On Public Health Security - January 2017 - New Year, Renewed Focus on PHPR Priorities for CDC

On Public Health Security - January 2017 - New Year, Renewed Focus on PHPR Priorities for CDC

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On Public Health Security
January 2017
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Stephen C. Redd

Dear Partners,


As we begin a new year, it is critical we sustain CDC’s ongoing work to prevent, mitigate, and respond to public health threats. In 2017, I look forward to working with you to continue to improve state and local response capacity, expand medical countermeasure (MCM) partnerships, and make emergency management programs stronger than ever in the U.S. and around the world.


Strengthen Emergency Management Programs around the World, Stop Diseases Where They Begin

Despite CDC’s unwavering dedication to preparedness, about two thirds of the world remains unprepared for public health emergencies. As people and economies across the globe become more connected, the threat of disease spreading from a remote location to America increases. As part of a comprehensive plan to improve global health security, CDC provides public health emergency management training for its future incident managers to lead emergency responses, small or large, domestic or international. By building and sustaining partnerships with healthcare providers, hospitals, and businesses around the globe, CDC helps countries build emergency management programs, advises on building emergency operations centers, and trains public health professionals to quickly identify and respond to public health threats. In addition, CDC invests in research and evaluation efforts to enhance public health emergency management, with research topics focused on incident management training for emergency responders, the communication needs of high-risk populations, and risk communication effectiveness. This research will help us improve public health emergency management at CDC.


Increase Efficiency of Online Systems, Improve Response Readiness

The Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement supports state and local health departments to prepare for and respond to large-scale emergencies that require the distribution and dispensing of MCMs. Last year, CDC created the Online Technical Resource and Assistance Center (On-TRAC), for state and local public health partners to access new and existing preparedness systems, tools, and resources related to MCM distribution and dispensing. In 2017, CDC will add new functionality to the On-TRAC platform, improving the process that allows our public health partners to request technical assistance, and to communicate and collaborate with other state and local health departments. These changes address some of the barriers to response readiness identified in last year’s MCM Operational Readiness Review, including insufficient staffing for points of dispensing (PODs) operations and security. Additionally, CDC will redesign the National Select Agent Registry (NSAR) to streamline information-sharing and to ensure that work with the most dangerous pathogens is conducted as safely and securely as possible. The redesign of this system will include an online portal that gives registered facilities an easier way to communicate with the Federal Select Agent Program and share important documents, such as inspection reports.


Expand Partnerships, Enhance Medical Countermeasure Supply Chain Infrastructure

CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is one of our country’s greatest assets.  It stands ready to quickly send critical medical supplies where they are needed in a public health emergency. In 2017, we plan to expand our existing relationships with private industry and other federal partners to better coordinate every step of the medical supply chain, from manufacture to delivery, to minimize vulnerabilities and enhance efficiency. These partnerships will increase the reliability of the commercial supply chain in emergency responses, and may reduce the stockpiling requirements for some products in the SNS. Additionally, CDC will continue to provide support to states and local jurisdictions for full-scale exercises, as well as training for emergency responders across the country on how to request, receive, and distribute medical countermeasures from the stockpile. Sign up for updates to stay current on new supply chain and partner resources.


We at CDC remain committed to responding quickly and efficiently to any emerging public health threat. We have no doubt that other, unforeseen challenges of the future will require quick responses. To protect the health and security of all Americans, we must work together to improve response capabilities abroad at the same time we work to improve response readiness at home.


I wish you a happy, healthy, and safe 2017.


Thank you,


Stephen C. Redd, MD


Director, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention






CDC Press Release: Drug overdose deaths, including opioid overdose deaths, continue to increase in the United States, according to new data published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).





Attend the meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, entitled, 2017 ASM Biothreats: Research, Response, and Policy on February 6th-8th, in Washington, DC.


 Meet leading professional and share expertise at the International Crisis and Risk Communication Conference March 13th-15th, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.


Develop partnerships and learn established best practices in emergency response at the Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference on April 18th-20th, 2017, in Tacoma, Washington.


Learn about improved hurricane preparedness and share ideas with other federal, state, and local officials at the National Hurricane Conference on April 17th-20th, 2017, in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Zika Resources


See the recent Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), entitled 10 public health achievements in 2016 and future priorities for Zika.


See the latest CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory providing travel and testing recommendations resulting from the investigation of local Zika virus transmission in Brownsville, Texas.


For the latest information about Zika, including updated case counts and counts of pregnant women with any lab evidence of Zika virus infection, visit the CDC Zika Home Page.