CDC restructures to break down barriers among scientists

CDC restructures to break down barriers among scientists

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will reorganize, creating four new coordinating centers and two national offices to better deal with modern health threats.

'CDC is transforming itself by breaking down artificial walls between its scientists, eliminating redundancies and strengthening collaboration with partners," said Health and Human Services secretary Mike Leavitt in a statement on notice of congressional approval of CDC's plan.

The initiative began about two years ago but will accelerate now, according to CDC.

With the new coordinating centers, CDC's scientists will more easily share their expertise across organization lines, reduce duplication of support services and streamline the flow of information, said CDC director Julie Gerberding. 'The changes add greater agility and accountability.'

CDC combined and reconfigured older components including:

  • Consolidating all 13 IT infrastructure services, which reduced operating costs by $23 million

  • Reallocating 600 positions from administrative functions to direct research and program activity positions, such as epidemiologists and medical officers

  • Establishing an agencywide business services improvement Intranet Web site, which provides key performance indicators to CDC staff.

CDC last reorganized more than 25 years ago, when it had 4,000 employees and a budget of $300 million. Today, CDC's combined workforce of employees and contractors numbers 15,000 with a budget of about $8 billion.

The four new coordinating centers and two national centers are:

  • The Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention

  • The Coordinating Center for Health Promotion

  • The Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases

  • The Coordinating Center for Health Information and Services

  • The National Center for Public Health Informatics, which applies technology to translating scientific data into usable information for the public

  • The National Center for Health Marketing, which will use research and science to develop public relations campaigns.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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