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3rd Annual Forum on C-SPAN

5/28/2019 12:00:00 AM View the event on C-SPAN - Part 1 and Part 2

The 3rd Annual Pandemic Preparedness and Biosecurity Forum featured a full day of discussion among policy experts, legislators, and practitioners, about the 100th anniversary of the 1918 influenza outbreak and the health security challenges we face in the 21st century. The event began with Senator Richard Burr, who reflected on the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) and challenged attendees to reconsider the architecture of public-private partnerships to spur innovation. Admiral Brett Giroir, the Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services, outlined the Global Health Security Agenda 2024 Framework and called on attendees to incorporate primary healthcare into pandemic preparedness plans. Representative Michael Burgess discussed recent passage in the House of PAHPA reauthorization and the need for the Senate to pass their version.

Following keynote remarks, the event included three panels. The first focused on the response to the Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The panel was moderated by Dr. David Brett-Major and included: Rick Santos of IMA World Health; Steve Davis, CEO of PATH; Ambassador William Garvelink; and Professor Oyewale Tomori. Discussion concentrated on the challenges facing current response efforts, including operating in a war zone and the mistrust of government and aid workers. Professor Tomori from Nigeria commented on the dire need for academics in the region to ensure more consistent responses to pandemics, as well greater involvement within individual communities.

The second panel was moderated by Dr. Gerald Parker and included: Dr. Maurizio Barbeschi, Scientist at WHO; Dr. Daniel Salmon, Director of Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health; Irene Koek, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator of USAID; and Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of CDC Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. The conversation focused on how governmental and non-governmental organizations can institute improved systems of response. A key takeaway was the need for trusted leaders and spokespeople to address issues, such as alternative vaccine facts.

The third panel was moderated by Professor Andrew Natsios and included Jim Greenwood of BIO and Ron Klain, former White House Ebola Response Coordinator. The panel discussed U.S. government and WHO pandemic response efforts. They agreed on the importance of proactive US leadership in mitigating infectious disease outbreaks. Mr. Klain also called for the coordination and organization of global forces to respond to outbreaks. When asked about what local healthcare workers can do to contribute, he responded with “Think locally, act globally.”