Executive Summary

With an annual budget of more than $13 billion and more than 15,000 staff, CDC has facilities across the U.S. and works in more than 50 countries around the world. Almost 85% of CDC’s domestic funding is provided directly to state and local governments to detect and control disease, to prevent the leading causes of death, and to prepare for health threats.

Winnable Battles are public health priorities with large-scale impact on health and known effective strategies to address them. By identifying priority strategies, defining clear targets, and working closely with public health partners, significant progress has been made in the health burden from diseases and conditions targeted through Winnable Battles.

“Investing in public health builds a foundation for a strong and healthy society and contributes to lowering the cost of health care. Investing in proven preventive services and strong policies helps us to avoid unnecessary costs later,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.,
September 2010

CDC has identified strategies and established milestones and metrics to ensure significant progress is made in all the Winnable Battle areas. Each area has developed a clear set of strategies and targets that are rooted in CDC’s strategic priorities:

  • Tackling the leading causes of illness, death, injury and disability
  • Strengthen collaboration between public health and health care to improve the health of all Americans
  • Strengthen health security at home and abroad.

Together with our partners, we are improving health. Fewer than 15.1% of adults and 10.8% of youth currently smoke cigarettes. Teen pregnancy rates have declined consistently and reached a historic low in 2015 with 22.3 births per 1,000. Both of these Winnable Battles have reduced rates beyond their 2015 targets. The Winnable Battles were chosen based on the magnitude of the health problems and the ability of CDC and its public health partners to make significant progress to improve outcomes. While much progress has been made, work remains to reduce the health burdens from these diseases and conditions.

Page last reviewed: December 14, 2017