August 8, 2017

Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness

Predicting Community Resilience and Recovery After a Disaster.
 With support from CDC, the Johns Hopkins Centers for Health Security & Public Health Preparedness and the University of Delaware Disaster Research Center developed the COPEWELL ("Composite of Post-Event Well-Being) model, which has been used to predict post-disaster resilience in all 3,100+ counties in the United States
(CDC, 8/7/17)


TB Innovations and Health Systems Strengthening.
The United States Agency for International Development, through a competitive process, plans to invest in a five-year cooperative agreement entitled, "TB Innovations and Health Systems Strengthening" that aims to strengthen national and regional level implementation of the National TB Strategic Plan by providing state-of-the-art capacity building and technical expertise to scale-up TB and DR-TB prevention, detection and treatment.  (, 8/7/17)
Dr. Jerome Adams Confirmed as the US Surgeon General.
Dr. Jerome Adams was confirmed as the US surgeon general last week, pledging to take on the country's opioid epidemic. Adams, who was nominated for the role by President Donald Trump, is the 20th surgeon general to hold the position.  (The Philadelphia Tribune, 8/5/17)
CDC Invests More than $200 Million to Help States Respond to Infectious Disease Threats.
The CDC funds include $77 million to help state health departments fight local antibiotic resistance threats. CDC is investing in every state to combat antibiotic-resistant foodborne infections and infections in healthcare facilities and communities.  (CDC, 8/4/17)
Stopping Epidemics At The Source: Applying Lessons From Cholera To The Opioid Crisis.
Military leaders and the Pain Management Task Force (PMTF) understood that the opioid problem is a symptom of a much larger problem - how American physicians inside and outside the federal government manage pain. Through the PMTF process, federal medicine learned that while opioids have a role in acute pain management, our recovering warriors wanted other options to help them deal with the long-term effects of chronic pain.  (Health Affairs, 8/4/17)
NIH Scientists Track Zika Virus Transmission in Mice.
National Institutes of Health scientists have developed a mouse model to study Zika virus transmitted sexually from males to females, as well as vertically from a pregnant female to her fetus. They are using the model to study how and when the virus is spread, including how the virus crosses the placenta, as well as to investigate potential treatments to block virus transmission.  (NIH, 8/3/17)

In High Demand: How Health Centers Can Build Surge Capacity, Support People with Access and Functional Needs, and Advance National Health Security.
Community health centers represent a unique focus for surge capacity because they sit on the front lines of health in the communities they serve. As a usual place of care, health centers represent sites where patients may be in the first stages of a disaster.  (ASPR, 8/2/17)

A Democratic Bill to Import Drugs from Canada Would Save US More than $6 Billion.
The initial findings may further debate over whether importing medicines from Canada and certain other countries can be safely done. The pharmaceutical industry and former Food and Drug Administration commissioners, among others, argue this would expose Americans to counterfeits. (STAT News, 8/1/17)


See also: Preliminary Estimate - S.469, the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act (Congressional Budget Office, 7/31/17)


A Close Look at President Trump's New CDC Advisor.
Critics question Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald's past actions as Georgia's top health official. They also worry about industry's influence on health policies.  (Healthline, 8/1/17)

Trained Army Physician Takes Command of USAMRIID on Fort Detrick.
Outgoing Col. Thomas S. Bundt handed control of the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) over to Col. Gary A. Wheeler, a trained Army physician who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007. (Frederick News-Post, 8/1/17)


60-Day Anthrax Medical Countermeasures.
The session will feature panelists from CDC's Division of State and Local Readiness and Division of Strategic National Stockpile who will discuss the recently released resource titled, "Receiving 60-day Anthrax Medical Countermeasures from CDC's Strategic National Stockpile: Planning Considerations for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Partners," now available on On-TRAC. The webinar will take place on August 9, 2017 1-2 PM EST.  (NACCHO, 8/17)
Health & Public Health Cyberdependencies.
The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (OCIA), with the support of the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, invites you to participate in a webinar discussion about its recent analysis of healthcare and public health cyberdependencies. The webinar will take place on August 15, 2017, 1-2 PM EST.  (Department of Homeland Security, 8/17)
Role of Advertising and Promotion in Adult Immunization Disparities.
The Food and Drug Administration's Office of Minority Health (OMH) will be hosting a free one-hour webinar in August in honor of Immunization Awareness Month. The webinar will take place on August 23, 2017, 11 AM - 12 PM EST.  (FDA, 8/17)
USDA Begins 2017 Oral Rabies Vaccine Efforts in Eastern United States.
The US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Wildlife Services program will begin its yearly distribution of oral rabies vaccine baits in select areas in the eastern United States to prevent the spread of raccoon rabies into America's heartland.  (USDA, 7/31/17)
Government-Run Health Care: Democrats' New Litmus Test.
Rep. John Conyers, D-MI, plays the long game. For the past two decades, Conyers' moonshot idea has been transforming America's healthcare system into a more European-style single-payer one, in which everyone gets coverage under the federal government's Medicare program. He's introduced the bill in every new Congress, and watched it go nowhere each time.  (NBC News, 7/30/17)
Antimicrobial Susceptibility and Resistance: Addressing Challenges of Diagnostic Devices, September 13, 2017.
The purpose of the workshop is to promote discussion of the scientific and regulatory challenges associated with the efficient development of traditional devices for antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) and molecular or novel diagnostic technologies for the detection of antimicrobial resistance markers. Specifically, this workshop will address the new regulatory solutions to some of these challenges created by the 21st Century Cures Act.  (FDA, 7/21/17)

Homeland Security & Disaster Preparedness
Government Report Finds Drastic Impact of Climate Change on US.
The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. One government scientist who worked on the report, and who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he and others were concerned that it would be suppressed.  (New York Times, 8/7/17)

Can This National Security Council Handle a Real Crisis?
The people in the Situation Room inevitably neglect basics that will keep them, and the rest of us, alive. In this White House, the risks are especially high.  (The Atlantic, 8/4/17)
Senate Advances Legislation to Extend Grants for First Responders.
The bill, co-sponsored by John McCain (R-AZ), Jon Tester (D-MT), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tom Carper (D-DE), would extend the Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs through Fiscal Year 2023.  (Homeland Preparedness News, 8/4/17)
For Veterans Mustard-Gassed in Secret Tests, Help Now Sits on President's Desk.
Decades after the US government exposed service members to chemical weapons in secret experiments, lawmakers have advanced a measure intended to make it easier for those World War II veterans to obtain compensation. The bill, known as the Arla Harrell Act, advanced to President Trump's desk after Senate approval Wednesday.  (NPR, 8/3/17)
One Year Later: $5 Billion Assists Louisiana Flood Recovery.
One year ago torrential rains devastated Louisiana communities and tens of thousands of homes and businesses. A presidential disaster declaration made federal help available to individuals and businesses in 22 parishes and local and state government agencies and certain private nonprofits in 26 parishes.  (FEMA, 8/3/17)
NIST Funds 12 Projects to Make Communities More Resilient to Disasters.
The grants support NIST's efforts to strengthen the ability of communities to prepare for anticipated hazards, adapt to changing conditions, and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions.  (NIST, 8/2/17)
Our Climate is Our Security.
the United States military already regards environmental factors as a national security threat. Two years ago, in response to questions from Congress, the Pentagon issued a report identifying the specific environment-related threats facing each geographic combatant command.  (US News & World Report, 8/1/17)
Is DOD Ready to Support a Response to a Cyber Attack?
In the event of a major cyber attack against critical infrastructure, the Department of Defense may be called upon to support civil authorities with their response. Are they prepared to answer the call?  (GAO, 8/1/17)

Radiological & Nuclear Disaster Preparedness
New Frontiers and Extreme Environments: BARDA and NASA Join Forces to Better Protect the American Public and Astronauts from Radiation Injury.
Through the memorandum of understanding the two groups signed last week, BARDA will share information gathered when developing medical countermeasures for radiation. NASA will share research on low-dose radiation that could have implications for diagnosing and treating radiation after a radiological or nuclear emergency.  (ASPR, 8/2/17)

Science & Technology Policy
Obama's Science Experts Operate Unofficial Shadow Network.
Participants have provided counsel to Democratic lawmakers and their staffs on Capitol Hill, and they have held group-wide strategy sessions much in the same fashion as they did when they worked out of a fourth-floor wing in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent the White House.  (Scientific American, 8/7/17)
Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of Genomics Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program.
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant (R21) applications that propose to study the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of human genome research. These applications should propose single or mixed methods studies that break new ground, extend previous discoveries in new directions or develop preliminary data in preparation for larger studies.  (, 8/1/17)
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