Public Health Agency: CDC

In the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the agency that works in order to protect and safeguard the health of the general public, as well as their safety through disseminating information in order to improve the health decisions is called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Center of Disease Control and Prevention aims to encourage and uphold health by creating a partnership between the health departments of each and every state and other organizations.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention pays great attention to the national issues on improving, increasing and applying disease prevention and control, more particularly with regards to infectious diseases, occupational safety and health, education and prevention, and health promotion activities which are specifically designed in order to greatly increase the level of the status of health of citizens of the United States (“CDC Timeline”, 2008). The Center for Disease Control (CDC) was created and promulgated on July 1, 1946, merely as a small branch or organization under the United States Public Health Services.

Initially, the CDC can be found on the 6th floor of the Volunteer Building. This building is located on Peachtree Street, in Atlanta, Georgia. Today, the center can still be found in Georgia, based in the unincorporated DeKalb County. The Center for Disease Control is an “innovation” of the wartime agency or organization called the Malaria Control in War Areas. Before, the goal or objective of the CDC was merely to fight the widespread malaria, caused by mosquitoes, generally through eradicating the source of the disease.

There were 59 percent of the center’s personnel who kept this endeavor to fight the disease during the first year of the center. Moreover, entomology and engineering were very crucial, important and main occupation among the 369 employees at the center. It is a thought-provoking fact that in 1946, there were only seven medical officers who were present and working full time in the organization or center. In order to keep up with their fight against malaria in their early years, they had to purchase a lot of insecticide DDT. As such, budget or financial support was greatly needed.

At first, the CDC’s budget was $1 million. This amount of budget seems low or insufficient in terms of having full inventory, equipment and machineries for their operations. The biggest obstacle or challenge that the CDC had encountered was about the procurement of enough trucks, shovels and sprayers to support their battle against malaria, more particularly against the mosquitoes. The initial or earlier performance of the center is amazingly stunning, despite this obstacle or challenge. They were able to spray a lot of homes, amounting more than six and half million.

Amusingly, the first published or released operation and organizational chart which the CDC was in a figure or in the shape of a mosquito. The pioneer of the Center CDC, Dr. Joseph Mountin, furthered the campaign against the mosquitoes, more particularly, supported the road towards better public health. Dr. Joseph Mountin persevered in extending the center’s responsibility to other infectious or contagious disease aside from malaria. The CDC in 1947 bought 15 acres of land by regularly paying $10 to the Emory University. The 15 acres of land can be found in the Clifton Road in Atlanta, where the CDC is currently found.

The man who helped them get the land was Robert Woodruff, known to be the Coca-Cola Company’s Chairman of the Board, together with the money collected through the efforts of the center’s employees. The interests of Robert Woodruff were no different from the objectives of the center. Robert Woodruff hunts during his past time, and he’s interest on fighting or killing mosquitoes grew because malaria was rampant on the areas where he hunted (Popovic and Snider, 2006). At present, the CDC is considered to be the state’s leading agency or organization when it comes to health promotion, preparedness and prevention.

In addition to this, the center is also considered as the leader in public health globally. From being known as the “Center for Disease Control”, the agency’s name evolved or developed in order to reflect the growing objectives, responsibilities and the increasing complexity of their mission. Today, the name of the center has evolved and is already known as “Center for Disease Control and Prevention”, even if it is still abbreviated as CDC. After six decades of excellent performance and growing work efficiency, the employees, budget, as well as the mission of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have grown hugely and significantly.

Aside from giving great importance or attention to malaria, the center has widened its focus counting in chronic diseases, as well as, workplace hazards, injury control, environmental health threats, disabilities, terrorism and preparedness and environmental threats. In addition to this, the complexity of its mission or responsibility had already encompassed birth defects, pandemic flu, West Nile Virus, bioterrorism and other more (“CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response Site”, 2008)

The CDC today, still continues to maintain its vision of healthy people, not only in the United States, but to other countries as well, and its vision for a healthy world to live in. Today, the CDC, being part of the Department of Health and Human Services, applies researched and findings in order to improve or increase the status of people’s daily lives, as well as its commitment for fast response to health emergencies. Today, included in the center’s personnel involved in research are world-class scientists. Being a world-class facility, the CDC is a part of a small number of Bio-Safety Level 4 laboratories found in the country.

In addition to this, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is also considered as one of the “official” repositories of smallpox all over the world (in fact, there are only two official repositories found in the world). The second smallpox repository can be located in the Russian Federation. More distinctively, it is situated at the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR. In 2008, the budget of the CDC amounts to $8. 8 billion and the staff already amounts to nearly 15,000 having variety occupations with a total of 170.

The 15,000 personnel or employees consist of or includes 840 Commissioned Corps officers, as well as 6,000 contractors. Included in the 170 occupations are economists, engineers, toxicologists, entomologists, chemists, epidemiologists, computer scientists, biologists, statisticians, physicians, medical technologists, health communicators, nurses and behavioral scientists. All of these employees or staff, even with diversified occupations, all committed to one single goal and highly devoted to the pursuit of public health (Williams, 2008).

The CDC work force is indeed diverse, and it can be said that they are highly qualified. Most of the employees or staffs at the CDC are members or officials of an ethnic or racial minority group, where almost 60 percent are women. In addition to this, 40 percent of the people working at the center have a master’s degree and 25 percent have already achieved Ph. D. 10 percent of the employees have medical degrees and generally or in the average, the age of the employees working at the center is 46.

The CDC is indeed located or based in DeKalb County, but it can also be found in ten other locations all throughout the United States, as well as in Puerto Rico. The CDC can be found at Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, Anchorage in Alaska, Spokane in Washington, Cincinnati in Ohio, San Juan in Puerto Rico, Fort Collins in Colorado, Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, Hyattsville in Maryland, Morgantown in West Virginia, and in Washington, DC. Moreover, the CDC’s employee or personnel can be found in state, as well as in local health agencies and quarantine health offices located at ports of entry.

Lastly, they can be found in 45 different countries all over the world, from Angola to Zimbabwe. The CDC located at Georgia in Atlanta holds the facilities which were built and designed in order to work and study on extremely dangerous biological agents. Despite being depicted as the Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in the United States, a representation of this facility can be observed or noted in the film Outbreak. The center is specifically or highly noted in the books “The Demon in the Freezer” and “Virus Hunter” by Richard Preston and C.

J. Peters, respectively. The latter author is the former head at the CDC, specifically working at the Special Pathogens Branch. The organizational structure of the CDC includes the Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury (CCEHIP), Coordinating Center for Health Information and Services (CCHIS), Coordinating Center for Health Promotion (CoCHP), Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases (CCID), Coordinating Office for Global Health (COGH) and the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response (COTPER).

Under the CCEHIP, are the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) with its branch, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). Under the CCHIS is the National Center for Health Marketing (NCHM), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the National Center for Public Health Informatics (NCPHI). Under the CoCHp are the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) and the Office of Genomics and Disease Prevention.

Under the CCID, is the National Center for HIV/Aids, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (NCZVED) and the National Center for Preparedness, Detection and Control of Infectious Diseases (NCPDCID). The Coordinating Centers which are found in the center helps in increasing the responsiveness and efficiency of the center when dealing with the concerns regarding public health.

In addition to this, each Coordinating Center responds to their individual or unique areas of expertise. Subsequently, they give intra-agency aide or support and efficiently disseminate resources for cross cutting concerns, as well as for specific health risks (“CDC Organization, 2008). The offices which are included in the organization chart of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention are CDC Washington, Office of Chief of Public Health Practice, Office of Health and Safety, Office of Strategy and Innovation and the Office of the Chief Science Officer.

These offices, more specifically the Office of the Director, provide an overall direction to, as well as the coordination of, the several scientific of medical programs of the center. In addition to this, the Office of the Director helps in managing and directing the activities and operations of the center, and in giving activities that enhance the leadership skills, coordination, and the evaluation of the administrative management (“CDC Organization”, 2008).

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