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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

ASPR Mission and Priorities

ASPR’s mission is to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats. To do this, ASPR focuses on four priorities:

Providing Strong Leadership

ASPR provides strong leadership, including clear policy direction and improved threat awareness. We are working to secure the resources needed to ensure medical and public health preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters and emergencies.

ASPR provides strong leadership by:

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Advising the HHS Secretary
Advising the Secretary on all matters related to federal public health and medical preparedness and response for public health emergencies. ASPR coordinates with all federal interagency partners.

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Supporting Readiness
Supporting readiness at the state, local, territorial, and tribal (SLTT) levels by coordinating federal grants and cooperative agreements and carrying out drills and operational exercises.

Enhancing Medical Surge Capacity

Enhancing Medical Surge Capacity
Enhancing medical surge capacity by organizing, training, equipping, and deploying federal public health and medical personnel and providing logistical support during federal responses.

Overseeing Medical Countermeasures

Overseeing Medical Countermeasures
Overseeing the medical countermeasures enterprise via BARDA and PHEMCE.

Leading Policy Information

Leading Policy Formation
Leading policy formation by coordinating policy initiatives and providing strategic direction on all matters related to federal public health and medical preparedness and response.


Building a Regional Disaster Health Response System

ASPR is developing a regional disaster health response system (RDHRS) by leveraging and enhancing existing programs – such as the Hospital Preparedness Program and the National Disaster Medical System – to create a more coherent, comprehensive, and capable healthcare system integrated into daily care delivery.

The RDHRS will be a tiered system that emphasizes the use of local healthcare coalitions and trauma centers that integrate their medical response capabilities with federal facilities and local emergency medical services.

Integrating Medical Response Capabilities

Integrating Medical Response Capabilities
Integrating medical response capabilities, including federal facilities and emergency medical services (EMS).

Expanding Specialty Care Expertise

Expanding Specialty Care Expertise
Expanding specialty care expertise in trauma and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear casualty management.

Coordinating Medical Response

Coordinating Medical Response
Coordinating medical response through mutual aid across state, local, tribal, territorial, and regional jurisdictions.

Integrating Measures of Preparedness

Integrating Measures of Preparedness
Integrating measures of preparedness into daily standards of care through healthcare system incentives.

Building on Regional Healthcare Coalitions

Building on Regional Healthcare Coalitions
Building on regional healthcare coalitions and better integrating public and private sector partners to improve preparedness and response.


Sustaining robust and reliable public health security capabilities

ASPR advocates for the sustainment of robust and reliable public health security capabilities, primarily through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but also through other components of HHS, including an improved ability to detect and diagnose infectious diseases and other threats, as well as the capability to rapidly dispense medical countermeasures in an emergency.

ASPR promotes robust and reliable public health security capabilities at the federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal levels by advocating for:

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Enhancing Disease Situational Awareness
Enhancing disease situational awareness domestically and abroad, including detection, identification, and investigation.

Strengthening Disease Containment

Strengthening Disease Containment
Strengthening disease containment, including capabilities for isolation, quarantine, social distancing, and decontamination.

Improving Risk Communication

Improving Risk Communication
Improving risk communication and public preparedness.

Improving Medical Countermeasure Distribution

Improving Medical Countermeasure Distribution
Ensuring rapid distribution and administration of medical countermeasures.


Advancing an Innovative Medical Countermeasures Enterprise

ASPR advances an innovative medical countermeasures enterprise by capitalizing on advances in biotechnology and science to develop and maintain a robust stockpile of safe and effective vaccines, medicines, and supplies to respond to 21st century threats, such as chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incidents and attacks; emerging disease outbreaks; and pandemics.

ASPR oversees the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which leads the advanced research, development, and procurement of medical countermeasures.

ASPR enhances the medical countermeasures enterprise by:

Prioritizing Threats Effectively      

Prioritizing Threats Effectively
Ensuring the medical countermeasures enterprise is driven by current and future threats.

Streamlining Processes

Streamlining Processes
Streamlining and simplify internal processes.

Promoting Innovation

Promoting Innovation
Promoting innovation and capitalizing on advances in science and biotechnology.

Sustaining Progress

Sustaining Progress
Sustaining the progress made in medical countermeasure preparedness over the last decade.

Ensuring Rapid Distribution

Ensuring Rapid Distribution
Ensuring medical countermeasures can be rapidly dispensed and distributed to reach the people who need them.

Engaging and Training First Responders

Engaging and Training First Responders
Engaging and training first responders on the deployment and use of medical countermeasures.

  • This page last reviewed: April 26, 2018