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Message from the Director

Message from the Director Icon

It takes a great team to build a great organization. As I review the details of this report, it is clear the accomplishments recounted within it are the result of extraordinary collaboration by the Center’s most important asset—its people.  At every layer of our organization, each individual plays a valued part in moving the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) forward.

Our Vision: Babies are born healthy. Children reach their potential. And everyone thrives.

During the past year, we have collectively embarked on a journey to advance our vision and ensure babies are born healthy, children reach their potential, and everyone thrives.  Even with constant exposure to change, NCBDDD and our partners remained enthusiastic about the contributions to our vision.

This report documents a year’s accomplishments and forward progress toward our vision in what has been a highly critical year for NCBDDD. A year we remember for many reasons and one that saw NCBDDD do something it has never done before—be at the forefront of a public health emergency response: CDC’s emergency response to Zika virus.  The spread of Zika virus necessitated a global effort from public health, clinicians, laboratorians, and mosquito control experts. At the center of this effort, dedicated people from NCBDDD worked long hours—days, nights, weekends, and holidays—from our headquarters and traveling to other nations to render assistance and unraveling mysteries of the virus to help protect babies and pregnant women.

It is with these unprecedented challenges in mind that I am distinctly pleased to present this year’s annual report of scientific achievements and accomplishments, including a special feature on NCBDDD’s ongoing response to the Zika virus crisis. As you will see, this publication assembles a truly remarkable compilation of insights, advances, and discoveries across our Center’s topics shaped by our equally remarkable and dedicated staff.

NCBDDD is an organization of action; a community of engaged professionals who create, pursue, perform, and achieve in support of the Center’s mission and vision. In this report, you will see a snapshot of that activity and the remarkable opportunities that NCBDDD embarked upon, which taken together, make for an incredibly powerful and inspiring Center story of commitment and success.   

NCBDDD staff are making a difference and as we approach 2017, I look forward to tackling the deep needs that remain.

Coleen A. Boyle, PhD, MS (Hyg)

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