Monday, April 25, 2005

Bioterrorism, an "overarching goal" of CDC?

The Press Release says, CDC Readies for 21st Century Health Threats. Since we are already 5% through the 21st Century I guess "getting ready" is appropriate. But ready how and for what?

For at least a year the effects of the announced reorganization have been turning CDC upside down, or maybe I should say, inside out, because a distressingly large proportion of senior management headed from the inside to the outside. I'm not sure the exits were adequate to accommodate the throng. Despite many warnings CDC Director Gerberding, like her boss in Washington and his Iraq debacle, was determined to move ahead and she did. Dr. Gerberding's bedside manner amounted to telling her (now former) colleagues, "Deal with it."

The new structure has four "coordinating centers"; and two new national centers, one called the The National Center for Health Marketing. Nice. Health marketing.
"CDC is now a 21st-century agency ready for the challenges of 21st-century health threats," said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. "Any corporation or large organization will tell you, realignments are typically tough to achieve. The exciting part is the payoffs we're already seeing as we emerge from this initiative as a modern, flexible, goal-oriented agency."
Payoffs, as in "assuring a flu vaccine supply"? Or "assuring a proper safety level for H2N2 flu virus"?

And goals?
CDC's two overarching goals are to prepare for terrorist health threats and, at the same time, protect the health and quality of life across the entire lifespan of all Americans from reducing perinatal problems such as low birth weight to preventing heart disease and stroke in older Americans.
So CDC has two goals: (i) bioterrorism and (ii) the rest of public health.

As they say, it's all about balance.