Obama's CDC director to launch global health initiative

Obama's CDC director to launch global health initiative
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Dr. Tom Frieden, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under President Obama, is launching a multimillion-dollar initiative aimed at preventing heart attacks, strokes and other epidemics around the world.

The initiative, called "Resolve to Save Lives," is funded by a $225 million investment from three major donors: Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"I identified specific areas where the world is at a tipping point. And with strategic investments we can make an enormous difference saving lives. And that’s how we designed this," Frieden told STAT in an interview. 

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Frieden explained that his initiative is centered around taking existing public health strategies that have yet to be implemented and making them a reality.

"The world has identified a target of reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and has identified “best buys,” which need to be implemented in order to reduce cardiovascular disease," he said. "And while there have been lots of calls to action, there has been limited action actually making progress.

"That’s our kind of unique catalytic potential. With the generous resources that we have available, we’ll work with our partner organizations to rapidly implement programs that will address these problems," he explained.

Frieden, a former New York City health commissioner, spent eight years leading the CDC under Obama. He was replaced in July by Georgia Public Health Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald.