CDC Foundation Activates Fund to Address Widespread Health Challenges Following Hurricane Harvey

Published: Sep 08, 2017

ATLANTA, Sept. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the wake of some of the worst flooding in U.S. history, the CDC Foundation today is activating its Emergency Response Fund to help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tackle the health challenges that the citizens of Texas and Louisiana are facing following Hurricane Harvey. The fund will extend CDC's response, providing essential supplies and vital assistance as frontline experts work with partners to address community health needs and public health infrastructure in the storm's aftermath.

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"The destruction and flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey is devastating, and we know some of these serious public health hazards will take months and possibly years to address," said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. "CDC's hurricane response experts predict significant public health needs around infectious disease threats, mosquito control, water safety, occupational health risks, as well as unanticipated needs. CDC Foundation's funds provide real-time financial support and amplify CDC's emergency response efforts to meet these immediate health issues."

CDC staff are on the ground along the Gulf Coast and working with local, state and federal officials on a variety of health challenges, including:

  • General and medical shelter surveillance for infectious disease outbreaks
  • Public health messages and risk communication
  • Water, sanitation and safety evaluations for food/water
  • Mold abatement
  • Industrial contamination (HAZMAT) mitigation/abatement
  • Mosquito management from standing water

While there are many organizations that respond with aid during a disaster, the CDC Foundation's fund is unique because it supports CDC experts as they address public health threats that arise in the days, weeks and months after an emergency situation. During emergency responses, the CDC Foundation plays a key role by facilitating partnerships that can be utilized before and after federal funds are made available. There are also situations where the use of federal funds will not be available during an emergency response and CDC needs the CDC Foundation to help deploy resources with speed, efficiency and flexibility.

"The impact of this storm will live on for years," said Judith Monroe, MD, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. "When a health threat strikes, speed saves lives. Right now, the people of the Gulf Coast need our help. We encourage everyoneindividuals, corporations, philanthropies and othersto support CDC and its team of experts who will work collaboratively with other organizations to address the health threats that are starting to emerge as the waters recede."

In the past, the CDC Foundation's Emergency Response funds helped save and improve lives by supporting CDC's efforts in response to Hurricane Katrina, the Ebola and Zika epidemics, the Haiti earthquake and the Southeast Asian tsunami. Following Hurricane Katrina, for instance, the CDC Foundation provided support for a range of activities, based on local resources and needs. These activities included funds used to replace two county health department facilities in Mississippi, medications for evacuees who left their homes and communities, funding and equipment for New Orleans health department staff relocated to Texas to provide for evacuees, and support for an information hotline in Georgia for evacuees.

Contributions to the CDC Foundation's Emergency Response Fund are tax deductible and can be made on the CDC Foundation's website (, by phone or mail. Donations will first fund CDC's Hurricane Harvey response. Any remaining funds will be applied to other CDC public health emergency responses as needed. To discuss giving opportunities or an in-kind donation, contact Advancement at the CDC Foundation,, 404.653.0790, or toll-free at 888-886-4CDC.

About the CDC Foundation
The CDC Foundation helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) save and improve lives by unleashing the power of collaboration between CDC, philanthropies, corporations, organizations and individuals to protect the health, safety and security of America and the world. The CDC Foundation is the sole entity authorized by Congress to mobilize philanthropic partners and private-sector resources to support CDC's critical health protection mission. Since 1995, the CDC Foundation has launched nearly 1,000 programs and raised over $700 million. The CDC Foundation manages over 250 CDC-led programs in the United States and in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.


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