Doing Business with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Vital Statistics<@VM>In profile: Jim Seligman, associate director for program services and chief information officer<@VM>The numbers

1600 Clifton Road

Atlanta, GA 30333

(404) 639-3311

Founded: 1946

Director: Dr. Julie Louise Gerberding

Employees: About 8,500

What it does: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the lead federal agency for preventing and controlling disease, injury and disability among Americans nationwide and worldwide. It monitors health, investigates health problems, performs research, develops and advocates public health policies and implements prevention.

Major subagencies: CDC is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. It has 12 centers, institutes and offices.

Biggest changes of late: Last year's anthrax attacks put CDC front and center in planning for a response to bioterrorism. It has since established a Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response program (, including a Rapid Response and Advanced Technology Laboratory that can quickly identify biological agents, such as anthrax, rarely seen in the United States.

Things to note

CDC's 2003 budget request of $6.6 billion is $1.2 billion less -- a 15 percent decline -- than the estimated 2002 budget. This is mostly because of a one-time purchase of vaccines and other drugs in preparing for bioterrorism threats. About $1.6 billion is slotted in 2003 for the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program under the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund.

Information on doing business with CDC is on the Web site but wasn't easy to find. The link "Funding" ( on the homepage led me to more information -- particularly "Grants and Cooperative Agreements," which had even more information -- but some of the links there are clearly outdated. Check FedBizOpps to be sure of what's out there for CDC.

A business tip: One of the agency's "future challenges" is to use new technologies to provide people with health information. For this, CDC wants to develop and enhance data collection methods and analysis, develop dissemination methods, publish health information efficiently using the Web and other electronic means, and expand informatics fellowships.

Jim Seligman

Took the job: 1999. Served as the principal information resource management official since 1994 before the CIO title was used at the agency.

Hometown: Carle Place, N.Y.

Home now: Decatur, Ga.

Family: Wife, Debbie; two sons, Christopher, 12, and Michael, 9.

Hobbies: Variety of sports, travel and cooking

Last book read: "Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health," by Laurie Garrett

Alma Mater: Bachelor of science and master's of science degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook

With so many public health issues of late, how does technology help you? br>
Technology is at the core of most of CDC's critical functions and processes, since we are an information intensive agency. This includes, for example, technology-assisted laboratory research, IT used to enable the rapid collection of health statistics and public health surveillance data to help identify health trends, detect disease outbreaks and evaluate the effectiveness of public health programs. Technology also is critical to communicating CDC's findings, recommendations and guidance to health practitioners, first responders, public health professionals and the public.

What are the IT challenges the agency faces, as you see them?

The major challenges are integration of technologies, security in today's world of global interconnectivity and fostering standards-based approaches to technology and health data in the highly heterogeneous U.S. health care system.

What do you look for in companies with which you are thinking of doing business?

For generic IT products and services, the usual factors are important, such as company stability, financial sustainability, posture in the marketplace, record of vision and innovation, and ability to execute with consistency. For solutions that are specific to our public health mission, other factors come into play, such as a clear understanding of the nature and role of public health and the relationship between health care delivery and public health.

A year from now, where do you see the CDC's technology capabilities?

CDC has largely stayed abreast of new technologies and has been a relatively early adopter of emerging trends, particularly in networking and software development. Areas that are poised for growth at CDC include wireless, business intelligence, collaboration, knowledge management and strong authentication, such as PKI, smart cards and biometrics.Top 10 contractors

1. TRW Inc., $51.2 million

2. Computer & Hi-Tech Management Inc., $9.8 million

3. Analytical Sciences Inc., $8.8 million

4. Conquest Systems Inc., $3.7 million

5. HGO Technology Inc., $3.6 million

6. Milcom Systems Corp., $2.6 million

7. Social & Scientific Systems Inc., $2.3 million

8. Eastern Research Group Inc., $2.1 million

9. Information Management Service, $1.7 million

10. Macro International Inc., $1.6 million

Source: Input Inc.

Where the money goes

1. Computer programming services, $57.1 million

2. Online information services, $12.1 million

3. Computer/office machine repair and maintenance, $9.8 million

4. Office administrative services, $9.2 million

5. Computer systems design services, $3.7 million

6. All other special trade contractors, $2.6 million

Source: Input

Number crunching

2003 budget request: $6.6 billion

2002 budget: $7.8 billion

Contracts for bid

Technical Assistance

Value: $5.2 million over five years

RFP: Expected October 2003

Purpose: Provide technical assistance and consultation services to support 70 funded programs, and to maintain and report data results from the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Services include software development and maintenance, consulting and design, and security. This is a small-business, set-aside contract.

SGI Hardware and Software Support

Value: $40,000

RFP: Expected June 2003,

Purpose: Provide hardware and software maintenance service support on Silicon Graphics Inc. systems for the Health Effects Laboratory Division. Contract currently held by Minicomputer Exchange Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif.,

Source: Input

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