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On Public Health Security Newsletter

Public Health Security NewsletterHave you heard the latest news from CDC/PHPR Director, Dr. Stephen Redd? With the start of 2013, PHPR launched a monthly e-newsletter for partners, On Public Health Security. In this newsletter, Dr. Redd 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 2015: CDC’s Emergency Response Work in 2015: A Year of Challenges and Great Progress

As we quickly approach the end of the year, I would like to recap some of our emergency response work here at CDC over the past year. Our response to emergencies is guided by the Emergency Management Program (EMP). The EMP consists of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the standard processes and staffing structure from the Incident Management System (IMS), and most significantly, the subject matter experts, staff, and partners that respond to emergencies. Within the EMP, we tailor our response to each unique emergency – our work ranges from sending small response teams into the field in support of state and local public health departments, to official IMS activations in the EOC for large-scale events that require staff expertise from across CDC.
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November 2015: Enhancing the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP)

The Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR) undertakes a variety of activities to enhance the nation’s health, ranging from coordinating CDC’s responses to large public health emergencies to managing the supply of critical medicine in the Strategic National Stockpile. This past month, we released a report about another one of our key responsibilities – overseeing the possession, use, and transfer of select agents and toxins at facilities across the country. Select agents are biological agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety, and can also pose a threat to animal and plant health, and animal and plant products. Before I share with you highlights of the report, let me first describe why facilities work with select agents and what PHPR and our partners do to ensure this work is done as safely and securely as possible.
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October 2015: Preparing CDC Leaders for Future Public Health Emergencies: The Incident Management Training and Development Program

In the 30 plus years I have been at CDC, the agency’s role in preparing our nation for public health emergencies has grown tremendously. Our core focus on science to improve the nation’s health is unchanged, but the emergence of public health events requiring a coordinated agency response prompted us to build on our scientific base and become more skilled at managing and coordinating the challenges of large public health events, such as the H1N1 pandemic, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and most recently the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
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September 2015: Promoting Preparedness at Home for our Workforce: The Ready CDC Program

We are midway through preparedness month, and the activities and information sharing that is underway surrounding community resilience have been incredibly beneficial so far. Community resilience starts with personal preparedness, which is why I wanted to share with you the latest information about our Ready CDC pilot program, which promotes personal preparedness within the CDC workforce. CDC works around the clock preparing and responding to public health emergencies, and we recognize that our ability to respond depends on our staff having plans in place to ensure their family’s needs are taken care of during an emergency. With our CDC families protected, we hope that our employees will be able to support our mission when we need them the most.
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August 2015: PHPR Focusing on Community Resilience for Preparedness Month: A Preview for September

Every year we are faced with the possibility of a public health emergency that could affect our infrastructure, impact our economy, and overwhelm our communities. To lessen the impact of disasters, we must think proactively about areas in which careful planning can make a difference – next month offers us a great opportunity to do so. September will mark the 12th Annual National Preparedness Month, and the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR) will focus on all-hazard preparedness and the importance of building communities that can withstand, adapt, and quickly recover from events. To have a strong, resilient community, we must prepare at several different levels of day-to-day life; we need to start at home with our families, and then expand to include neighborhoods, workplaces and schools, travel, and online communities. I wanted to share some information with you about each of these critical areas, along with a few upcoming preparedness month highlights I encourage you to look into during September.
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July 2015: PHPR Priorities

When I became the PHPR Director in January, it was with a firm commitment to build upon the great foundation of preparedness work ongoing at CDC and with our federal, state, local, and private sector partners. Over the last six months, I have been struck by the commitment of CDC staff and our partners to be as ready as possible for the next emergency. As we continue to move forward together, I want to share with you PHPR’s three overarching priorities now and for the future.
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June 2015: Hurricane Season Arrives as We Look Back and Learn from Hurricane Sandy

As we prepare for possible severe storms this hurricane season, it is timely to remind ourselves that recovery from past events is still in progress. Thousands lost their homes, and millions endured power outages as Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast seaboard in October 2012. In the US, more than 100 deaths, and untold numbers of injuries, mental health complications, and a variety of other health challenges are associated with the storm. More than two years after Sandy made landfall, damaged homes are still being remodeled and rebuilt, and roadways and other infrastructure are still in the process of being restored.
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May 2015: 2015 Preparedness Summit Highlights

I recently had the privilege to attend NACCHO’s 2015 Preparedness Summit hosted here in Atlanta, GA. The theme for the conference was Global Health Security: Preparing a Nation for Emerging Threats, and it couldn’t align better with PHPR’s preparedness work. Two big topics really stood out for me this year — partnerships and thinking globally while planning locally.
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April 2015: Communicating with Congress

There are many aspects of our work that contribute to the success of public health preparedness and response. Efforts to communicate our activities with the public, our partners, other governmental agencies, and Congress are all vital. Interactions with Congress offer the opportunity to convey the importance of work we and our partners do. The Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR) interacts with Congress in a number of ways, including hearings, briefings, responding to congressional inquiries, and congressional visits to CDC sites. I want to share with you a few highlights of frequent work with Congress.
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March 2015: The Importance of Evaluating Preparedness and Response

One of the most critical efforts that we can take on in preparedness is to examine the results of our work to ensure that we are maximizing our impact. To enhance our national health security, evaluation plays an essential role in recognizing successes, identifying gaps, and mapping the most effective path forward. I wanted to highlight some significant evaluation efforts — the National Health Security Preparedness Index™, CDC’s National Snapshot of Public Health Preparedness, and CDC assessment of the Ebola response — to give you a sense of ongoing evaluation work by our partners and at CDC.
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February 2015: CDC Preparedness Initiatives and the 2016 President’s Budget

The past month has brought a considerable amount of attention to preparedness. With a measles outbreak now spreading outside of California to additional states, hopeful signs in the Ebola response, and part of the country blanketed in snow and ice, we are constantly reminded that we must take steps to prepare for and mitigate the impact of threats on our communities.
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January 2015: Greetings from the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response’s New Director, Dr. Stephen Redd

As we start a new year, I am honored to begin work with our preparedness partners as the new Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (PHPR). I want to take a moment to thank Dr. Sonja Rasmussen, whom I know well from our time together at CDC’s Influenza Coordination Unit. Dr. Rasmussen provided critical leadership to PHPR during a turbulent time with continuous activations of our Emergency Operations Center for polio, unaccompanied children arriving from across the border, and Ebola.
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