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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Working Day or Night, NDMS Teams Deploy to Support Healthcare Facilities and Save Lives in Communities Overwhelmed by COVID-19: “We are NDMS…That’s What We do”

Author: William Drake, Pharm D., NDMS Group Supervisor, Memphis, TN
Published Date: 10/7/2021 5:44:00 PM
Category: National Disaster Medical System; Response & Recovery; Hospital Preparedness;

On September 24, 2021, at the request of the state of Tennessee, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services deployed a team of 15 healthcare professionals, including safety and administrative support officers, from the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis in Memphis, TN. The team’s mission: to augment the hospital’s emergency department and provide much needed support to local staff.

On the third day of their deployment, NDMS team members arrived for their shift and were met with a line of 20 ambulances from the street entran  Read more…

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…

Fostering Psychological Resilience

Author: Dana Dudley, MSW and Kayla Siviy, MSW, ASPR Division of Community Mitigation and Recovery.
Published Date: 7/29/2021 10:48:00 AM
Category: Response & Recovery;

Innovative Strategies and Best Practices from the Medical Reserve Corps

Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units have faced challenging situations and many dedicated volunteers have performed extraordinary work as they partner with their local communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The MRC is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many MRC units have been faced with, and worked t  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…

Apply Today! Become a Part of a New Federal Advisory Committee Focused on Protecting the Health of Seniors in Disasters

Author: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 7/1/2021 3:49:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery; National Health Security;

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by the year 2035 there will be more Americans who are 65 and older than there will be children under the age of 18. As the number of older adults across the country grows, planning to meet the needs of older adults during disasters and emergencies effectively becomes more important than ever. Emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted how older adults can be particularly vulnerable during a disaster or emergency.

Now, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is recruiting new members for a natio  Read more…

Apply Today! Calling on Healthcare and Disaster Experts in Disabilities to Serve on the National Advisory Committee on Individuals with Disabilities in Disasters

Author: HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 7/1/2021 3:46:00 PM
Category:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 61 million adults in the United States living with a disability – and nearly one in three working-age adults with a disability does not have a health care provider. When disaster strikes, meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities can become increasingly complicated, but effectively planning in advance to take into account the unique health needs of individuals with disabilities   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…

Thank You for Your Public Service

Author: Nikki Bratcher-Bowman
Published Date: 5/6/2021 10:28:00 AM
Category: National Health Security; Observances; Response & Recovery;

Acting Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Nikki Bratcher-Bowman Reflects on the Past Year during Public Service Recognition Week


For over a year, public servants from ASPR and across the government have worked tirelessly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, even as we continue to prepare for, respond to, and recover from other disasters and emergencies. Each and every day, I am honored to work with staff from ASPR and other public servants from across the government as we continue to develop medical countermeasures to address health security t  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…

Innovators: How Diversifying Your Network Can Help Ignite Ideas

Author: Christopher Houchens, Ph.D., Director, Division of CBRN Medical Countermeasures, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Marian Nakada, Ph.D., Vice President, Venture Investments, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc.
Published Date: 3/17/2021 1:24:00 PM
Category: Innovations; Response & Recovery;

Launching an innovative product or technology takes more than a good idea, and there are many actions startups can take to strengthen their offering and overall chance of success as they develop the latest innovations to bolster health security, including battling COVID-19. Over the last year, the global scientific community has proven critical to our collective ability to combat the pandemic, and Blue Knight™ offers a new way to build the kinds of partnerships needed to advance potentially life-saving technology during public health emergencies.

Blue KnightRead more…

Logistically Supporting the COVID Response Daily, One Responder’s Reflections on COVID-19 over the Course of the Pandemic

Author: Peter Cassell, ASPR Comms
Published Date: 3/16/2021 5:59:00 PM
Category: National Disaster Medical System; Response & Recovery; Public Health Preparedness;

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.

On the Scene, Saving Lives

Author: Jonathan N. Greene, Deputy Assistant Secretary, HHS/ASPR Office of Operations and Resources
Published Date: 2/11/2021 11:23:00 AM
Category: National Disaster Medical System; Response & Recovery;

​Responders from the National Disaster Medical System Answer the Call to Service during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

The dedicated individuals of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) - known for their expertise, their teamwork, and their selfless commitment to saving lives during disasters and emergencies - have worked tirelessly on the front lines of health to fight COVID-19. More than 2,500 NDMS responders have deployed since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and continue to deploy to support federal, state, local  Read more…

Community-Based Organizations Are More Important Than Ever During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Author: Cheryl Levine, ASPR/EMMO
Published Date: 12/28/2020 11:23:00 AM
Category: Response & Recovery; Innovations;

Four New Tools for the Community-Based Organization's Toolkit

How Community-Based Organizations Can Leverage Innovative Practices, Build New Partnerships, and More for At-Risk Individuals During the COVID-19 Pandemic


“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Hellen Keller


If you work for a community-based organization (CBO  Read more…

The HHS emPOWER Program Launches a New Platform to Support Community Partners

Author: Kristen P. Finne, Director, HHS emPOWER Program and Senior Program Analyst, Office of Emergency Management and Medical Operations, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 12/10/2020 10:37:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery;

New HHS emPOWER Program Platform Brings Tools and Resources to the Fingertips of Community Partners to Help Protect At-Risk Individuals

HHS emPOWER Program (emPOWER) has officially launched the HHS emPOWER Program Platform, a new mobile-ready technical assistance platform that provides public health, health care, and emergency manage  Read more…

From COVID-19 to Ransomware, the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Battles Multiple, Simultaneous Threats

Author: Bob Bastani, CISSP, CISM, CRISC, Senior Cyber Security Advisor, Healthcare and Public Health Sector, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response (ASPR) And Kevin Dang (CTR), Cyber Security Analyst, Critical Infrastructure Protection ASPR Health and Human Services
Published Date: 12/7/2020 10:01:00 AM
Category: Cyber Security;

Find Out How You Can Protect Your Facility from Rising Ransomware Attacks


As COVID-19 infection rates rise, hospitals and healthcare facilities are understandably focused on protecting patients, staff, and providers from the virus – but COVID-19 is not the only rising threat to the healthcare industry. While healthcare providers continue to focus on responding to the pandemic, cyber threat actors are taking full advantage of healthcare vulnerabilities by perpetrating scams and phishing attacks, which largely depend on the target’s sense of fear and urgency.

  Read more…

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