CDC's chief medical officer aims for 'action-oriented culture'

Since taking on her new role, Debra Houry, MD, the CDC's recently appointed chief medical officer, has been focused on building a "public health action-oriented culture at the CDC," according to The Hill.

So what does that look like? According to Dr. Houry, the agency is in need of more communication, collaboration and fewer silos to make it work, which starts with more direct lines of communication to the top.

"Houry said she wants to knock down the 'artificial separations' between divisions," The Hill reported.

"I think when there's more layers, it's easier to … stay in your silo," Dr. Houry told The Hill. "And when those layers are removed, the silos don't exist." 

Knocking down the silos and perceived separations will ensure communication is happening between divisions. As part of this endeavor, Dr. Houry also wants to continue improving staff morale.

"We have several different responses going on, but they're able to be part of these changes," she told The Hill. “People are inspired. So I think it's an exciting time for the agency, and it's time for us to really innovate.”

Dr. Houry is also working closely with CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, on improving the agency's action and outreach — which it was criticized for early on in the pandemic. 

"I think the agency itself has just been changing too," Dr. Houry told The Hill. "And so we needed to look to where we can really be more proactive and flexible and respond to the public."

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