Vaccines, infectious disease prevention and anti-tobacco efforts hold the top three slots in the list of top ten public health achievements released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those achievements “demonstrate the extraordinary collective impact the public health community has on saving lives and reducing overall health spending,” according to the American Public Health Association.

“To reach the nation’s full potential, we must harness the public health tools and resources we know work and strengthen our investment in these proven disease prevention and health promotion activities,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “This list is an excellent start, but I believe the greatest potential to improve the nation’s health is yet to come. I trust that as a nation we can inspire future advancements in research and policy and seize on opportunities to save even more lives and reduce suffering caused by preventable disease and disability in years ahead.”

The top public health accomplishments of the 21st century as published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report are:
  • vaccine-preventable diseases
  • Prevention and control of infectious diseases
  • Tobacco control
  • Maternal and infant health
  • Motor vehicle safety
  • Cardiovascular disease prevention
  • Occupational safety
  • Cancer prevention
  • Childhood lead poisoning prevention
  • Improved public health preparedness and response

About APHA

Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at