Healthy Choices

CDC shares its public health priorities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s campus in Atlanta is a like a small city in itself. The complex, adjacent to Emory University, is all modern, circular architecture, gardens and landscapes, promoting a flow of thought and no doubt, new discoveries and ideas for public health campaigns.

Last week, the CDC hosted 12 Western U.S. Regional fellows and officials of the Association of Health Care Journalists – myself included – for three days of briefings and workshops identifying some of the most important public health challenges in the country: prescription drug overdoses, influenza, emergency and public health preparedness, diabetes, valley fever, obesity, heart disease and the need to reduce sodium, and antibiotic resistance.

All these topics were discussed in depth and we’ll share what we learned in a series of CDC-based blog posts in upcoming days.

But here’s one topic the CDC did not focus on during the briefings but which is primary in the mind of CDC Director Tom Frieden: tobacco control. The institution considers its “life-saving tips tobacco education campaign” one of its most important public messaging successes of 2013.

You may remember seeing the striking imagery in CDC ads such as the one shown here.