Response and Prevention

HAI/AR Response and Prevention

CDC is committed to protecting patients and healthcare personnel, as well as promoting safety and equitable quality of care for all people. Preventing and containing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and antimicrobial resistance (AR) is a top priority for CDC and its health department HAI/AR Program partners.

Health Department Activities

Maintaining and improving HAI/AR response and prevention
All CDC-funded health department HAI/AR Programs work to detect, prevent, respond to, and contain HAI/AR threats within the communities they serve. These health department HAI/AR Programs improve healthcare safety in five foundational areas:

  1. Prevent and contain the spread of novel and targeted multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs)
  2. Rapidly respond to other potential HAI outbreaks
  3. Assess infection prevention and control practices, provide recommendations, and provide ongoing assistance until gaps have been addressed
  4. Implement data-driven prevention strategies to improve infection control practices in healthcare settings
  5. Enhance coordination with key partners in response and prevention activities, including laboratories, local health departments, regulatory/licensing entities, healthcare facilities, academia, and other partners


As a reflection of each individual program’s unique structure and the activities they engage in, health department HAI/AR Programs are self-classified as either a Focal Point, Core, or Enhanced Program as follows:

  • Focal Point Programs have not historically received significant funding, but are establishing an HAI/AR Program and expertise in the five foundational areas
  • Core Programs primarily focus on the five foundational areas
  • Enhanced Programs expand beyond the five foundational areas through engagement in optional projects to deepen their HAI/AR prevention expertise in specific healthcare settings or topics, or by participating in CDC-led initiatives, including health equity workgroups and program evaluation

Through supplemental funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act, CDC awarded health departments with additional funding to strengthen response and prevention capabilities.

Resources for Health Departments

Ensure your health department is doing all it can do to prevent the spread of HAI/AR threats, respond to outbreaks in healthcare facilities, and contain MDROs.

Explore CDC’s Infection Control Guidelines and Guidance Library, or access more specific prevention and response resources and toolkits for:

Visit the Resources page for even more resources for preventing, investigating, and containing the spread of HAI/AR.