Following the Ebola epidemic of 2014–2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked CNA to convene an independent panel of public health, healthcare, emergency response, and communication experts to review the Department’s international and domestic responses and capture lessons learned.
The Report of the Independent Panel on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Ebola Response summarizes its assessment of HHS’s strengths and challenges—and, where appropriate, challenges facing the broader U.S. government—and presents recommendations for addressing future urgent public health threats.
The panel employed a comprehensive process that included analyzing large volumes of public and internal documents, interviewing hundreds of individuals involved in the response, and carefully considering the feasibility and application of their recommendations in concert with government officials and other stakeholders.
The report describes notable opportunities for improvement in leadership and organization, communication, management, and logistics, as well as in development and use of vaccines and treatments. It also makes recommendations to address each of these issue areas.
Lessons from HHS’s response to the Ebola epidemic are relevant to current and future outbreaks of infectious diseases, including the current outbreak of the Zika virus. By taking action to address issues that emerged during the Ebola response, HHS can help ensure that it and its health response partners around the world are best positioned to address future public health threats.