Hadassah Greater Atlanta’s Ketura group last month visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The tour focused on the David J. Sencer CDC Museum’s “The World Unseen – Intersections of Art and Science.” The exhibit includes the work of 10 international artists who draw upon microbiology, biotechnology, anatomy and texts in their investigations of microbes and cells, DNA, the history of disease and science, the body and beauty. The artists share a deep interest in science, and some are scientists or collaborate closely with researchers.
The docent-led tour also explored the history of the CDC and its historic efforts addressing environmental health and injury prevention, fighting modern health threats and biological, chemical, nuclear and radiological threats at home and abroad – using teamwork to accomplish its missions.
Hadassah learned why the CDC is based in Atlanta. At the outbreak of World War II, the government made it a priority to eradicate malaria around military bases and training centers in the U.S. South and started the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas under the Public Health Service, which continued to work from Atlanta. At the end of the war, MCWA’s leadership proposed continuing the agency’s work on a national level, and the MCWA morphed into the CDC in 1946.
The CDC’s mission correlates with the work of Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel and its efforts to research and fight disease.