Environmental Health – Profoundly Local & Profoundly Useful | Domestic Preparedness Photo: ©iStock.com/michaelgeorgeau
Healthcare

Environmental Health – Profoundly Local & Profoundly Useful

by David Dyjack -

Nutrition, community resilience, and poverty are just a few factors that are of great importance to public health professionals, which include representatives for maternal and child health, preparedness, nutrition, epidemiology, and land use planning, among others. However, the second largest segment of the public health workforce – the environmental health (EH) profession – bridges the gaps within the public health discipline as well as between public health and other disciplinary sectors.

 
Healthcare

Combating Pandemic Threats – Global Health Security Agenda

by Gary A. Flory -

On 6-8 November 2018, global health leaders from around the globe met in Bali, Indonesia, for the 5th Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Ministerial Meeting. At the meeting, the GHSA launched a five-year plan to address health security issues called GHSA 2024 and U.S. Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan reaffirmed U.S. support for the GHSA with a pledge of $150 million. This global efforts and this commitment of resources to strengthen the capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases are clearly needed.

Healthcare

Food Safety Alert: Recurring E. Coli Outbreaks

by Lindsay Fahnestock & Gagandeep Gill -

Food is essential to life. Its production, distribution, and consumption present unique – and increasingly urgent – economic and public health challenges. Roughly 50% of the world’s assets, 50% of global employment, and 50% of consumer expenditures are related to the food system. Closer to home, the second and third largest employers in the United States are in the food industry. About one-third of Americans eat at least one meal away from home each day. Anticipation, evaluation, and control of food-related infections and contamination are essential functions provided by the governmental public health system.

Commentary

Combating Public Health & Security Concerns

by Catherine L. Feinman -

In 2014, the United States was directly exposed to the Ebola virus, which was at that time relatively unknown on domestic soil. The nation was underprepared to manage the public relations issues associated with this scenario. Since that time, roundtables have been conducted, responder trainings have been created, and information has been disseminated to better prepare responders and inform the public. However, there is a delicate balance when informing the public of potential threats: provide enough information to mitigate new exposure risks, but do not overhype the threat.

Healthcare

Ebola Outbreak in the DRC Commentary

by The Global Health Security Alliance -

On 6 November 2018, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested the current Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) might not be contained due to lack of cooperation from local communities and an unstable security situation. Assertions such as these have driven the Global Health Security Alliance, an independent network of internationals experts, to distribute a commentary about the “Ebola Outbreak in the DRC.” Driven by the shared understanding that health and security issues have increasing and interrelated global impacts, the Alliance separates facts from hyperboles in this informative document on this international public health threat.

Commentary

A 2017 Best Practice for Private Sector Communications

by Kathryn Howard & Ira Tannenbaum -

Coordination between the public and private sectors are essential for communicating effectively to the public during emergencies. It is important for government agencies to build relationships with private partners during “blue skies” to ensure that proper plans and messaging are in place in the event of an actual emergency. New York City (NYC) Emergency Management has worked extensively to build a robust network of private partners from various industries that can assist with the dissemination of critical information to the public before, during, and after emergencies. In 2017, NYC Emergency Management conducted a communication drill with private sector partners to test the potential reach of New York City’s emergency messaging.

Updates

Partner Alliance for Safer Schools Releases New Safety and Security Guidelines for K-12 Schools

The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) released the fourth edition of its Safety and Security Guidelines for K-12 Schools, which provides school administrators, school boards and public safety and security professionals with guidelines for implementing a layered and tiered approach to securing and enhancing the safety of school environments.

Friendly Electromagnetic Pulse Improves Survival for Electronics

An electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, emitted by a nuclear weapon exploded high above the United States could disable the electronic circuits of many devices vital to military defense and modern living. Military equipment designs— and some civilian designs as well — have been tested and improved by a “friendly” EMP generator installed at Sandia National Laboratories.

Four Ways to Enhance Language Access During Disaster Response and Recovery

A checklist, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in partnership with the HHS Office for Civil Rights, includes recommendations, specific action steps, and effective practices to assist emergency responders to communicate with various populations who have communication needs. The checklist also includes additional federal resources and tools for first responders.

TSA Releases Cybersecurity Roadmap

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released its Cybersecurity Roadmap, which will guide efforts to prioritize cybersecurity measures within TSA and across the transportation systems sector. The roadmap is the agency’s first, and closely aligns with the DHS Cybersecurity Strategy published earlier in 2018. It stresses the inextricable risks to critical cyber and physical transportation infrastructure, and provides a way forward to improve and protect the systems from threats.

Coast Guard, DHS S&T Venture Into Space With Polar Scout Launch

Coast Guard Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Program – in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) – launched two 6U CubeSats from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The launch is part of the Polar Scout project to evaluate the effectiveness of space-based sensors in support of Arctic search and rescue missions. Knowledge gained from this demonstration will be used to inform satellite technology recommendations for many potential applications within the Coast Guard and across DHS.