The National Biodefense Science Board will now be recognized as the National Preparedness and Response Science Board, in order to more accurately reflect the board’s work, expertise, and contributions to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and to the nation’s health resilience.
The board provides advice and guidance to the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and to the HHS Secretary on preventing, preparing for, responding to, and recovering from adverse health effects of emergencies.
The board was created under the authority of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, signed into law in late 2006. Since that time, the board has provided recommendations on federal disaster preparedness and response issues. In the past year, these issues have included anticipated responsibilities of the Strategic National Stockpile in the year 2020 and cost-effective ways to meet those responsibilities. The stockpile maintains large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect the public in a public health emergency, such as a terrorist attack, flu outbreak, or earthquake, severe enough to cause local supplies to run out.
The Board has 13 voting members with a broad range of expertise in science, medicine, and public health. Additionally, there are non-voting ex officio members, as deemed appropriate by the Secretary. New members were sworn in on April 29.