Health Trends

Westfield Public Health Bulletin: CDC’s self-critique will help improve its effectiveness

Government health agencies are made up of people just like you and me. They chose to dedicate their education and life’s work to the health and wellness of communities and the nation as a whole. In every agency there are layers of management. The success and failure of any agency depends on the hard work of every team member. A great team also needs a leader who respects and values the team. One who listens to feedback, constructive criticism and is forward thinking.

Every public health agency in the world has been under high levels of stress since the beginning of this pandemic. Every agency’s goal has been to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2. A new virus rapidly transmitted and causing serious illness and death is a daunting challenge. Unfortunately, other forces besides the virus interfered in its management.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the national health protection agency charged with saving lives and protecting people from health threats. The CDC “fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.” The leader of this agency is Rochelle Walensky, M.D., MPH. She was appointed by President Joe Biden to serve as the director in January of 2021. Prior to this impressive position, she was the chief of infection diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor at Harvard Medical School. She served on the frontline during the pandemic before this appointment. She is considered a leading expert on virus testing, prevention and treatment.

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