Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
Author: By Dr. Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 7/17/2019 12:15:00 PM
Category: Innovations; Medical Countermeasures; National Health Security;
Saving lives in a public health emergency requires cutting-edge medical countermeasures: medications, vaccines, diagnostics, and more. In some types of emergencies, like an act of bioterrorism, some of those medical products have no commercial market. People don’t use an anthrax antitoxin every day – thank goodness. Yet that lack of commercial market also means pharmaceutical or biotech companies had only one possible buyer for their products: the federal government for stockpiling.
In 2004, Congress passed the Project BioShield Act to create a market for products Read more…
Author: Rodney L. Wallace, Director, Detection, Diagnostics, and Devices Infrastructure Division, HHS/ASPR Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Published Date: 6/6/2019 10:36:00 AM
Category: Innovations; Medical Countermeasures; Hospital Preparedness;
The first commercially available Zika virus diagnostic, a product BARDA supported through its advanced research and development program, received authorization for marketing from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 23. The test provides results from a blood sample in about four hours. Called the ZIKV Detect 2.0 IgM Capture ELISA, the test exemplifies the progress that is possible with public-private Read more…
Author: Robert Kadlec, MD, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Published Date: 3/14/2019 4:13:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery; Innovations;
Blog Series: Battling the Ebola Epidemic
Ebola reemerged as a health threat in 2018, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where two outbreaks of Ebola virus disease have occurred since May 2018. The first of these two outbreaks, in western DRC, was quickly contained. However, the second outbreak, in eastern DRC, has yet to be contained due in large part to the volatile security situa Read more…
Author: By Ruben Donis, Ph.D., Pandemic Influenza Medical Countermeasures Division, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Published Date: 12/13/2018 9:13:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; National Health Security;
As part of our nation’s overall pandemic preparedness strategy, HHS set a preparedness goal of establishing and maintaining a stockpile of bulk vaccine antigen and adjuvants for influenza viruses with pandemic potential to vaccinate 26 million people immediately after a pandemic is declared. BARDA began pre-pandemic influenza vaccine procurement in 2005 for vaccines that would provide protection against emerging avian influenza H5N1 viruses posing a significant pandemic threat. But a decade later we were compelled to ask how long would those stored vaccine components Read more…
Author: Robert P. Kadlec, MD, MTM&H, MS, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Steven H. Walker, Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Published Date: 10/1/2018 3:06:00 PM
Category: Innovations; Medical Countermeasures;
On September 18, marking seventeen years since the first anthrax attack in the United States, the President unveiled a National Biodefense Strategy and signed a National Security Presidential Memorandum which directed federal agencies to collaborate on biodefense, including budgets, to make the nation safer.
That spirit of interagency collaboration is reflected in a new partnership forged between ASPR and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – DARPA – to strengthen the capa Read more…
Author: Rick Bright, Director, and Julie Schafer, Acting Director of Strategy, both of ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Published Date: 7/13/2018 4:20:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; Public Health Preparedness; National Health Security;
In the 20th century alone, smallpox deaths worldwide numbered in the hundreds of millions. Roughly one-third of people infected with the disease died, while survivors were often left with permanent scars or blindness. After an aggressive global vaccination program in the mid-1970s, the World Health Organization declared smallpox eradicated.
But smallpox remains a health security threat in the 21st century. Fears that undeclared stocks of the smallpox virus might exist and that they could be used as weapons of bioterrorism spurred the U.S. government’s Biomedical Advance Read more…
Author: Rick Bright, Director, and Julie Schafer, Acting Director of Strategy, both of ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Published Date: 5/21/2018 4:56:00 PM
Category: Innovations; Public Health Preparedness; Observances; Medical Countermeasures; National Health Security;
BARDA and its industry partners have made tremendous strides to build better, faster, and more flexible vaccine technologies to enable the right vaccine to be where we need it, when we need it. Combating this age-old problem is an epic challenge, and there is still work to be done to speed availability of life-saving vaccines in a pandemic.
In September 1918, a doctor stationed at Camp Devens, a military base located near Boston, Massachusetts, wrote a letter to a colleague:
Author: Judith Wolfe Laney, PhD, Chief of Chemical Medical Countermeasures, Division of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Countermeasures within BARDA at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 4/11/2018 9:31:00 AM
Category: Exercises & Trainings; Medical Countermeasures; Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Innovations;
Last month, a truck carrying 4,400 gallons of hydrochloric acid collided with a train in Centerville, PA. For several hours, a column of white vapor floated above the wreckage. Emergency responders acted quickly to evacuate residents in the area and clean up the spill.
On a daily basis, thousands of businesses use our nation’s roads and railways to transport hazardous chemicals used for industrial or household purposes. Whether a chemical is released by accident, such as the case in Centerville, or intentionally by rogue assailants, terrorist organizations, or non-state acto Read more…
Author: John F. Koerner, MPH, CIH, Senior Special Advisor - Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, High-Yield Explosive (CBRNE) Science and Operations, HHS ASPR Immediate Office Published Date: 3/12/2018 2:22:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Innovations; Exercises & Trainings; Hospital Preparedness; National Health Security; Response & Recovery;
Quick questions: A nuclear incident has occurred in your community and people are going to come to you for help. Do you know which medical issues you should focus on first? Or which steps need to be taken immediately after an incident to best protect the public? Or what resources might be available to help?
Before you answer “no” to any of those questions, download a copy of the newly released Decision Maker’s Guide: Medical Planning and Response for a Nuclear Detonation.
An e Read more…
Author: Cheryl A. Levine, Ph.D., Senior Policy Analyst & Team Lead for At-Risk Individuals; Jose Velasco, MSW, Public Health Analyst for At-Risk Individuals; and Amit Zigelman, MPH, Jr. Management Analyst, Aveshka, Inc. in support of the ASPR Division for At-Risk Individuals, Behavioral Health & Community Resilience Published Date: 2/21/2018 4:42:00 PM
Category: Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness; Innovations;
The recent impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria left Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) in complete devastation. Buildings and homes were destroyed. Hospitals, dialysis centers, and pharmacies that weren’t destroyed were closed due to water and wind damage or a lack of electricity. Transportation services were lacking or, in some areas, non-existent. These issues affected everyone; however, people with access and functional needs – including older adults and people with disabilities – were particularly vulnerable in the hurricanes’ aftermath.
In response, the Off Read more…
Author: HHS/ASPR Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Published Date: 11/20/2017 1:55:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; Public Health Preparedness;
In the wake of an anthrax attack, medical responders need to quickly determine who has been infected so that they can be effectively treated. A rapid, accurate diagnostic test is an essential tool for doctors and other health professionals to effectively triage people who may be infected with anthrax. Such a tool has been long requested by medical responders as a critical component of anthrax preparedness.
On September 27, 2017, BARDA awarded a $3,199,221 base period of a contract to Tangen BioSciences Inc. of Branford, CT to further advance and expand the ability to combat Read more…
Author: Mark Albrecht, Project Officer, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 8/30/2017 1:21:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Public Health Preparedness; Innovations; National Health Security;
Antibiotics underpin nearly every facet of modern medicine. You can’t have a hip replacement or a caesarean section without effective antibiotics to prevent or treat bacterial infections. The same holds true in a mass public health emergency involving a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) threat. During a biodefense emergency, people may be hospitalized for prolonged periods, potentially exposing them to secondary infections including drug-resistant infections that are occurring at an alarming rate.
That’s why BARDA is focused on development and approval of Read more…
Author: Stacy Sayre, Region 8 Medical Reserve Corps Liaison and Rachelle Lambert, Licensed Acupuncturist and Unit Coordinator, Colorado Acupuncture Medical Reserve Corps
Published Date: 8/16/2017 9:41:00 AM
Category: Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness; Innovations;
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, managers at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York asked the nearby Lincoln Recovery Center to provide respite and ear acupuncture treatment for staff and first responders impacted by the tragedy. Some of those treated reported that after treatment they slept better than they had in days or weeks.
Lincoln Recovery had developed an ear acupuncture treatment called the NADA protocol to assist substance abuse detoxification and recovery support in concert with other behavioral health interventions. The successful use of this techni Read more…
Author: Mary J. Homer, PhD, Chief of Radiological and Nuclear Countermeasures Branch, HHS/ASPR/BARDA and Lynne Wathen, Biodosimetry Team Leader in the Diagnostics and Medical Devices Division, HHS/ASPR/BARDA Published Date: 8/2/2017 10:22:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; Public Health Preparedness;
Although an odd couple at first glance, NASA and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority in the office of the HHS ASPR share a common interest: protecting people from radiation injury.
Author: Jennifer Nieratko, ASPR TRACIE Team; John Hick, MD, Emergency Physician and Deputy Chief EMS Medical Director, Hennepin County Medical Center & HHS; and Richard Hunt, MD, Senior Medical Advisor, National Healthcare Preparedness Programs, HHS/ASPR Office of Emergency Management Published Date: 6/26/2017 10:58:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Innovations;
Emergency medical services (EMS) providers face a wide variety of risks on an almost daily basis, ranging from physically dangerous scenes and combative patients or bystanders to inattentive drivers to the negative behavioral health effects of exposure to traumatic incidents. While EMS personnel cannot predict which hazard they may face on any given day, the entire EMS community – medical directors who establish policies and procedures, dispatchers who direct personnel to patients, and responders at a scene – has a stake in staying up-to-date on innovations in the field and related Read more…
Author: Tyler Merkeley, MS, MBA, CARB-X Program Manager, BARDA Published Date: 3/30/2017 11:50:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; National Health Security;
It’s about the people. Picture a worried mother from Arizona walking into the hospital with her 11-year-old daughter. The girl had gone from tired to intense hip pain and a high fever in just a few days. A blood test revealed a potentially fatal condition called sepsis from a Staphylococcus infection. The infection had begun as an abscess in her hip muscle, spread into her blood, and eventually caused a devastating antibiotic-resistant bacterial pneumonia in her lungs.
Mom sat day-in and day-out watching her daughter’s health rapidly fade; tubes ran all over her body, and a Read more…
Author: Laura K. Wolf, Ph.D., Branch Chief, Critical Infrastructure Protection Branch, Office of Emergency Management, HHS ASPR Published Date: 2/1/2017 4:52:00 PM
Category: Innovations; Public Health Preparedness;
When you are responding to a pandemic flu outbreak, you don’t just need a safe and effective vaccines and antivirals – you also need syringes and other medical supplies so that they can be administered. Sounds simple, but supply chain issues caused serious problems during the responses to the H1N1 influenza outbreak, Hurricane Sandy, and Ebola.
Healthcare and public health systems rely on the availability of products such as pharmaceuticals, laboratory testing supplies, personal protective equipment, and medical devices to care for the American people. Ava Read more…
Author: Rick Bright, Director, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Published Date: 1/9/2017 5:24:00 PM
Category: Innovations; Medical Countermeasures; Public Health Preparedness;
The U.S. government has marked another significant milestone in its effort to better protect Americans against the Zika virus: the first ASPR-supported Zika vaccine has begun a Phase I clinical trial, which will evaluate the general safety of the vaccine in people and provide information on the ways that different doses of the vaccine impact immune response.
The investigational vaccine developed by Moderna Therapeutics of Cambridge, Massachusetts, utilizes a novel messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology. Moderna’s vaccine consists of a small piece of mRNA that when injec Read more…
Author: George W. Korch, Jr., Senior Science Advisor, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Published Date: 12/5/2016 12:41:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Innovations; Hospital Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery;
When the first confirmed case of Zika transmission was reported in Puerto Rico on December 31, 2015, there were no vaccine candidates for Zika. Today there are at least a dozen approaches in the US alone that are being evaluated to someday be available for general use. Diagnostic assays to help patients make informed decisions about their health are also under development.
How have so many medical countermeasures advanced so quickly to fight a threat that few people were worried about just last year?
The partners in the Public Health Emergency Medical Enterprise (PHEM Read more…
Author: David Boucher, Health Scientist, ASPR/BARDA’s Division of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Medical Countermeasures and Dr. Richard Hatchett, acting director, ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Published Date: 10/13/2016 10:27:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Innovations; Medical Countermeasures;
While the Ebola virus disease is not in the news as much now as it once was, we cannot afford to let down our guard. Ebola cases flared up again as recently as this March in West Africa, causing eight deaths in Guinea and one death in Liberia, and more than 30 other outbreaks of the disease have been recorded in the last 40 years.
The Ebola outbreak of 2014-2016 highlighted the urgent need for therapeutics that could increase the survival rate of infected patients and also aid response organizations in their efforts to limit the spread of this deadly virus. ZMapp, developed Read more…
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