, coordination, and communication during a large-scale emergency. During the Mpox response, this new framework increased testing capacity from 6,000 tests per week to 60,000 tests per week.
- CDC is enhancing its strategy for mobilizing responders to public health emergencies by implementing an expanded CDCReady responder program comprised of all internal CDC staff and supported by updated policies, systems, training, and performance management practices.
- CDC created an Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) consisting of experts from relevant fields, including health system and academic representation, to collect advice from external partners and provide a critical link for feedback to the agency from external public health officials. The ACD meets quarterly and includes working groups focused on providing recommendations to CDC in areas such as health equity, data modernization, and high-quality laboratories.
- In 2022, CDC launched a new 3.7 billion dollar public health infrastructure grant to fund investments in workforce and foundational capacities across 107 jurisdictions. The grant supports hiring of diverse public health staff, an expanded public health workforce, stronger public health capabilities, and increased availability and use of public health data.
- CDC launched electronic case reporting (eCR) nationwide, replacing manual reporting with a secure, electronic system that increases timeliness and completeness of data, advances health equity, reduces burdens for health care providers, and provides real-time reports for disease tracking, case management, and contact tracing. Over 26,200 health care facilities in all 50 states are using eCR.
In April 2022, CDC leadership began reviewing its processes, systems, and structures, seeking extensive feedback from staff and partners on how CDC could revise its structure to better respond to the public health challenges of the future.
After careful consideration, CDC made several structural changes in February 2023. Key elements of those changes were:
- Combining two centers to form the National Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Public Health Infrastructure and Workforce to improve collaboration with local health departments and public health partners.
- Taking steps to make sure CDC Core Capabilities are appropriately aligned and resourced by establishing corresponding offices in the Office of the Director, the offices are as follows: Office of Health Equity, Office of Public Health Data, Surveillance, and Technology, Office of Laboratory Science and Safety, and Office of Readiness and Response.
The new structure will enable CDC to better respond to and tackle future public health threats, like COVID-19 and MPox, while continuing its important day-to-day work to address longstanding health challenges.
CDC staff and leadership diligently identified more than 160 key actions that would contribute to transforming and modernizing how the agency operates. As of February 2024, just over 75% of actions are complete and implementation monitoring is underway to understand the impact of changes made, associated metrics, and opportunities for continuous improvement. Like all large-scale transformation efforts, this effort will be ongoing, and CDC will remain focused on supporting the broad, enterprise-wide adoption to fully realize the impacts of CDC Moving Forward.