Government health agencies are made up of people like you and me. They have chosen to dedicate their education and life’s work to the health and well-being of their communities and nations at large. Every institution has a management layer. The agency’s success and failure depend on the hard work of all her team members. A great team also needs a leader who respects and values the team. A positive thinker who listens to feedback, constructive criticism.
All public health agencies around the world have been under high levels of stress since the beginning of this pandemic. The goal of all agencies was to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2. A new virus that spreads rapidly and causes severe illness and death is a daunting task. Unfortunately, forces other than the virus interfered in its administration.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the national health protection agency charged with saving lives and protecting people from health threats. CDC “combats disease and helps communities and citizens do the same.” The agency’s leader is Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH. She was appointed director by President Joe Biden in January 2021. Prior to this impressive position, she was the director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School. She served on the front lines of the pandemic prior to this appointment. She is considered a leading authority on virus testing, prevention and treatment.