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On Public Health Security Newsletter

Public Health Security NewsletterHave you heard the latest news from CDC/PHPR Acting Director, Dr. Sonja Rasmussen? With the start of 2013, PHPR launched a monthly e-newsletter for partners, On Public Health Security. In this newsletter, Dr. Rasmussen provides insight on CDC’s activities and initiatives in an effort to promote collaboration and information sharing.

On Public Health Security is published the third Tuesday of each month. Subscribe today to receive your own copy each month and read current and past issues below!

December 2014: : PHPR’s 2014 Successes

As we move forward into the New Year, I would like to take this moment to reflect on our accomplishments in 2014, especially our response to Ebola both in West Africa and here in the United States. With our partners, we have accomplished so much.
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November 2014: Highlighting the Latest on the 2014 Ebola Response

Since early 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been monitoring the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, ramping up efforts in July when CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, activated the Emergency Operations Center for the Ebola response. As of November 9, 2014, a total of 14,098 cases of Ebola (8,715 laboratory-confirmed) and 5,160 deaths have been reported.
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October 2014: Strengthening Preparedness in the Midst of the Ebola Response

Our work to stop the Ebola epidemic continues unabated. As of October 19, there were 9,915 cases of Ebola; almost all of these cases were in West Africa. However, as we live in an age where viruses know no borders, we have also seen a small number of cases outside of Africa including the third case diagnosed in Texas. Two nurses at Texas Presbyterian Hospital who cared for the first Ebola patient in the United States earlier this month have been infected with the virus.
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September 2014: PHPR focuses on Vulnerable Populations during National Preparedness Month

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has dominated the news and much of our work lately. The response to this outbreak underscores the need to include vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women, into our planning. Just this week, my colleagues and I highlighted what obstetrician/gynecologists need to know about the increased risks posed to pregnant women infected with the Ebola virus.
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August 2014: PHPR supports three simultaneous responses into Ebola, Polio, and Unaccompanied Children

The CDC Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the PHPR Division of Emergency Operations (DEO) has certainly seen its share of attention this month. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is at the center of attention, and to make it even more interesting, at one point we had two other simultaneous activations. Managing three events at once is a huge undertaking. It’s been an honor to watch PHPR and CDC staff and partners embrace the challenge.
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July 2014: New PHPR Leadership on the Importance of Collaboration

As the new Acting Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR), I am excited to reach out to you. Long before disasters strike, our partners work tirelessly to ensure that communities have the resources they need to respond to public health threats. Partnerships remain a critical part of PHPR’s success, which is to advance our nation’s health security through improved public health exchange, integration, and delivery.
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June 2014: The departure of Ali S. Khan, MD, MPH, Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response

After almost 4 years as Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR) and a total of 23 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), my time here is coming to a close. The time spent working in preparedness has been the best of my career. The CDC staff and partners I have worked with are an amazing group.
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May 2014: Introducing Code Name: Operation Dragon Fire (ODF)

In March’s On Public Health Security, I highlighted the 2014 Priorities of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR) – one of which is innovation. Innovation is vital to advancing our mission of providing strategic direction, support, and coordination for public health security. One way we can increase our impact is by leveraging multiple social media tools.
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April 2014: YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) visits CDC

Earlier this year, I profiled community resilience as one of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response’s (PHPR) top priorities for 2014. Resilient communities are the result of partnerships between government, the private sector, civil society, and citizens. Trusted organizations that touch many aspects of our everyday lives are an essential ingredient to reaching the most people, and creating strong networks that promote resilience.
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March 2014: 2014 Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response Priorities

As we come to the end of March, I am sure that you share my feeling of relief that a winter season full of snow and ice is coming to a close. The hard work of public health staff, emergency responders, and countless partners was as critical as ever these past few months. As this first quarter wraps up, I want to give you the complete picture of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR) 2014 priorities, so that you have a clear sense of our direction, as well as provide you with some examples of the work we have underway supporting these priorities. Our priorities for 2014 are 1) Innovation, 2) Building Resiliency and Global Health Security, and 3) Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness.
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February 2014: A Health Threat Anywhere is a Health Threat Everywhere

Global pandemics define generations. The 1918 Spanish influenza killed as many as 50 million people worldwide. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, in the United States alone, polio crippled about 35,000 people each year. In more recent history, HIV/AIDS swept across the globe killing an estimated 30 million people over the last 30 years. Within the past decade, SARS and H1N1 had significant human and economic impacts, and they reminded us of the potential for the global spread of disease.
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January 2014: Thinking Ahead - Promoting Community Resilience

As we begin a new year, one of the Office of Public Health and Preparedness and Response’s (PHPR) top priorities is continued emphasis on building resilience to keep communities safe. Resilient communities are able to withstand and recover from adversity because they have the resources and knowledge to care for themselves and others in routine and emergency situations.
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December 2013: PHPR’s greatest achievements of 2013

Before the year’s end, I want to thank you on behalf of CDC for the contributions you have made in 2013 to protect our national health security. Similar to my début partner letter last year, I would like to share with you the significant achievements of CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR) for 2013. In the spirit of partnership, I hope this highlight will give you a sense of pride because I truly believe that our shared mission gives us all equal ownership to these successes.
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November 2013: Stronger, Better, Faster: the CDC Community Comes Together and its Emergency Management Program Obtains Accreditation

There is an old English proverb that states a smooth sea never made a skilled mariner, so I venture to say we are better mariners given the challenge of the government shutdown in October. It is great to be able to reach out to you again. When I last wrote to you, I shared with you our excitement over the 10th anniversary of the Emergency Operations Center. In October, we had another milestone to celebrate.
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September 2013: Recognizing 10 years of supporting our partners on the front lines

As we take time to celebrate National Preparedness Month and our collective achievements to improve public health preparedness and response, we also honor those killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. For many of us who work in the field of preparedness and response, these attacks were a somber reminder of how important the work we do day in and day out is to protect our nation’s health security. While we cannot prevent every disaster or terrorist attack, we can work to ensure our communities and businesses are resilient and able to respond and recover from all disasters.
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August 2013: Bringing Attention to National Preparedness Month

“We have all spent the last decade building a robust infrastructure for Public Health Preparedness. More than ever, it is important that we sustain our infrastructure and continue to strengthen it. One cost-effective way to do this is through an annual, month-long campaign to promote public health preparedness and response. September 2013 marks the 10th annual National Preparedness Month, sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and CDC will use this month to promote activities that bring attention to our national health security.”
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July 2013: Just Launched: PHPR Partner website!

“In the February issue of On Public Health Security, I stated that CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR) is renewing its focus on partnerships. One of the key elements of this renewed focus is the creation of a virtual space to highlight PHPR and partner activities. Therefore, we brought together stakeholders and subject matter experts from across PHPR to contribute to the development of a new section on our website dedicated to partnerships, which launched earlier this month. We believe the end-result appeals to both current and potential partners by increasing the visibility of projects and partnerships; encouraging partners to learn from one another and get involved; and creating a sense of community. Let me explain why.”
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June 2013: Taking lessons from the media

“In late 2009, after steering our country through the H1N1 pandemic as Acting Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Richard Besser took on a new role as Chief Health and Medical Editor at ABC News. He transitioned from leading the nation’s premier public health agency to reporting critical health issues on the morning and evening news. Despite his new title, his top priority is still the protection of America’s health.”
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May 2013: American Red Cross visits CDC

“Last month I had the distinct pleasure of hosting Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. Leading an organization like the American Red Cross—with 30,000 employees, 500,000 volunteers, and $3.2 billion in revenues—requires a leader who is able to work strategically with a broad array of stakeholders and partners. Since taking her position in 2008, Ms. McGovern has successfully overseen responses to several high-profile disasters including the Haiti earthquake, Hurricanes Irene and Sandy. Additionally, she has initiated steps to transform and streamline the organization. Two key strategies of her leadership have been to promote innovation and achieve operational efficiencies (which also represent two of my priorities for the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response).” Read More

April 2013: State and local partnerships highlighted at the Public Health Preparedness Summit

"I was honored to be an attendee and presenter at the 2013 Public Health Preparedness Summit held in Atlanta March 12-15. Each year, I look forward to the stimulating presentations and the opportunity to connect with colleagues and learn about best practices. The Summit Planning Committee, representing public health professionals across all levels of government, in addition to other subject matter experts, did an exceptional job of coordinating this event and bringing a unified representation of public health preparedness to this year’s agenda. As I reflect on my time at the conference, I am amazed at the breadth of partnerships that exist across all levels of the preparedness community. Here are just a few examples that my staff and I brought back from the Summit. In sharing this more broadly, I hope this can spark ideas of unique partnership opportunities you can replicate in your own communities…" Read more

March 2013: National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI)

"A rewarding aspect of my job as the Director of CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR) is the visibility it provides over effective relationships established to improve community resilience and overall national health security. One timely example is the role the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) plays as a convener to support the development of the National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI) (hereafter referred to as the Index). In April 2013, ASTHO will distribute the Index in draft developmental form to states for a two-month review period. Through the support of a CDC cooperative agreement, ASTHO assembled experts from across stakeholder categories including public health, emergency management, private sector, non-profits, government, and academia to lead development of the Index. This has been a massive effort involving more than 25 organizations and 75 individuals, and it will lead to very concrete improvements in measuring our nation’s emergency preparedness…" Read more

February 2013: PHPR’s Projected Priority Goals

"The mission of CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR) is heavily dependent on engaging partners to maximize the impact of our work to keep America safe 24/7/365 from all health, safety and security threats, both foreign and domestic. In light of this, we have renewed PHPR’s focus on enhancing existing partnerships and identifying new opportunities to work with partners on our projected priority goals and strategies…" Read more

January 2013: PHPR’s Accomplishments of 2012

"As we enter a new year, I want to thank you on behalf of CDC for the contributions you have made in 2012 to safeguard our national health security. It is our shared mission; therefore, the success of one of us should be shared by all. For that reason, I am proud to debut CDC's On Public Health Security with a highlight of some of CDC's important and far-reaching accomplishments of last year…" Read more


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