Mobile Version - January - February 2021

From the Director - Dr. Jonathan Mermin

As I look back at 2020, I am reminded how our vocabulary changed. Some words became commonplace, like social distancing, lockdown, N95 mask, self-quarantine, and Zoom, not to mention spike protein, cytokine storm, multisystem inflammatory syndrome, and toilet paper hoarding. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic added to our vocabulary and changed the course of our lives. At the same time, the year experienced a national reckoning with racial injustice. Black Lives Matter and “I can't breathe” took on new meaning, representing a powerful social movement across the country. And history continued to be made even as we started this year, with the events at the Capitol Building turning our attention again to an attack on democracy.

In our work at CDC's NCHHSTP, we are aware of how commonly social and economic factors cause diseases to disproportionately affect certain populations. I am encouraged seeing so many public health professionals fighting for justice using the tools of public health. As CDC continues to respond to the pandemic, there are still many accomplishments in preventing and controlling other diseases.

Here are a few highlights in 2020 from CDC's NCHHSTP:

Syringe Services Programs: Technical Package

Recently, CDC collaborated with the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) to develop a new technical package for syringe services programs (SSPs). This new information provides evidence of the effectiveness of strategies and approaches to support successful planning, design, implementation, and sustainability of SSPs.