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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Category: Medical Countermeasures

Never Forget: Strategic National Stockpile Experts Remember September 11

Author: Strategic National Stockpile, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 9/11/2021 7:46:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery;

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, a small group of federal public health staff activated its emergency plan as part of the U.S. government’s immediate response to the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil. Established in 1999, the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile (NPS) was in its infancy when the events of 9/11 unfolded and was quietly housed in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health. It was not until 2003 that the NPS would become the Strategic Nati  Read more…

The U.S. is On Track to Donate More Than One Billion Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines around the World

Author: ASPR Comms
Published Date: 8/8/2021 4:30:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Hospital Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness;

A look behind the scenes with ASPR staff coordinating efforts


More than 70% of adults in the United States have received at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine, and BARDA has purchased enough doses of COVID-19 vaccines to cover everyone in the United States. At the same time, federal health officials recognize that the pandemic is a global struggle and the SARS-CoV-2 virus doesn’t stop at any of our national borders.

To stop the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. and decrease the chances  Read more…

New Tool to Help Hospitals and Health Care Facilities Decrease COVID-19 related Hospitalizations

Author: Dr. John Redd – Chief Medical Officer, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 7/6/2021 1:34:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; Hospital Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness;

This week, we announced a new tool that can help hospitals, health care facilities, and other potential infusion sites make smart choices to better manage and reduce COVID-19 related patient surge: the COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Therapeutics Calculator (mAbs Calculator).


The Value of mAb Therapeutics to Patients and Providers

In some parts of the country, where COVID-19 cases are high and vaccination rates are low, many hospitals continue to face patient surge. Other areas are facing new surges in patients as the Delta variant of the virus spreads in their  Read more…

BARDA’s Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Program Looks to the Future

Author: Mark Albrecht, Ph.D., Branch Chief, Anti-Bacterial Program, ASPR/BARDA Division of CBRN Countermeasures; Cameron Bess, Ph.D., Biologist and Project Officer Antibacterials Program, ASPR/BARDA Division of CBRN Countermeasures; and Jessica Swenson, MPH, Program Analyst, Antibacterials Program, ASPR/BARDA Division of CBRN Countermeasures.
Published Date: 6/8/2021 7:09:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Innovations;

Although the battle against COVID-19 has been a primary focus over the past 16 months, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has remained committed to developing solutions against a wide range of other threats as well.

One critical area of focus is the development of antibacterial medical countermeasures to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through a variety of mechanisms including a global accelerator program BARDA co-founded. This non-profit partnership funds early-stage research of innovative and transformational technologies for the diagno  Read more…

Is Your Healthcare Facility Hurricane Ready?

Author: Laura Kwinn Wolf, Ph.D. Director, Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Rachel Lehman, Program Analyst, Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection
Published Date: 6/4/2021 10:59:00 AM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures;

Eight tips to help your healthcare facility avoid supply chain shortages and infrastructure disruptions during hurricane season


The Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) community has tirelessly worked to address supply chain challenges presented over the last sixteen months. Healthcare facilities have had to manage supply chains stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic, worker scarcity, backed-up ports, and the 2021 Texas freeze. The next supply chain challenge facing the HPH community is likely to be the 2021 hurricane season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis  Read more…

U.S. Federal Responders Vaccinate Some 5600 People in the Republic of Palau to Combat COVID-19

Author: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 5/3/2021 4:03:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness;

Embrace the Challenge: How Startups Can Help Shift the Preparedness Paradigm

Author: Gretta Blatner, MPH, Special Assistant to the Director, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ; Ashley Cecere, MS, Biologist, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Rachel Rath, MBA, MPH, Director, BARDA Alliance, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS
Published Date: 4/27/2021 10:31:00 AM
Category: Innovations; Medical Countermeasures; Public Health Preparedness;

In what the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) is calling a “monumental campaign to combat, and hopefully eradicate, COVID-19,” it’s become evident that small, creative-thinking biotech companies are needed to help lead on the frontline..<  Read more…

Innovation challenge seeks to solve a common hurdle in curbing coronavirus spread: mask design

Author: Sandeep Patel, Ph.D., Director, BARDA Division of Research, Innovations and Ventures, Kumiko Lippold, Ph.D., M.P.H., Health Scientist, BARDA Division of Research, Innovations and Ventures
Published Date: 4/8/2021 12:32:00 PM
Category: Innovations; Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness;

The creative talent of inventors and entrepreneurs across the entire country is the heartbeat of our economy and our nation’s well-being. At BARDA, we’d like to tap this energy to solve a critical challenge for our country: the design of comfortable, protective facemasks for the general public. Scientific evidence shows that masks can be useful in curbing the spread of respiratory infections, yet we know that actual use is not up to the same standard as intended use. Research shows the most common reasons people don’t wear masks or don’t wear them properly: fit, comfort – i  Read more…

Speeding Recovery, Restoring Joy for a High-Risk COVID-19 Patient

Author: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 2/19/2021 6:44:00 PM
Category: Response & Recovery; Medical Countermeasures; National Disaster Medical System;

Joyce Sonday of Tucson, Arizona, loved walking her property and the neighborhood regularly, visiting with family and cooking for her husband, but all of that changed when she contracted COVID-19. She became exhausted and lost her taste and sense of smell. She wasn’t sure what was wrong but her husband experienced the same symptoms. At first she thought they had sinus infections but decided to go to their local clinic where she and her husband tested positive for COVID-19.

BARDA Ventures: A New Approach to Partnership

Author: Sandeep Patel, Ph.D, BARDA DRIVe Director, and Justin Yang, MBA, Catalyst Office Director
Published Date: 11/19/2020 1:08:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Observances; National Health Security;

How can we make sure our country has the vaccines, therapeutic treatments, diagnostics and other technology that are needed to save lives in a public health emergency? Part of the answer is encouraging innovators and entrepreneurs to partner with the federal government, and doing so requires rethinking the typical government approach to research, development and acquisition. Over the last decade, the success of HHS, ASPR, and BARDA has been to partner with the most innovative, fearless, and best partners in industry. These partnerships have helped push preparedness efforts farthe  Read more…

BARDA’s Reflections on Antibiotic Resistance and the Path Forward

Author: Mark Albrecht, PhD, Chief, Antibacterials Branch, Division of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Medical Countermeasures, HHS/ASPR/Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA); Jessica Swenson, MPH, Program Analyst, Antibacterials Branch, Division of CBRN Medical Countermeasures, HHS/ASPR/BARDA
Published Date: 11/18/2020 8:46:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures;

Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest global health threats of our time. Antibiotics are vital tools for addressing bacterial infections and save untold millions of lives each year. However, the increasing prevalence of resistant strains of bacteria threatens the usefulness of antibiotics and can cause untreatable infections. CDC’s 2019 Report on Antibiotic Resistance Threats estimates indicate that each year, more than 2.8 million Americans develop   Read more…

BARDA Ventures: Evolving Federal National Health Security Using Novel Venture Capital-Style Partnership

Author: Gary Disbrow, Ph.D, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Acting BARDA Director, and Sandeep Patel, Ph.D, BARDA DRIVe Director, and Justin Yang, MBA, Catalyst Office Director
Published Date: 11/12/2020 3:42:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; National Health Security;

Partner with us to build a portfolio of next-generation of medical countermeasures using a cutting-edge business solution

After an extensive assessment of the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasure Enterprise (PHEMCE) in 2010, HHS found systemic gaps in the federal government’s ability to develop necessary medical countermeasures during an emergency. The review panel recommended the creation of an independent strategic investment entity to fund efforts aimed at mitigating such risks. The 21st Century Cures Act provided BARDA with the necessary authority to  Read more…

More than 50 Million BARDA-Supported COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests Shipped to Communities across the U.S.

Author: Rodney Wallace, BARDA, Detection, Diagnostics, & Devices Infrastructure (DDDI) Division Director
Published Date: 10/23/2020 10:13:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery;

BARDA’s Public-Private Partnerships Support a Range of Tests from Future At-Home Kits to Major Lab Systems


As the coronavirus pandemic continues around the world, the need for rapid, accurate testing remains critical. Testing leads to the identification of active cases, helps spur more rapid treatment of people who are infected, and allows you and your doctor to take immediate action, such as isolating people who are ill.

COVID-19 is highly contagious, and the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, can be transmitted by people who do not show any symptoms  Read more…

Clinical Synergies of New Medical Countermeasures in Burn Care

Author: Burn Medical Countermeasures Team, Division of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Medical Countermeasures, HHS/ASPR Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority
Published Date: 9/22/2020 12:36:00 PM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery;

BARDA-supported Burn Products Could Help Enhance Patient Outcomes in Everyday Burn Care and Improve Preparedness for a Mass Casualty Incident


Earlier this summer, a burn patient received a minimally invasive skin graft using two BARDA-supported burn care products in tandem, an enzymatic debridement product and a product that promotes skin regeneration. Together these products helped a patient with second degree burns covering much of his body recover quickly – so quickly that he was back to working in his garden after just a few weeks. Read more…

The Evolution of Influenza Preparedness during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author: Kristin L DeBord, PhD,Director, Strategy Division, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 6/29/2020 1:12:00 PM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures; National Health Security; Public Health Preparedness;

New Federal Strategy Brings Continued Focus to Modernizing the Domestic Development and Manufacturing of Life-Saving Influenza Vaccines

On September 19, 2019, President Trump issued an executive order calling on public and private partners to modernize influenza vaccines to strengthen national security and public health. Today, I am proud to announce that the National Influenza Vaccine Modernization Strategy 2020-2030 has been released.  This strategy is aimed at building domestic capacity and capability through the use of new technologies to speed up the overall  Read more…

Why sepsis solutions can help COVID-19 patients

Author: Kimberly Sciarretta, Ph.D., BARDA DRIVe Solving Sepsis Program Manager, and Meghan Pennini, Ph.D., Solving Sepsis Project Officer
Published Date: 6/22/2020 3:02:00 PM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Medical Countermeasures; National Health Security; Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery;


Assessing sepsis predictive technologies to aid in the pandemic response

In the current pandemic, ICUs worldwide are caring for COVID-19 patients with life-threatening multiple organ dysfunction, in other words, sepsis. This trend provides a stark reminder that sepsis is likely to arise as a secondary confounder of any health security threat, whether in the current coronavirus pandemic or a future public health emergency.

BARDA focuses on developing safe, effective medical countermeasures, such as vaccines, trea  Read more…

A Critical Time to be in Public Service: A Perspective from a Pair of Experienced Doctors Caring for COVID-19 Patients

Author: Timothy G. Buchman, MD, and Steven Q. Simpson, MD, BARDA/DRIVe
Published Date: 5/20/2020 11:44:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Public Health Preparedness; Hospital Preparedness;

As critical care physicians, we can think of no more important time to be in public service than now. Across the country, thousands of healthcare professionals and scientists - not only from the private sector but also in the public sector - are fighting to save lives amid the worst pandemic the world has seen in the last 100 years. We are honored to count ourselves among both groups.

As physicians we are treating COVID-19 patients in Intensive Care Units; as professors, we are teaching the next generation of critical care physicians, and while both roles are rewarding, we ar  Read more…

Raising Awareness: Many roads lead to sepsis, even for COVID-19 patients

Author: Timothy G. Buchman, MD, and Steven Q. Simpson, MD, BARDA/DRIVe
Published Date: 5/15/2020 5:30:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Response & Recovery;

COVID-19 patients who are ill enough to require admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), often suffer from a major organ dysfunction. As a pair of critical care physicians with more than 80 years of combined service at the bedside in the ICU, we have spent our entire professional lives caring for patients with life-threatening organ dysfunction resulting from infections. We recognize this condition; it’s called sepsis.

While the most widely reported organ dysfunction for COVID-19 patients involves the lungs, many of these patients also have some combination of heart  Read more…

BARDA Leverages Strong Public-Private Partnerships to Spur a Rapid Response to the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

Author: Rick A. Bright, Ph.D., BARDA Director and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 2/22/2020 10:35:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Public Health Preparedness;

Unprecedented Speed in the Medical Countermeasure Response to an Emerging Threat

On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a nationwide public health emergency in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Three days later, BARDA entered into the first in a series of expanded public-private partnerships to develop a new medical countermeasure. BARDA is acting with unprecedented speed to initiate research and development to spur innovative medical countermeasures to fight the 2019 novel coronavirus. 

In less than a   Read more…

Sepsis is Skyrocketing in the Medicare Population

Author: Rick A. Bright, Ph.D., BARDA Director and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 2/15/2020 9:19:00 AM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Hospital Preparedness; Public Health Preparedness;

New study reveals the shocking frequency, cost, and mortality of sepsis


A recent study sponsored by HHS has returned some sobering findings: a 40 percent increase in the rate of sepsis-related hospital admissions among Medicare beneficiaries between 2012 and 2018 and as a result, costs are soaring despite a decreasing inpatient stay cost per patient.

These findings, from the largest known sepsis study of Medicare beneficiaries ever recorded in the United States, ring a warning bell for the health of every American and for our healthcare system as a who  Read more…

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