I was in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago for new health officer orientation and was able to meet with Dr. Frieden (the new head of the CDC) a couple of times.  Each time that we met he referred to a general theme that the CDC will be using over the next 3 years to drive public health policy- it’s called Public Health’s “Winnable Battles”.  CDC will be increasingly  focusing its strategic planning on public health and policy interventions to help win the 5 “Winnable Battles”.  There’s not much on the CDC’s website yet on the new strategy- but moving forward you’re sure to hear about them.  I’ll introduce them to you this week:

1. Infection Control

This one is probably the most winnable “Winnable Battle” in the short run.  Healthcare-associated infections are  acquired when being treated for something else in a healthcare setting. They’re one of the top-10 leading causes of death in the US.  We’ve developed a Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) and Antibiotic Resistance resource page to help healthcare providers to develop and implement better plans to reduce healthcare associated infections.

Unlike the problems of teen pregnancy, smoking, and obesity- interventions to reduce healthcare acquired infections can have an impact even in the short run.  The CDC’s Infection Control website also has information to help providers do better in this area.