Director’s Message: We Are All Connected

On a large scale, we are connected by our humanity and our frailty — by our vulnerability to outbreaks and disasters, diseases that threaten our families, our communities, and our livelihoods.
Nancy Knight, MD

Nancy Knight, MD

We are also connected in very tangible, concrete ways: by trains, cars, and airplanes; by rivers and highways; by the elaborate patterns in which we rapidly crisscross the globe. We are connected by the goods we trade and the places we visit. Every day, more people congregate in bustling cities, while many others have daily contact with livestock or other animals.

And while we benefit from all of these connections, every one of them presents a new path for diseases to travel — a potentially devastating link in the chain of transmission.

Because of this, our division must be connected across public health. For us, this means reaching across CDC, across governments, and to external partners and organizations, policymakers, and the public. We collaborate and share resources to reach our goals and maximize our results.

Within our work, we bring together the people and capabilities needed for protection. We create public health systems that rely on each other to function at their best, working hand-in-hand to safeguard and improve public health. At the core are surveillance systems, laboratories, emergency operations centers, and a skilled workforce that must all interact to effectively prevent, detect, and respond to threats.

We also connect science to action. We evaluate what works and put it into practice. We assess risks and close gaps to help meet global health security goals. We share our hard-earned knowledge and expertise with others to plan for sustainable progress.

Connection is the reason for DGHP’s mission, and it is also our means to achieve it. As you read this issue of Updates from the Field, I encourage you to focus on the many examples of connection you’ll find in its pages. Whether partnering with others, linking information to action, or reaching across borders to contain the spread of disease, we are always working toward our mission to protect America and create a healthier, safer world.

Director, Division of Global Health Protection