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Global Health Security: Preparing a Nation for Emerging Threats

10th Annual Preparedness Summit Addresses Public Health Threats  in an Interconnected World

Jacqueline Bond

Atlanta (April 1, 2015) More than 1,800 leaders from local, state, and federal public health, health care coalitions and volunteer organizations will attend the 10th annual 2015 Preparedness Summit at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia, from April 14-17. This year's theme is "Global Health Security: Preparing a Nation for Emerging Threats." Global health security impacts all of us. Health threats that emerge from the other side of the world can quickly arrive on the doorstep of local health departments, health care providers, schools, and communities.

The Summit will open with keynote speaker Mike Walker, Senior Consultant at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security. Mr. Walker will discuss existing threats and give insight on how to tackle today's challenges based on his more than 30 years of experience with the Army, White House, U.S. Department of Defense, and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Throughout the Summit, attendees will also hear from current and former senior Administration officials, academics, and industry experts in the fields of public health safety and security. Nearly 250 learning sessions, hands-on workshops, and interactive demonstrations will be held at the Summit.Prominent sessions will focus on the health effects of climate change and extreme weather, protecting against Ebola and other infectious diseases, innovative ways to teach preparedness, the use of technology and social media in emergency response, the value of strategic partnerships, and managing public health threats among budget cuts.

Highlighted sessions include:

  • Climate Change and Human Health: Taking Action to Build Resilience (Wednesday, April 15) —a policy town hall with speakers from the Obama Administration who will engage Summit attendees to learn about the causes and impacts of climate change and how they relate to health.Speakers include:

- Joe Scheraga, PhD, Senior Advisor for Climate Adaptation, Office of Policy in the Office of Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

- George Luber, PhD, Associate Director for Climate Change, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

- John Balbus, MD, MPH, Senior Advisor for Public Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • Think Globally, Plan, Respond, and Recover Locally: The U.S. Global Health Security Agenda (Thursday, April 16)—a panel discussion moderated by new NACCHO Executive Director LaMar Hasbrouck, MD, MPH that explores the roles various health agencies play amid new global threats and events, such as MERS Co-V, unaccompanied minors, and Ebola.
  • Fred the Preparedness Dog: Using an Animal to Engage Children in Family and Pet Preparedness Education (Thursday, April 16)—a learning session with Michael McNulty, Director of Homeland Security Operations at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, who works with Fred, a service dog that educates children about family and pet preparedness in Kansas and around the world.Attendees will also get to meet Fred.
  • When Health Threats Hit Home: A Case Study on the State and Local Response to Ebola (Friday, April 17)—a closing plenary of panelists who will discuss their first-hand experiences responding to and preparing for the deadly disease, including Lewis Rubinson, MD, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor of Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. Dr. Rubinson was exposed to Ebola while treating patients in Sierra Leone and participated in an experimental treatment administered at the National Institutes of Health to help advance understanding of the virus.

Media may register onsite to attend the conference for a day or select sessions. For a full agenda, please visit here. For more information, or to arrange an on-site interview with any of the above speakers in advance, please contact Jacqueline Bond at jbond@burness.com.

Media are also encouraged to follow sessions as they happen via Twitter @PREPSummit and use the hashtag #Prep15.


Summit Partners
American Red Cross, Association of Public Health Laboratories, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the Medical Reserve Corps

About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.