Strategic Plan

Improving Women’s Reproductive Health, Pregnancy Health, and Infant Health

Founded in 1967, CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) has recently implemented a refocused strategic plan that puts into action specific strategies to improve women’s reproductive health, pregnancy health, and infant health. These changes will help us continue to work with our partners to improve clinical and behavioral norms that are expected to produce even greater effects on families in our communities, especially those with disparities.

Optimal reproductive health for a healthy future.

To promote optimal and equitable health in women and infants through public health surveillance, research, leadership, and partnership to move science to practice.

Accountability, Respect, and Integrity

Priority Areas
Women’s Reproductive Health, Pregnancy Health, and Infant Health

Core Functions

The core functions are services within the division that are used to accomplish our mission.

Monitor the burden of disease, risk factors, preventive services, and other associated factors.

Support health research that contributes to effective, evidence-based and informed public health practices, programs, and policies.

Science to Practice:
Identify and implement effective strategies for promoting the translation of science to practice.

Strategic Partnerships:
Develop targeted approaches and strengthen partnerships that increase the application of science to practice.

Capacity Building, Preparedness, and Response:
Assist agencies and organizations to develop their capacity to implement surveillance, research, best practices, and respond during disasters and outbreaks.

Technical and Operational Support:
Develop efficient internal processes, operations, communications, and systems to better serve the public.

Priority Areas and Health Outcome Goals

Within each of the three main priority areas, the outcome goals further define how we will measure the outcomes and effects from our work.

Women’s Reproductive Health:
Improve women’s health from menarche through menopause.

1.Increase the percentage of pregnancies that are intended.
2.Increase the proportion of women who practice key preventive health behaviors.
3.Integrate selected reproductive and non-reproductive health services.

Pregnancy Health:
Improve pregnancy health and care.

1.Increase screening, prevention, and treatment for infections and chronic conditions before, during, and after pregnancy.
2.Increase the proportion of women who practice behaviors that foster healthy pregnancies.
3.Increase the number of countries and US states with effective surveillance systems used to monitor and review maternal deaths.

Infant Health:
Improve fetal, newborn, and infant health.

1.Reduce morbidity and mortality by reducing the burden of preterm birth.
2.Reduce SUID (Sudden Unexplained Infant Death) through improved surveillance, and reduction of disparities.
3.Improve the health of the fetus and newborn through optimal care before, during, and after pregnancy.

Strategic Areas of Focus

The strategic areas of focus (SAFs) are specific targets used to measure the effect of  CDC’s efforts throughout the next 3 to 5 years. They are not inclusive of all work, but will help us measure accountability and achievement of successes.

vector image representing chronic disease

Chronic Disease Prevention among Women of Reproductive Age (WRA):
Advance evidence-based guidelines, policies, and practice related to chronic disease prevention among WRA to improve pregnancy outcomes and improve women’s health through the life course.

vector image representing teen pregnancy

Reducing Teen and Unintended Pregnancy:
Advance evidence-based practices, policies, and programs related to reducing teen and unintended pregnancies, focusing on improving access to and use of quality family planning services.

vector image representing maternal moftality

Maternal Mortality and Complications of Pregnancy:
Identify, review, and monitor maternal deaths and complications of pregnancy to prevent them.


vector image representing infant mortality

Infant Morbidity and Mortality:
Provision of epidemiologic and programmatic subject matter expertise in infant (0-12 months) morbidity and mortality, with special emphases on sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID), preterm birth, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and working towards health equity therein.

vector image representing global reproductive health

Global Reproductive Health:
Provide technical assistance for activities to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and severe morbidity in high mortality settings, primarily through program monitoring and evaluation, and building in-country capacity.

vector image representing science to practice

Science to Practice:
Identify and implement effective strategies for promoting the translation of science to practice and policy to impact population health outcomes.

Future Directions

The strategic plan framework will be periodically reviewed to ensure it remains a useful and relevant guide for management and planning decisions over the next 3 to 5 years. CDC is committed to continue our collaborations with partners to effectively translate our science into public health practice, realign resources for the greatest effect, and identify areas and conditions with the largest benefits and best return on prevention investments.