Wednesday, April 7, 2010


In the world of government health agencies, there are so many acronyms that it starts to look like alphabet soup. Under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), there is the ACF, AoA, AHRQ, ATSDR, CDC, CMS, FDA, HRSA, IHS, NIH, OIG and SAMHSA.

Confused yet?

Other health agencies focus on regulation, research and administering Medicaid and Medicare, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is our nation’s premier organization that is focused on health promotion, disease prevention and public health.

The CDC was founded on July 1, 1946 in Atlanta, GA originally called Communicable Disease Center. In its first years of existence, the CDC focused on fighting malaria by killing mosquitoes.

In 1970, the CDC’s name was changed to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and expanded its mission to prevent chronic and infectious diseases, injury, workplace hazards and disability.

Today, the CDC focuses on five strategic areas: supporting state and local health departments, improving global health, implementing measures to decrease leading causes of death, strengthening surveillance and epidemiology, and reforming health policies.

You don't have to be a part of the CDC to care about public health. All around the country, people are recognizing the contributions of public health and drawing attention to issues that are important to improving the public’s health. Get out and get active! April 5-11 is National Public Health Week. Click here to find events happening near you.

This is Part 2 in the Introduction to Federal Agencies series.
Part 1 - Acronyms, Abbreviations and Agencies

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