Due to the changing political scene in Washington, D.C. and the White House’s recent military engagements in the Middle East, issues of biodefense and national security are front-page news. The examination of our biodefense and national security has a new urgency, and emergency preparedness is at the heart of a community’s ability to survive both natural and man-made disasters.
Local health departments’ ability to adapt to the changing scene is the focus of the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ (NACCHO) 2017 Preparedness Summit taking place this week in Atlanta, Georgia.
“The prospect of a catastrophic event is not something most of us want to envision, but we must be prepared in the event of a disaster,” said Dr. William M. Barnes, Ph.D., MBA, acting executive director and chief program officer of NACCHO. “Our local health departments, staffed with highly trained professionals, are entrusted to keep our communities safe. The Preparedness Summit is a premier opportunity for local health departments on the frontlines to gather, and learn from our top experts and from each other on what it means to help create conditions for strong communities in the face of disaster.”
Three plenary sessions featuring renowned experts in biodefense, national health security, and technological innovation will set the tone and spearhead conversation throughout the 2017 Preparedness Summit. Other noteworthy sessions include Town Hall sessions on Zika virus disease and biosurveillance, led by senior leadership from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Plenary speakers include Former Secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security Thomas Ridge and Former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, current co-chairs for the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense.
Each year, the Preparedness Summit convenes nearly 2,000 diverse preparedness professionals representing public sector, nonprofit, academic, and industry partners, to leverage the field’s emerging capabilities, innovation, and partnerships for a healthier, more resilient nation.