Public health encompasses pandemics and bioterrorism incidents as much as injury and illness threats following other types of disasters. The burden of biological threats is often less visible, but can affect economic stability and national security just as much as (if not more than) other types of disasters. Efforts to mitigate and prepare for infectious diseases – both natural and malicious – have been subdued compared to other preparedness efforts.

Patrick Rose discusses the nation’s level of preparedness for biothreats with three other subject matter experts. Listen to comments by subject matter experts on the challenges, roles, and responsibilities of state, local, and federal agencies when dealing with a public health disaster.

Read: Broadening the Public Health Security Agenda, by Patrick Rose

Read: Biothreat Preparedness – Less Talking, More Doing, by Catherine Feinman

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Patrick P. Rose

Patrick P. Rose, director for pandemic and catastrophic preparedness at the National Association of County and City Health Officials, holds a Ph.D. in infectious diseases and is a subject matter expert on national security issues related to public health security. He works with federal and local stakeholders to address requirements and gaps that produce vulnerabilities in public health security. In addition, he supports efforts domestically and internationally in the field and at the policy level to reduce the proliferation of biological weapons and to increase public health security awareness. These efforts include promoting greater engagement in the Global Health Security Agenda. He is an alumnus of the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative and serves as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Maryland Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.

Ellen Carlin

Ellen Carlin, DVM, is a veterinarian whose professional expertise centers on the fusion of diverse but related interests in the life sciences, medicine, and homeland security. As principal of Carlin Communications, she provides government relations and scientific writing and editing capabilities. In 2013, she completed a fellowship with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine. Before that, she was a senior professional staff member with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security. She also has worked or volunteered as a small-animal clinical veterinarian for organizations including the Washington Animal Rescue League and the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and continues to volunteer time toward animal welfare initiatives.

Eric Toner

Eric Toner, M.D., is a senior associate with the UPMC Center for Health Security. He is an internist and emergency physician, with primary areas of interest in healthcare preparedness for catastrophic events, pandemic influenza response, and medical response to bioterrorism. He also serves as managing editor of the Clinicians’ Biosecurity News and associate editor of the peer-reviewed journal Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. Before joining the UPMC, he was medical director of disaster preparedness at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland, where he practiced emergency medicine for 23 years. In 2003, he spearheaded the creation of a coalition of disaster preparedness personnel from the five Baltimore County hospitals, the Health Department, and the Office of Emergency Management.

Thomas K. Zink

Thomas K. Zink, M.D., is an adjunct associate professor of community health in the Institute for Biosecurity at Saint Louis University and a healthcare/biodefense consultant. He graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine – and is now an accomplished quality improvement professional, a successful health policy strategist, and an experienced vaccinologist with special expertise in viral hepatitis, pertussis, anthrax, and botulinum toxin. A retired emergency physician, he also is the Founding Director of Project Equal Immunization Policies & Practices (EQUIPP), an organization that has been a catalyst in the formulation of CDC recommendations to support the pre-event anthrax vaccination of U.S. civilian emergency responders.

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