CDC director gains more oversight amid structural shifts

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, will hire new leadership and reshape parts of the agency in an effort to gain more visibility and direct oversight into key areas, according to a Jan. 24 Bloomberg report.

Dr. Walensky has been working on improving the agency's operations and efficiency since she took on the position in January 2021, after the CDC faced widespread criticism regarding its antiquated systems and early COVID-19 response.

Now, Dr. Walensky will oversee several divisions more directly with specific attention toward health equity and data across the agency, according to the report. For example, the agency's Office of Science and Office of Laboratory Science and Safety will now report directly to Dr. Walensky's team. She also plans to establish an office of public health data, surveillance and technology to gain better insight on possible threats, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

After taking the helm one year ago, Dr. Walensky stated that it would be essential for the agency to prioritize accelerating COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts, as well as to pay attention to underserved areas of public health including social and racial injustices, suicide, substance use disorders and more. 

As part of those efforts, Dr. Walensky has been restructuring the inner workings of the agency, which has also included several staff changes. Two weeks ago, she appointed Nirav Shah, MD, as principal deputy director.


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