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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Help guide the future of disaster health readiness, response, and recovery

Author: Christopher L. Perdue, MD, MPH, Commander (CDR), US Public Health Service, Senior Policy Coordinator, HHS/ASPR Office of Strategy, Policy, Planning, and Requirements
Published Date: 5/7/2019 4:05:00 PM
Category: National Health Security; Public Health Preparedness;

HHS seeks outside experts for national advisory committee

Disaster readiness, response, and recovery are complex and the threats involved continue to evolve. The nation faces a myriad of potentially challenging health effects following a disaster. The HHS Secretary depends on the advice, expertise, and counsel of outside experts from the National Biodefense Science Board for recommendations to help make complex decisions and guide the future of disaster health preparedness, response, and recovery. Participating on the board provides a unique way to get involved in public service.

Advising on complex issues

Drawing on diverse expertise, the NBSB advises on current and future trends, challenges, and opportunities presented by advances in biological and life sciences, biotechnology, and genetic engineering with respect to threats posed by naturally occurring infectious diseases and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents.

Over the past few years, the board has provided recommendations on:

  • aligning the implementation of the National Biodefense Strategy with the challenges faced by state, territorial, local, and Tribal Nation stakeholders;
  • enhancing systems and operational plans to deploy and utilize medical countermeasures during a public health emergencies; and
  • strategic communications with stakeholders to incentivize local preparedness and align utilization of resources, especially related to protecting and supporting vulnerable populations.

Drawing on diverse expertise

The NBSB’s 13 voting members and 20 non-voting ex officio members represent practicing health care professionals, including pediatric health, as well as experts from pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and device industries; health care consumer organizations; and a public health official from state, territorial, local government or Tribal Nation.

Although only the board’s voting members can approve sending recommendation forward to HHS, the board’s voting and non-voting members work together to develop recommendations for the Secretary and/or Assistant Secretary to use in making decisions about current and future issues in disaster health preparedness, response, and recovery.

As a federal advisory committee, the NBSB complies with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, including scheduling meetings that are open to the public and making recommendations public. The board’s membership is also public information.

Each member serves for a 3-year term, and the terms of five members expire December 31, 2019. HHS will accept nominations for new board members through June 15. New members will begin their terms in January 2020.

Professionals interested in helping to guide the future of biodefense and biosecurity: apply today to join to the National Biodefense Science Board.


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