Newly Appointed CDC Director Gerberding Sets Agency Agenda
As expected, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on Wednesday named Dr. Julie Gerberding as director of the CDC, the AP/Washington Post reports. Gerberding gained "popularity and 'a lot of credibility'" during the investigation of the anthrax attacks last fall, Dr. Gail Cassell of Eli Lilly & Co., a bioterrorism adviser to the government, said. But Gerberding said the agency's agenda must include "more than just bioweapons" (Chakraborty, AP/Washington Post, 7/4). She said she plans to address the "still-expanding" AIDS epidemic, adding, "I want to state very clearly that my essential goal is to substantially reduce and ultimately prevent HIV infection." Gerberding said she also would solicit an "objective external assessment of [the agency's] strengths and weaknesses," hoping to hear from "some voices that may not have been heard here in the past," including health care industry members and business leaders in addition to state and local health departments (McKenna, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/4). She said, "Our agenda is not simply protection against terrorism. ... Safer, healthier people. That's what it's about." She added, "I need to spend a lot of time listening closely to what everyone has to say and the concerns they have before I come up with a central mission" (AP/Washington Post, 7/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.