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Conferences & Events

The Complexity of Emergencies: Responding through Art
June 16 – September 12, 2008
Organized by the Global Health Odyssey Museum, this exhibition examines the visual art projects of three organizations working with children affected by emergencies, both in the United States and abroad.


Frequently Asked Questions about Goals and Goal Action Plans at CDC


1. How were CDC’s health protection goals set?


After CDC established its Strategic Imperatives as a key result of the Futures Initiative, teams of CDC employees began working, along with external experts and consultants, to formulate these health protection goals. The Advisory Committee to the CDC Director supported the presentation of a CDC’s Health Protection Goals under four themes:


These themes will enable CDC to focus a holistic view of health rather than on specific disease categories, a direction that resulted from input from inside and outside of CDC.


The preparedness goals will be used in conjunction with specific scenarios to enhance CDC’s preparedness planning for health hazards and thereby strengthen CDC’s overall preparedness. Those goals apply to both state and local preparedness partners and to CDC’s intramural work.


2. How are the six strategic imperatives tied to CDC’s values?


The Strategic Imperatives were developed after more than a year of consultation and review of CDC’s challenges and opportunities inorder to have a greater positive impact on public health. They define the major paths toward accomplishing our mission. Our core values—respect, integrity, and accountability—remain constant and support the foundation of everything CDC does and the goals it intends to achieve.


3. Why does CDC have global health protection goals? Isn’t that the World Health Organization’s job?


CDC serves as an important international partner in efforts to protect and improve the health of all people and contributes to the efforts of the World Health Organization to address many of the Millennium Development Goals. The agency plays an important role in protecting Americans at home and abroad from global health threats, and much of CDC’s expertise helps to support health promotion programs in other countries.


4. How do CDC’s goals relate to Healthy People 2010?


Healthy People 2010 was a key resource used to help shape CDC's goals and measures, and work on CDC’s goals will help achieve the 2010 objectives and future Healthy People objectives. Most of CDC’s goals, objectives, and actions easily connect with specific Healthy People 2010 objectives.


5. Are CDC’s health protection goals measurable?


CDC strives to make all of its goals measurable. For example, the "Healthy People in Every Life Stage" goals can be measured by specific measures of disease burden. These measures will be used to monitor progress toward:


  • Decreasing mortality in the first four life stages.
  • Extending years of healthy life in older adults.
  • Decreasing the number of people with activity limitations.
  • Increasing the number of people who rate their health as very good to excellent.
  • Increasing the number of people who exhibit healthy behaviors, e.g., not smoking, have a healthy weight.
  • Decreasing population disparities in the above measures.


Staff from across CDC are creating impact measures for the other goals and will seek inside and outside input and scientific review to meet these substantial challenges.


6. What evidence supports the idea that goals will work at CDC?


CDC has a long tradition of setting goals to focus its work and is already working to achieve specified health protection goals. For example, CDC’s immunization programs set specific immunization goals and have shown continued progress toward eliminating vaccine-preventable childhood diseases. CDC’s Chief Financial Officer’s Annual Reports (published from 1998–2003 before HHS instituted accounting changes making these reports unnecessary) documented CDC’s annual progress in supporting key HHS goals and the agency’s GPRA goals.


Hence, setting goals and working to achieve them is already ingrained in CDC’s culture. CDC and increasingly many more public health agencies are working on specified strategies and goals and are measuring their performance.


7. How can people inside and outside CDC provide feedback on these goals?


CDC encourages and welcomes input about its health protection goals. In addition to face-to-face meetings, CDC has a goals section, Health Protection Goals, on its Internet Web site as a channel for receiving comments and suggestions and has an email address for that purpose: CDC staff review comments and questions, consider how those ideas may be incorporated into our plans and activities; and add to these FAQs as appropriate.


CDC is staffing 14 Goal Action Teams for FY 2006, and the members of these teams will be developing strategies for achieving the health protection goals. These teams will be seeking wider input on the goals, thus providing staff another opportunity to provide feedback.


8. What are the consequences of failure to achieve these goals, and how will that affect people inside and outside CDC?


Achieving goals will take time and effort. If objective measurements show that progress is not meeting expectations, the Goal Action Teams will need to discover why and address the reasons for slow progress. For example, CDC’s leadership may decide that more research is needed to determine how to improve effectiveness; that more time and resources need to be spent in developing partnerships; that new activities, expertise, or resources may make a crucial difference; or, in some cases, that a particular strategy or program may not prove an effective direction.


9. What does "alignment" mean and what tool will help with this process?


Alignment means that allocating CDC budget to "align" with its goals and objectives. Currently, CDC has aligned 98% of the agency budget to goals/strategic imperatives, and will continue this process during the next fiscal year. There are always going to be important activities and work that are not directly related to a specific goal but all projects, including niche research, will contribute to achieving a greater health impact.


10. What is a goal action plan? How does it affect plans that are already being executed?


The goal action plans will lay out objectives, strategies, actions, and measures that will result in progress toward achieving CDC’s goals. Many of these will be existing objectives and activities already developed by divisions and branches, and others will be new. Over time, CDC will focus on those activities which will lead to success in having a greater health impact. Activities will include research studies, informatics and communications plans, ways to work more effectively with other agencies and partners, health policy proposals, health assessment and monitoring activities, and interventions and programs.


11. CDC’s budget targets specific disease categories defined by Congress, so how will we accomplish our goals with these resources?


CDC will comply with the expectations of Congressional for the use of our resources. Making our goals and progress visible will help us determine our priorities and will also help Congress understand how our resources are being directly used to improve health.


12. How does goals implementation change CDC’s normal budget cycle?


No change in the current budget cycle is expected. However, the timing of the goals action planning will allow CDC to get input from partners, stakeholders, advisory committees, and the public before the annual budget cycle begins.


13. Will the goals implementation process change CDC’s funding allocations to its partners?


CDC’s partners are critical to its success. As always, partner allocations will be based on mutual priorities and opportunities to work together to improve health.


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Content Source: Office of Enterprise Communication
Page last modified: 10/4/2006
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