Town Hall Sessions

Town Hall Sessions
Wednesday, March 13
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Meeting the National Challenge: Measuring Progress in Building Resilient Communities

Room: A706/707, Atrium Level

The call to build community resilience (or the sustained ability of a community to withstand and recover from disasters) as a cornerstone of emergency preparedness, evidenced in policy documents across the U.S. federal government (e.g., National Health Security Strategy, National Disaster Recovery Framework, Presidential Policy Directive-8), has presented new opportunities and challenges for not only the public health system but the broader network of community systems that must be integrated to achieve this goal. Yet, unlike other areas of preparedness, community resilience spans many content areas (e.g. individual and organizational preparedness, workforce development, asset mapping), which can render measuring progress towards the goal difficult to bound or specify. Several efforts are underway to categorize elements of community resilience, operationalize strategies that will build resilience, and actually attempt to assess resilience to disasters locally. In this presentation, panelists will discuss these efforts with attention to measurement challenges (e.g., data availability, conceptual issues in measuring pre-disaster vulnerabilities vs. disaster response, feasibility). In addition, panelists will describe how measurement of community resilience can leverage information currently collected for non-preparedness reasons as well as pose potential new requirements for data collection and analysis. Finally, the presentations will place community resilience measurement in the context of current policy and guidance, and begin to explore priority metrics based on new preparedness capabilities.


Alonzo Plough
Director, Emergency Preparedness and Response Program
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health

Monica Schoch-Spana
Senior Associate
UPMC Center for Biosecurity

Eric Carbone
Chief, Applied Science and Evaluation Branch (ASEB)
Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Anita Chandra

Senior Policy Researcher
Director, Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department
RAND Corporation

United We Stand, Divided We Fall: Developing and Implementing National Guidance and Policy

*Please note: This session has been cancelled.

 Room: A601/602, Atrium Level

This session will describe the threat arena for biological events, highlight the joint efforts for the development of national policy and guidance and the challenges to strike a balance of science and practical policy for the end user.  The presentation will address an overview of the Anthrax policies, biosurveillance strategies and initiatives, engagement with state and local stakeholders and other successful collaborative activities where DHS OHA and HHS ASPR have intersected over the past year.


Matthew Hepburn, MD
Director, Medical Preparedness
White House National Security Staff

Sally Phillips, RN, PhD
Deputy Assistant Secretary
US Department of Homeland Security Office of Health Affairs

Edward Gabriel, MPA, EMT-P, CEM, CBCP
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Preparedness and Response
US Department of Health and Human Services

Partners in Preparedness – Federal Roles and Plans for Medical Countermeasure Development and Use in Public Health Emergencies

Room: A703/704, Atrium Level

The American people face a host of national health security threats from chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents and emerging infectious diseases. Under the leadership of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasure Enterprise is the coordinating body for federal agencies working to protect the civilian population from these threats through the use of medical countermeasures — medicines, devices, or other medical interventions — to lessen their health impacts.


Joanna Prasher, PhD
PHEMCE Branch Chief
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of the Assistant Secretary Preparedness and Response

Dan Sosin, MD, MPH, FACP
Deputy Director and Chief Medical Officer
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response

Brooke Courtney, JD, MPH
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats
Office of the Commissioner

David Marcozzi, MD
Director of the National Healthcare Preparedness Programs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations