october 2020

Updates

U.S. Department of Education Announces Rescission of and Replacement for the 2016 Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting

Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the rescission of and replacement for the 2016 Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting (Handbook). The Department determined that “much of the guidance provided was outside of the scope of the relevant statutory and regulatory authority.” The announcement also provided an overview of a new Clery-related Appendix of the Federal Student Aid Handbook.

Updates

FDA Approves First Treatment for Ebola Virus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Inmazeb (atoltivimab, maftivimab, and odesivimab-ebgn), a mixture of three monoclonal antibodies, as the first FDA-approved treatment for Zaire ebolavirus (Ebola virus) infection in adult and pediatric patients.

Commentary

Protection at Home & on the Streets

by Catherine L. Feinman -

In 2020, health and safety crises in local communities have often proven to have national or international consequences. The world has seen how a virus in one community can quickly spread globally, or a shooting in another community can inspire civil rights movements in numerous countries. Worst-case scenario training did not fully prepare local, state, or federal stakeholders for COVID-19. Social justice reforms of the past did not close the racial, gender, and other societal gaps. However, even this pandemic is not the worst-case scenario the world could possibly face, and current calls for social justice are not the last to be heard.

Podcast

COVID-19 Testing – What It Is & Why It is Important

In the age of COVID-19, community leaders and the public they serve are bombarded with news related to testing. However, many do not understand the value the results can provide, to whom they should be given, and the actions that are allowed and should be taken. These questions need to be asked and small steps need to be taken to better comprehend what can and should be done to protect communities from a not fully understood biological threat.

The current pandemic has led many companies to transform their operations in order to fill production and manufacturing gaps that this public health crisis has exposed. Testing is a key avenue for identifying the cause of symptoms, discovering the existence of public health threats that have yet to emerge, and tracking previous and possible future exposures. For these reasons, testing practices for infectious diseases go beyond treating someone to changing their behavior – for example, quarantining them and others around them, or opening/closing schools and businesses.

Testing can be cheap, fast, or accurate. The caveat is today one can only get two of those three attributes. Decision makers currently must decide what two criteria meets the requirement. If the choice is fast and accurate, a test will most assuredly be more costly. To address the need for meaningful information and actionable results, there are three types of tests:

  • Molecular tests (commonly referred to as PCR tests) are the standard nasal or throat swab tests that most people are getting. This type of test is less costly and very accurate. However, they are not fast because they must be sent to a laboratory, which can take days to more than a week. The PCR tests that can provide results in 15-90 minutes are much faster and accurate, but they cost a lot more because they use an automated system. An exception to this would be portable PCR systems used by the Department of Defense. Those platforms provide quick turnaround (under 60 minutes), are PCR accurate, yet each test is more costly.
  • Antigen tests are fast and less expensive than molecular tests, but they are not as accurate. Although easy to use, antigen tests are not as sensitive and tend to have higher rates of false negatives. As such, when a negative result is recorded, a PCR follow up test may be warranted.
  • Antibody tests determine past exposures. Knowing who has been infected is an epidemiological tool that helps decision makers determine the path of the disease and anticipate and prevent possible future outbreaks.

With the FDA granting emergency use authorization during COVID-19 to 275 different tests, community leaders are faced with many questions. Determining which test or combination of tests is best suited for a particular company or community is a first step. Deciding how to administer the tests and what equipment to use is the next step. When considering type of testing and testing equipment, start by talking to internal or local laboratory scientists to help evaluate objectives and the organization or community’s current ability to acquire tests and equipment. With burdens on supply chains, some of these options may be even more limited.

Listen to this podcast with Matt Scullion, vice president of sales and marketing for BioFire Defense LLC, to take the first step toward understanding testing – what it is and how it works.

Resilience

The New Age of Police Reform – Part 2

by Joseph W. Trindal & Lynn Holland -

During the years leading up to 2020, the policing profession has faced many challenges attracting talent and retaining experience, particularly among sworn officers. A robust national economy, as evidenced by exceptionally low unemployment, had been one contributing factor to diminished applicant interest in the police profession. In 2017 and 2019, both the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) characterized police recruiting and staffing as in “crisis.”

Healthcare

COVID-19 Testing – What It Is & Why It is Important

by Matt Scullion -

In the age of COVID-19, community leaders and the public they serve are bombarded with news related to testing. However, many do not understand the value the results can provide, to whom they should be given, and the actions that are allowed and should be taken. These questions need to be asked and small steps need to be taken to better comprehend what can and should be done to protect communities from a not fully understood biological threat.

Resilience

The New Age of Police Reform – Part 1

by Joseph W. Trindal -

As if the first two decades of the 21st century were not dynamic enough, the first year of the third decade has impacted every person on multiple levels. While the viral pandemic continues to affect every profession, health care professionals around the world are dramatically reassessing their service delivery models. The pandemic indiscriminately sweeps across geopolitical borders, similarly the strong call for social justice reforms is traversing the globe demanding action and change. For example, within hours of the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, demonstrations insisting on social justice reform emerged in cities worldwide. The energy behind these demonstrations and even violent protests continue to fuel police reform measures beyond the U.S. In a series of four articles, the DomPrep Journal will examine the foremost initiatives of modern police reform in America.

Updates

DomPrep Congratulates Michael Breslin Named to Secret Service Cyber Investigations Advisory Board

Michael Breslin, strategic client relations director for federal law enforcement at LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Advisor to Preparedness Leadership Council has been selected to serve on the newly established cyber investigations advisory board of the U.S. Secret Service.

Updates

FLIR Wins $26M Contract Mod for U.S. Army’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle Program

FLIR Systems Inc. announced it has been awarded a $26 million contract modification in support of the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle Sensor Suite Upgrade (NBCRV SSU) program for the U.S. Army. FLIR is the lead integrator in modernizing the Army’s NBCRV system with improved and autonomous chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) sensors.

Updates

HHS Funds Development of Needle-Free Vaccine Administration Technology

Under an agreement between the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and Vaxxas, the company will undertake Phase 1 clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an easy-to-use, high-density micro-array patch (HD-MAP) and other development activities for the patch. Micro-array patch technology has the potential to reduce the amount of vaccine required, which would help healthcare professionals provide vaccine to more people, an important consideration in a public health emergency.

Reports

National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, 2020-2025

The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB), 2020-2025, presents coordinated, strategic actions that the United States Government will take in the next five years to improve the health and wellbeing of all Americans by changing the course of antibiotic resistance. This plan continues to prioritize infection prevention and control to slow the spread of resistant infections and reduce the need for antibiotic use.

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Resilience

Hope to Action: Medical Equipment for Children Post-Disaster

by Team MobileKids -

Effective disaster response and recovery involves the whole community. In the United States, there is a wide variation as to how families acquire durable medical equipment (DME) for their children with disabilities post disaster. DME is essential for those children to maintain their usual level of independence as well as their health and well-being. The absence of established process that enables children with disabilities to access DME is a significant gap in preparedness plans.

Podcast

Law Enforcement's Perfect Storm 2020

Law enforcement is having a perfect storm with challenges in hiring, challenges in retention, and challenges with early retirement.  This podcast is a follow up to a discussion that began in January 2017 with Joseph Trindal. Joe leads a team of retired federal, state, and local criminal justice officials providing consulting and training services to public and private sector organizations enhancing leadership, risk management, preparedness, and police services.

This podcast is the prelude to a four-part article series on “The New Age of Police Reform.” Learn how law enforcement is seeking to find new ways to overcome modern challenges in an ever-evolving socioeconomic environment.

Resilience

Law Enforcement's Perfect Storm 2020

by Joseph Trindal -

Law enforcement is having a perfect storm with challenges in hiring, challenges in retention, and challenges with early retirement. This podcast is a follow up to a discussion that began in January 2017 with Joseph Trindal. Joe leads a team of retired federal, state, and local criminal justice officials providing consulting and training services to public and private sector organizations enhancing leadership, risk management, preparedness, and police services.

Updates

DHS Recognizes DOI Lab to Perform Rigorous P25 CAP Testing

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP) has recognized a Department of the Interior (DOI) laboratory to perform independent third-party assessments of first responder equipment, enabling them to expand interoperable communications capabilities and coverage. Through this open-standards testing process, P25 CAP provides responders with confidence that the communications equipment they use will be interoperable, regardless of the manufacturer.

Updates

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, 4 U.S. Senators, and 3 Former Federal Government Public Health Officials Launch the Capitol Hill Steering Committee on Pandemic Preparedness & Health Security

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, alongside 4 bipartisan U.S. senators and 3 former federal government public health officials, have launched a new educational initiative: The Capitol Hill Steering Committee on Pandemic Preparedness & Health Security. The Committee is a nonpartisan “off-the-Hill” group that convenes educational policy briefings and technology demonstrations for Capitol Hill offices, federal agencies, and the invited public focused on strengthening U.S. health security.

Reports

Department of Homeland Security 2020 Homeland Threat Assessment

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 2020 Homeland Threat Assessment is a first-of-its-kind report synthesizing threat assessments across DHS including intelligence and operational components. This report is a whole-of-department effort with input from operational components throughout the DHS, such as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Coast Guard, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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Updates

HHS Selects Third Pilot Site to Demonstrate Better Approach to Disaster Medical Care

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) awarded Denver Health and Hospital Authority a $3 million cooperative agreement to demonstrate how a Regional Disaster Health Response System (RDHRS) can improve medical surge and clinical specialty capabilities – including trauma, burn or other specialty care – during a national emergency and save more lives.

Podcast

Bringing Calm to Chaos: HICS & the Coronavirus Pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact society, hospitals and healthcare systems are facing a myriad of challenges. Effective leadership is needed to ensure continued health care operations, access to critical medications and personal protective equipment, and overall viability of the health care system. The hospital incident command system (HICS) was designed decades ago to provide a decision-making framework to manage incidents and disasters. Now, more than ever, health care systems are relying on HICS to help meet the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

In this episode, Domestic Preparedness Advisor Andrew Roszak explores how Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas is using HICS to help keep their more than 16,000 employees informed, protected and safe during this public health crisis. Roszak is joined by: Dr. Brent Kaziny, who is director of all hazards preparedness and response for the Section of Emergency Medicine and serves as the medical director of emergency management and co-chair of the Emergency Management Committee; and by James Mitchell, who is the director of organizational resilience.

Video of this podcast can be found at https://youtu.be/DmartiNQvZo

Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Tower for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, the first hospital devoted to children’s care for communities north of Houston. The organization also created Texas Children’s Health Plan, the nation’s first Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) for children; has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country, Texas Children’s Pediatrics; Texas Children’s Urgent Care clinics that specialize in after-hours care tailored specifically for children; and a global health program that is channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine.

Commentary

Bringing Calm to Chaos: HICS & the Coronavirus Pandemic

by Andrew Roszak -

The hospital incident command system (HICS) was designed decades ago to provide a decision-making framework to manage incidents and disasters. Now, more than ever, health care systems are relying on HICS to help meet the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. This interview with Dr. Brent Kaziny and James Mitchell explores how Texas Children’s Hospital uses HICS to help keep their more than 16,000 employees informed, protected, and safe during this public health crisis.

Updates

USAID Announces New $100 Million Project to Anticipate Threats Posed by Emerging Infectious Diseases

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a five-year, $100 million project called Strategies to Prevent Spillover (STOP Spillover). Tufts University will implement STOP Spillover with a consortium of wildlife and human-disease experts to anticipate and address threats posed by the emerging zoonotic diseases that pose the greatest risk of jumping from animals to humans.

Reports

Emergency Services Ergonomics and Wellness

This handbook provides corrective measures that will help to increase the safety of emergency responders, reduce the costs of worker's compensation claims, maximize the longevity of emergency service careers, and assist with sending personnel into healthy retirements.

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Healthcare

Hospital Resilience-Operational Perspectives From COVID-19

The concept of hospital resilience has changed in light of COVID-19. Despite planning and training for unexpected worst cast scenarios, one key assumption was not consistent with this pandemic response – that not everyone would be affected. This webcast discusses the gaps, challenges, and opportunities related to this ongoing response as observed by four experts in this field: Connor Scott, Craig DeAtley, Dr. James Terbush, and Dr. Craig Vanderwagen.

Updates

FEMA Publishes Annual Preparedness Survey: Trends Show Americans Becoming Better Prepared

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published its disaster preparedness survey, and the trends show Americans are becoming better prepared. The annual survey assesses how the culture of disaster preparedness and resilience has changed since 2007, and the 2020 survey results suggest that the public is experiencing a wave of culture change in disaster preparedness.