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Public Health Concerns In

Disaster Preparedness

National Capital Area Chapter

Society of Toxicology

Spring Symposium

May 22, 2006

Lister Hill Auditorium

National Library of Medicine

Bethesda, MD

8:30 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM Welcome/Opening Remarks

                                    Harry Milman, Ph.D.

                                    President, NCAC-SOT

                                    Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.

                                    Vice- President, NCAC-SOT and Program Chair

9:15 AM                     Meeting the Challenges in Public Health Emergencies

                                    David Rutstein, MD

                                    HHS Chief Medical Officer

Department of Health and Human Services

9:55 AM                     Clean up:  Occupational and Public Health Risks

                                    Bruce Bernard, Ph.D.

                                    Chief, Medical Section,

Hazard Evaluation & Technical Assistance Branch

NIOSH

10:35 AM                   Ethical Issues in Human Subject Research Related to Disasters

Bern Schwetz, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Director

Office of Human Subject Research Protection

Department of Health and Human Services

11:05 AM                   Panel Discussion

11:30 AM                   Poster Presentations

                                    Lunch (on your own)

1:30 PM                    Poster Awards

1:45  PM                   Lessons Learned from Previous Disasters

                                    Tom Sinks,  MD

                                    Deputy Director,  National Center for Environmental Health

                                    Centers for Disease Control

2:25  PM                   Food Defense

Dave Acheson, MD

Director, Office of Food Safety, Defense, and Outreach

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

Food and Drug Administration

3:05 PM                    Pandemic Influenza- Planning and preparation

                                    Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH

                                    Assistant Commissioner, Counterterrorism

                                    Office of the Commissioner

Food and Drug Administration

3:45 PM                    Panel Discussion

SPEAKER ABSTRACTS

Meeting the Challenges in Public Health Emergencies

David Rutstein, MD

HHS Chief Medical Officer

Department of Health and Human Services

Public health emergencies occur in the context of larger disasters and catastrophic events. The Federal government has established policies for responding to these emergencies articulated in the National Response Plan (NRP) and an annex, Emergency Support Function # 8 (ESF-8). However, neither the NRP nor ESF-8 has proven to be adequate for catastrophic events. A careful and dispassionate review of recent national experiences with public health emergencies, both domestically and abroad, provides us with ample insight into possible policy revisions in the manner in which: Federal agencies are organized and responses are led; the allocation of appropriate resources at all levels of government is made; the preparedness of the Nation is fostered, and; the collection, distribution and communication of public health information and medical data is facilitated. Current efforts to modify Federal policies in these areas, and commitments to translate them into operational capabilities, offer the hope reducing the National vulnerability to all manner of catastrophic events and improving the collective ability to respond to public health emergencies.

Clean up:  Occupational Health Risks in Disaster Situations:

Hurricane Katrina and Lessons Learned

Bruce Bernard, MD, MPH

Chief, Medical Section,

Hazard Evaluation & Technical Assistance Branch

NIOSH

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is responsible for coordinating CDC’s occupational safety and health activities associated with emergency preparedness and response. This presentation will cover NIOSH activities following Hurricane Katrina, and cover assessment of occupational health and exposure risks of concern, including flood waters and sediment, debris, mold, work stress, infectious disease, risks of handling human and animal remains, etc. Overall results of the evaluation of illness, injury, and stress in New Orleans Police Department and New Orleans Firefighters will be presented. NIOSH field responders provided guidance on controlling exposures to protect workers, including engineering controls, administrative controls, and use of appropriate personal protective equipment. 

Ethical Issues In Human Subject Research Related To Disasters

BA Schwetz, DVM, Ph.D.

Office for Human Research Protections

Department of Health and Human Services

Research conducted on human subjects in the wake of a disaster can raise numerous regulatory and ethical issues.  Regulatory jurisdiction depends on funding sources, location of the study, and other considerations.  Ethical issues may include failure to obtain protocol approval from an Institutional Review Board, failure to properly obtain informed consent from subjects, and use of coercive techniques to recruit subjects or taking advantage of people in a vulnerable state.  Unethical research could jeopardize the conduct of research in future disaster situations that would be very important for the health of the public.

Lessons Learned from Previous Disasters

Tom Sinks, MD

Deputy Director,  National Center for Environmental Health

Centers for Disease Control

Abstract not available.

Food Defense

Dave Acheson, MD

Director, Office of Food Safety, Defense, and Outreach

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

Food and Drug Administration

Food safety and food security are both integrated and high priority goals for the Food and Drug Administration.  Since 9/11 the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition has devoted significant resources to food defense.  The development of a food defense strategy has involved a variety of approaches one of the most important of which was to determine vulnerabilities using an operational risk management approach. By examining a variety of agents, food commodities and various scenarios between the farm and the table it was possible to determine the “higher” risk combinations and thus focus resources based on a determination of risk. This approach has driven a number of activities including the development of guidance documents, research activities and emergency response planning. This preventative strategy has been augmented by new research for the development of rapid and sensitive methods, as well as the development of a clear emergency response plan should a deliberate food contamination event occur. Current activities are further focused on CARVER assessments of the higher risk foods and close interaction with stakeholders to further ensure preparedness. The 2002 Bioterrorism Act has further extended the protection of the U.S. food supply through the development of a number of rules.  Overall, while there has been a significant increase in focus on food defense this has been integrated as far as possible into food safety activities which remain an ongoing and high priority for FDA.

Pandemic Influenza- Planning and preparation

Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH

Assistant Commissioner, Counterterrorism

Office of the Commissioner

Food and Drug Administration

This presentation will provide a overview of the current state of affairs in pandemic influenza planning with an emphasis on activities at the FDA.  These activities include issues surrounding antiviral therapies, vaccines, diagnostics and personal protective equipment, emergency preparedness, food and feed safety, and enforcement.

 

 

 

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