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Emergency Preparedness Activity

Collaborating Institution: Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health (TAM HSC), Houston, TX

WRCE Associate Director for Emergency Preparedness: Scott Lillibridge, MD

WRCE Assistant Director for Emergency Preparedness: Dennis Perrotta, PhD, CIC – TAM HSC, Houston, TX

Description: The Emergency Preparedness and Response component of WRCE is headed by the Associate Director, Scott Lillibridge, MD of Texas A&M Health Science Center. This year our preparedness activities will focus on planning, engagement with stakeholders involved in biodefense, and linkage with ongoing state and federal emergency initiatives. The emergency preparedness and response component of the WRCE will continue to move from planning into the development of ongoing capacities that foster our organization’s collective ability to focus infectious disease scientific capacities on emergencies related to infectious diseases.

The WRCE will continue its compliance with the DHHS Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) and Homeland Security Presidential Directives that are involved with biodefense and epidemic preparedness. These measures include increased collaboration with the emergency preparedness and response activities of our Public Health Region VI state health departments.

Specific 2012-2013 will activities include:

  1. The WRCE will continue to integrate with federal, state and local partners related to biodefense and EID preparedness. This will include attending regional planning conferences of the state and participation in state-based forums on biodefense. In addition, we will continue to participate in federal meetings that relate to intersection between science and our nation’s emergency response to infectious diseases.
  2. Provide health and security training and education to promote public health preparedness in conjunction with Region VI state health departments and other WRCE members. This will be in the form of formal coursework and specific conferences.
  3. In the 2012-2013 timeframe, the WRCE will develop a peer-reviewed white paper detailing the transition of future RCE emergency preparedness and response activities to reflect the changing environment with respect to the various threats, changing governmental priorities, and future funding limitations.

Updating emergency communication protocols for the WRCE, particularly those affecting senior WRCE leadership, and review our information technology capacities with regard to a rapid mobilization of our scientific infrastructure. The WRCE is rich in expertise in biodefense in both civilian and military circles and has the laboratory infrastructure to greatly assist the US Government during a national emergency providing that we can communicate, execute our plans and mobilize these resources.