Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP)

At a glance

The Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion works to protect patients and healthcare workers through safe healthcare delivery systems in the U.S. and abroad.

Our Mission

The mission of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) is to protect patients; protect healthcare personnel; and promote safety, quality, and value in both national and international healthcare delivery systems.

To achieve this mission, DHQP provides leadership, expertise, and assistance to state and local health departments, healthcare facilities, and other federal agencies on healthcare safety topics. This includes detecting, preventing, and responding to healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and antimicrobial-resistant infections; addressing adverse events from the use or misuse of a drug (e.g., accidental overdoses); training and education; and ensuring blood, organ, tissue, and vaccine safety.

What We Do

  • DETECT: Measure, validate, interpret, and respond to data relevant to healthcare-associated infections; antimicrobial resistance; sepsis; adverse drug events; blood, organ, and tissue safety; immunization safety; and other related adverse events or medical errors in healthcare affecting patients and healthcare personnel.
  • RESPOND: Investigate and respond to new and emerging infections among patients and healthcare personnel, and coordinate guidance, consultation, and research related to infection control across the agency and with national and international partners.
  • PREVENT: Conduct epidemiologic and laboratory research to identify new strategies to prevent infections and related adverse events or medical errors, especially those associated with medical or surgical procedures, indwelling medical devices, contaminated products, dialysis, and water.
  • INNOVATE: Collaborate with academic and public health partners to design, develop, and evaluate the efficacy of interventions for preventing infections and improving antibiotic use and reducing healthcare-associated infections, antimicrobial resistance, sepsis, and related adverse events or medical errors.


DIRECTOR Denise Cardo, MD Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP), National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)

Denise Cardo, MD

Director Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP),
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)

Dr. Denise Cardo is the director of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP), National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Cardo joined CDC in 1993 as a medical epidemiologist in the Hospital Infections Program (later named as Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion). After holding several leadership positions in DHQP, she was selected as division director in 2003.

Prior to joining CDC, she had a distinguished career in the division of infectious diseases at one of Brazil’s prestigious medical institutions, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she received her medical degree, completed her residency and fellowship, and joined the faculty as associated professor of infectious diseases. During 1990-1991, she did a sabbatical at the Hospital Epidemiology Program, University of Tennessee, Memphis.

Dr. Cardo has been involved in healthcare epidemiology and hospital infections since 1984 and is internationally recognized as an expert and leader in the area. Her interests include patient safety, occupational health, prevention of healthcare-associated infections, and antimicrobial resistance. She is the author of several research and reviewed papers including book chapters and has received several awards for her work.


DHQP’s organizational structure:

  • Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination and Strategy Unit
  • Blood, Organ, and Other Tissue Safety
  • Clinical & Environmental Microbiology Branch
  • Consultation and Training
  • Epidemiology, Research, and Innovations Branch
  • Immunization Safety Office
  • International Infection Control Program
  • Prevention and Response Branch
  • State Strategy and Evaluation Team
  • Surveillance Branch