On Public Health Security Newsletter
Have you heard the latest news from CDC/PHPR Director, Dr. Ali Khan? With the start of 2013, PHPR launched a monthly e-newsletter for partners, On Public Health Security. In this newsletter, Dr. Khan 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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
"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
"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
"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
"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