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CDC Expands South American Presence with New Team in Argentina
July 6, 2023

On July 6, U.S. Ambassador to Argentina Marc R. Stanley met with Minister of Health Carla Vizzotti to mark a new milestone in public health collaboration, with the recent addition of a team of experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the U.S. Mission in Argentina. This CDC team in Argentina is an extension of CDC’s South America Regional Office, based in Brasilia, Brazil. The South America Regional Office works with countries and other partners across South America to strengthen CDC’s ability to meet its mission of protecting Americans by responding more rapidly to health threats wherever they occur and building key relationships to tackle shared health priorities.

This new CDC team in Argentina is led by Dr. Rachel Smith, who has spent her career at CDC working in global health over the past 12 years. The CDC team in Argentina will collaborate with partners across South America to promote health and prevent infections, with a special focus on patient and healthcare worker safety. The team’s work with partners will aim to detect, prevent, and respond to antimicrobial resistance  and strengthen infection prevention and control programs at both local and national levels. According to Dr. Smith, “The spread of antimicrobial resistance is a threat to global health security and this threat has only grown since the COVID-19 pandemic. South America has seen increased rates of resistance to critical antibiotics that form the backbone of modern medicine.  Collaboration from the local to the regional level is critical to combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance in the region.”

Key collaborators for the CDC team in Argentina will include the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), as well as academic partners. As part of CDC’s South America Regional office, the team in Argentina will maintain a regional role, working closely with governmental and non-governmental partners to combat antimicrobial resistance and strengthen infection prevention and control programs regionally. The team in Argentina brings a wealth of expertise to share with colleagues in areas such as public health surveillance, laboratory strengthening, health informatics, and environmental health, which are key to the fight against antimicrobial resistance. CDC staff in Argentina will also serve as a link between requests for assistance and collaboration from partners in Argentina and experts at CDC Headquarters or elsewhere to facilitate broader cooperation between institutions and organizations.

“CDC is very excited to deepen our collaboration with Argentina, especially as Argentina is assuming a regional leadership role in addressing antimicrobial resistance. The goal of this collaboration, from the CDC South America Regional Office’s perspective, is to work with Argentina to share their experience with other countries in the region” said the CDC South America Regional Director Dr. Juliette Morgan.

“The placement of this new CDC team in Argentina illustrates CDC’s commitment to collaboration and partnership in Argentina and other countries in the region in the fight to prevent and control diseases, protect patients and healthcare workers, and promote health security throughout South America. We look forward to working together.” said U.S. Ambassador to Argentina Marc R. Stanley.