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Strengthening Public Health Ethics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Barrett, Drue H.; Bernier, Roger H. PhD, MPH; Sowell, Anne L. PhD; The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Ethics Committee Steering Group

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/01.PHH.0000324562.80157.ef
Commentary
Abstract

In early 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched an initiative to strengthen leadership in public health ethics. This resulted in the formation of an external Ethics Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee to the Director, an internal CDC Public Health Ethics Committee, and the creation of a new position, the CDC Public Health Ethics Coordinator, to oversee the activities of these two committees and to serve as the main point of contact for public health ethics at the agency. Through this effort, the CDC is collaborating with the Ethics Subcommittee to develop ethical guidance documents that address specific public health program concerns, including pandemic influenza, emergency preparedness and response, and genomics. It is anticipated that as the public health ethics activities grow within the CDC, benefits will be seen in greater participation and partnership with affected stakeholders and strengthened public trust in health recommendations.

In Brief

This article discusses the efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaborating with the Ethics Subcommittee to develop ethical guidance documents that address specific public health program concerns.

Author Information

Drue H. Barrett serves as the Public Health Ethics Coordinator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She is the Chair of the CDC Public Health Ethics Committee and the Designated Federal Official for the Ethics Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee to the Director, the CDC. As the Public Health Ethics Coordinator, Dr Barrett is the main point of contact for the CDC's public health ethics activities.

Roger H. Bernier, PhD, MPH, is currently Senior Advisor for Scientific Strategy and Innovation in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr Bernier has worked in public health for more than 30 years at the local, national, and international levels.

Anne L. Sowell, PhD, is the Associate Director for Science of the Division of Health Studies, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Dr Sowell currently serves as the chair of Consultation Subcommittee of CDC's Public Health Ethics Committee (PHEC) and as a member of the PHEC Steering Committee. Until recently Dr Sowell served as chair on one of the CDC's institutional review boards.

Corresponding Author: Drue H. Barrett, PhD, US Public Health Service, Public Health Ethics Coordinator, Office of the Chief Science Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Mail Stop D-50, Atlanta, GA 30333 (DBarrett@cdc.gov).

*Members of the Steering Group include Drue Barrett (Public Health Ethics Coordinator, Office of the Chief Science Officer), Roger Bernier (Senior Advisor for Scientific Strategy and Innovation, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases), Steven Coughlin (Epidemiologist, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), Richard Dixon (Distinguished Consultant, National Center for Health Marketing), Roberto Garza (Health Communications Fellow, Office of the Chief Science Officer), Mary Leinhos (Manager, Human Research Protection Office, Office of the Chief Science Officer), Charles Magruder (Senior Advisor, National Center for Public Health Informatics), Aun Lor (Health Scientist, Office of Career and Workforce Development) Anne Sowell (Associate Director for Science, Division of Health Studies, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry), Michael St. Louis (Officer for Science and Public Health, Coordinating Office for Global Health), Mark White (Associate Director for Science, Division of Global Preparedness and Program Coordination (proposed), Coordinating Office for Global Health

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.