Security (S&B/CBRNE) Magazine

Spring 2017

Security & Border Protection and CST & CBRNE Source Book, published jointly, concentrate on WMD response, NGB training, counterterrorism, and border security

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also serves as the principle advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on matters of biodefense and other public health emergencies. CST & CBRNE: From a CBRN challenges to health perspective, please speak to some key areas of evolution to present today and current focus. Dr. Korch: The anthrax attacks in 2001 demonstrated the need for a multi-prong approach to preparing for and responding to all health threats. We help hospitals and the entire health care sector – primarily private industry competitors – coordinate to handle a surge in patient care, protect health care workers, and work closely with emergency management and public health agencies. We established a network of hospitals ready to care safely for patients with highly infectious diseases like Ebola, and we established a national education and training center to help health care providers learn the best practices in caring for such patients while maintaining personnel safety. We also train our federal medical responders from the National Disaster Medical System so that these intermittent personnel (similar to military reservists) can help health facilities care for patients in a disaster. Dr. George W. Korch, PhD, is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Prepared- ness and Response. He previously served as the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and as the Senior Science Advisor to the Assistant Sec- retary for Preparedness and Response, Health and Human Services. Dr. Korch has also been on the faculty of the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as Visiting Professor for over seven years, and currently as an Adjunct Faculty member. His federal experience during his tenure at HHS has also included a number of leadership roles, such as co-chair of the Executive Committee of the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE), co-chair of the Federal Expert Security Advisory Panel (FESAP) under the National Security Staff, Office of the President, and as co-chair of the Department of Health and Human Services Biosafety and Biosecurity Coordinating Council. He retired from the U.S. Army Medical Department in 2008, where he had served in a number of leadership roles, including the Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Department of Defense Medical Chemical and Biological Defense Research Program. He also served as one of the first Directors of the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasure Center, Department of Homeland Security. His area of expertise is in viral and rickettsial zoonotic diseases, science manage- ment and in biodefense medical countermeasure development (vaccines, therapies and diagnostics). Interview conducted by CST & CBRNE Editor Kevin Hunter MAXIMIZING DISASTER READINESS TO MITIGATE HEALTH IMPACT Dr. George W. Korch, PhD Acting Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) CST & CBRNE: Please speak to your role as Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Dr. Korch: At its core, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response – ASPR for short – is about protecting health and saving lives in disasters. ASPR was created by Congress in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as the leader and coordinator across the federal government to help the nation prepare for, respond to, and recover from the adverse health effects of disasters and public health emergencies. We bring a spectrum of resources and expertise to bear – from federal emergency coordinators in every region who help states plan for the health consequences of disasters to unique public-private partnerships to develop medical countermeasures (drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, devices, etc.) for CBRN, pandemic flu, and emerging infectious diseases and make them available. We work on issues both domestically and internationally. Even the best prepared community can be overwhelmed by a disaster. To augment state and local capabilities during a disaster, ASPR provides medical support including our National Disaster Medical System's medical professionals, assistance with health care facility evacuation, and the NDMS network of health care facili- ties ready to accept evacuated patients. The assistant secretary PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE EMERGENCY MED COUNTERMEASURES 22 | S&BP and CST & CBRNE | Spring 2017

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