What Ails The CDC

Staff turnover, morale problems and charges of mismanagement couldn't have come at a worse time for the guardians of U.S. public health

Julie Gerberding was still a deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2001 when someone started mailing anthrax spores to newsrooms and politicians' offices around the country. A telegenic personality who connected easily with journalists, Gerberding quickly became the public face of the CDC--a rare cool head among a parade of increasingly confused health bureaucrats. The fumbling she witnessed behind the scenes convinced her that the CDC's troubles extended beyond the need for better communications. She made her case to Tommy Thompson, then Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), and within a year was appointed director of...

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