Definition

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a federal agency that conducts and supports health promotion, prevention and preparedness activities in the United States with the goal of improving overall public health. Established in 1946 and based in Atlanta, the CDC is managed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The CDC works with partners at the local, state, and national level to monitor and prevent disease outbreaks (including bioterrorism), implement disease prevention strategies and maintain national health statistics. The agency also leads public health efforts to prevent and control infectious and chronic diseases, injuries, workplace hazards, disabilities and environmental health threats. The CDC focuses on the following five strategic areas -- increasing support to local and state health departments, improving global health, decreasing leading causes of death, strengthening surveillance and epidemiology, and reforming health policies.

The CDC recognizes the importance of health IT and invests in information systems for a wide range of public health functions. These include the Public Health Information Network, an project tasked with developing standards for sharing public health information, and BioSense, a bioinformatics surveillance system. The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) provides governance and oversight of CDC’s IT investments.

This was last updated in September 2010
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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