Data Modernization Initiative: Why Sustainable Funding Matters

Funding Impacts the Speed and Scale of Progress

CDC Public Health Data Modernization Initiative; An Urgent Need to Modernize; CDC logo; HHS logo

“We had all these ideas, but we didn’t have the resources of funding. With DMI funding, DC was able to rapidly implement many changes — some in just a few weeks,”
– Matt McCarroll, Chief of Laboratory Operations, Washington, DC, Public Health Laboratory.

CDC’s Data Modernization Initiative (DMI) is making advancements that will last beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Sustained funding is critical to maintaining progress toward the response-ready public health system our nation needs.

DMI received its first-ever base funding in 2020 to improve public health data and surveillance. This was followed by one-time, supplemental funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) that rapidly expanded and accelerated CDC’s ability to address critical areas of need at the agency and beyond.


DMI directly impacts how CDC gets to decisions and communicates faster.

Investments to date have laid the groundwork for critical capabilities around outbreak response, health equity, and forecasting. From monitoring illnesses in mothers and babies to measuring life expectancy, these investments will change how we do public health now and into the future.

CDC continues to answer the demands of the pandemic while making data ready for whatever comes next.

   At the federal level…unifying our data at CDC and supporting policies that make data sharing easier

   At the state and local level…building up our public health workforce and strengthening connections for timelier, more accurate data

   For the public…supporting equitable health and providing more real-time data for decisions


Modernization is not a one-time event. Investments in DMI from FY 2020 to the present have enabled CDC to take the first significant steps to strengthen the public health data and surveillance infrastructure of the U.S. Sustained investments are needed to improve accessibility and interoperability with state and local partners, scale services across the agency, and ensure widespread adoption. Ultimately, funding affects the speed and scale of data modernization and our ability to protect health.

CDC is combining annual DMI appropriations and supplemental funding to advance federal, state and community efforts to modernize data and support the public health workforce.*

In FY 2020, CDC received $50M dedicated to data modernization for the first time, allowing CDC to improve core surveillance capabilities and help jurisdictions begin addressing urgent data modernization challenges. This annual appropriation increased to $100M in FY 2022 and $175M in FY 2023.

CDC received $500M through the CARES Act to advance surveillance goals for the nation. Although prompted by COVID challenges and needs, what is built with this funding is intended to last beyond the crisis.

The American Rescue Plan provided $300M to CDC to advance surveillance and analytics infrastructure and $200M to establish a Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics, paving the way for more advanced analytics and forecasting nationwide.

*The 2021 DMI Snapshot provides an overview of priorities and the 2022 DMI Snapshot contains stories of recent progress.


DMI is investing in a set of five interdependent priorities that touch every part of public health. These priorities represent the best thinking and needs of CDC and our federal and public health partners. DMI is not just upgrading technology but reimagining our structure and processes in ways that lead to better health outcomes.

Building the Right Foundation
Improving data collection, analysis, and sharing at CDC and across a set of core public health surveillance systems that are used for all diseases and conditions

Accelerating Data into Action
Tapping into more data sources, promoting health equity, and increasing capacities for scalable outbreak response, forecasting, and predictive analytics

Developing a State-of-the-Art Workforce
Using next-generation skills for actionable public health insights

Supporting and Extending Partnerships
Ensuring transparency, addressing policy challenges, and solving problems together

Managing Change and Governance
Making sure resources are used wisely, monitoring progress, and supporting strategic innovation for new ways of thinking and working


CDC’s DMI investments build on and complement other activities, such as CDC’s engagement with the United States Digital Service and other work to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. We still need sustained investments to improve accessibility and interoperability with state and local partners, scale services across the agency, and ensure widespread adoption.

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Public health can rapidly identify and effectively mitigate emerging threats

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Trusted data promotes evidence-based behaviors, interventions, and solutions to protect health


Every American has equal opportunity to attain the highest level of health possible

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All people have the right information at the right time to make sound decisions

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Our country is better prepared for, and protected from, all types of public health threats