october 2014

Preparedness

Online: Introduction to Continuity of Operations Planning for Pandemic Influenzas

The Department of Homeland Security is offering "Introduction to Continuity of Operations Planning for Pandemic Influenzas" as a free on-line training course. This course introduces students to the characteristics of a pandemic influenza, the effects that a pandemic influenza can have on every facet of our society, and the steps their organizations can take to minimize the pandemics effect.

Updates

First Responders Identify Gaps, See Results, and Begin Process for Solutions

First responders from around the nation gathered in Washington, D.C., for an event, hosted by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate's First Responders Group (FRG), focused on capability gaps and showcased technologies developed based on previous FRG events.

Updates

DQE Helps Healthcare Staff and Emergency Responders Prepare for Ebola Scenarios

Since 30 September 2014, when the first laboratory-confirmed case of Ebola was diagnosed in the United States, healthcare and emergency responders have rushed to provide the proper protection to their staff. DQE has been there every step of the way to ensure that customers have the protection they need for infection control.

Updates

CDC and Johns Hopkins Collaborate to Develop Ebola Training Module for Nurses, Physicians & Healthcare Workers

Johns Hopkins Medicine has collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to design an interactive Web-based learning program that guides healthcare workers, nurses, and physicians through government-approved protocols to aid clinicians as they provide care to patients who may be at risk of contracting the Ebola virus.

Reports

Update on the Adoption of Health Information Technology and Related Efforts to Facilitate the Electronic Use and Exchange of Health Information

Information is the lifeblood of medicine, and improving the availability and uses of health information is foundational for enhancing the modern health care system's efficiency and effectiveness. This report discusses the progress made on the adoption of health IT and the exchange and interoperability of health information.

View Full Report
Preparedness

The Professional Emergency Manager

by Daryl Lee Spiewak -

A professional emergency manager is defined based on a combination of education, training, experience, and other attributes, such as: a common body of knowledge; specialized skills and abilities; adherence to standards, ethics, and a code of conduct; and determination of compliance procedures. However, the true attributes of a professional emergency manager are developed over time.

Commentary

Part V - The 'Big Picture': Integration of Strategies & Plans

by Catherine Feinman -

Part 5 of 5: By implementing a national command structure, creating ongoing relationships, sharing resources, and participating in joint exercises and trainings, Baltimore City is able to better coordinate preparedness efforts with multiple disciplines and jurisdictions to protect communities and critical infrastructure. A small staff can accomplish a lot when everyone works together.

Updates

BioFire Defense Receives Emergency-Use Authorization of FilmArray Ebola Test

BioFire Defense LLC recently announced that it has received Emergency-Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its commercial FilmArray Ebola test (BioThreat-E test) as well as a second Ebola test to be used by laboratories designated by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Commentary

Natural Disasters: View From the Northeast

by Catherine L. Feinman -

Natural disasters can have devastating consequences, as seen following Superstorm Sandy. DomPrep interviewed three distinguished guests to learn more about this topic from the local, regional, and federal perspectives and to provide insights on current mitigation efforts to prepare for, respond to, and recover from future threats.

Reports

Federal and State Quarantine and Isolation Authority

This report provides an overview of federal and state public health laws as they relate to the quarantine and isolation of individuals and a discussion of constitutional issues that may be raised should individual liberties be restricted in a quarantine or isolation situation.

View Full Report
Updates

NYU Langone Medical Center to Spearhead Multi-Institutional MRSA Research Funded by the National Institutes of Health

Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center will lead a consortium of five institutions, on a $6.5 million contract from the National Institutes of Health, directed at discovery of the fundamental immunology, microbial genetics, protein structure and proteomics of staphylococcus aureus, which is among the most common pathogens that overwhelm the immune system, causing serious skin, soft tissue and life-threatening blood-bourne infections.

Reports

Community Resilience: Building Resilience with Diverse Communities

The Department of Homeland Security's Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships (i.e.,"DHS Center") created its Building Resilience with Diverse Communities (BRDC) program to examine the role of faith-based and community organizations in emergency preparedness and response. The BRDC program works to improve community resilience by engaging the whole community through its seven-stage process.

View Full Report
Updates

Morphix Technologies Chameleon, a Wearable Toxic Chemical Detection Device, Gains US SAFETY Act Approval from Department of Homeland Security

Morphix Technologies® is pleased to announce that the Chameleon®, a wearable device that allows hands-free detection of up to 10 different hazards at one time in a variety of operating environments, has been approved by the US SAFETY Act of the Department of Homeland Security as an anti-terrorism technology that will be used to save lives.

Updates

Hagel Orders Formation of Expeditionary Ebola Support Team

To ensure the nation is ready to respond quickly, effectively, and safely in the event of additional Ebola cases in the United States - Secretary Hagel ordered the Northern Command to prepare and train a 30-person expeditionary medical support team that could, if required, provide short-notice assistance to civilian medical professionals in the United States.

Commentary

Multidiscipline Training

by Catherine Feinman -

Since 1998, the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Alabama, has been offering interdisciplinary training to emergency responders. In April 2014, the Baltimore regional incident management team (IMT) traveled to Anniston for a pilot program developed for IMTs. Listen to Captain Michael Pfaltzgraff of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department describe his experience at CDP.

Commentary

Part IV - A Regional 'Whole-Community' Approach

by Catherine Feinman -

Part 4 of 5: Baltimore City takes the whole-community approach to a regional level. By integrating the business community into the city's operations and planning process and working with regional partners to plan for and respond to incidents and special events, the city is able to use these many relationships as force multipliers.

Updates

University of Maryland School of Medicine and Malian Ministry of Health Begin Human Trials of Experimental Ebola Vaccine in Mali, West Africa

The Center for Vaccine Development, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, in conjunction with its sister institution, The Center for Vaccine Development of Mali and the Ministry of Health of Mali, have begun a clinical trial in healthcare workers (and other front-line workers) to evaluate a promising experimental Ebola vaccine.

Updates

CBP Completes Upgrade of Aerostat Surveillance System

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Air and Marine, recently announced full operations of eight helium-filled balloon surveillance systems, which will provide radar coverage of the U.S./Mexico border, south Florida, and Puerto Rico areas. These surveillance tools provide border monitoring and enforcement of low-level aircraft and small vessels approaching the border.

Updates

Chimerix Announces Emergency Investigational New Drug Applications for Brincidofovir Authorized by FDA for Patients With Ebola Virus Disease

Chimerix Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing oral antivirals in areas of high unmet medical need, recently announced that brincidofovir has been provided for potential use in patients with Ebola Virus Disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Investigational New Drug (EIND) Applications.

Updates

NACCHO Launches MRC Connect - The First Social Media Application for the Medical Reserve Corps

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), in partnership with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response and Rallyware, a San Francisco-based technology startup, have launched MRC Connect, the first social media application for the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC).

Reports

Department of Defense 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap

Climate change will affect the Department of Defense's (DOD) ability to defend the nation and poses immediate risks to U.S. national security. DOD is responding to climate change in two ways: adaptation to changes that are occurring or expected to occur; and mitigation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This report focuses on DOD's climate change adaptation activities.

View Full Report
Updates

HHS Advances Development of Ebola Vaccine

The vaccine development of the Ebola virus will be accelerated with support from the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Under a contract with Profectus BioSciences Inc., ASPR's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will provide funding, in addition to subject matter expertise and technical assistance, to further develop an experimental Ebola vaccine.

Updates

EPA Increases Access to Chemical Information, Agency Seeks Input on Improvements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted additional data and added new functions to ChemView, EPA's publicly accessible, one-stop online tool to find information for chemicals regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act. EPA also is encouraging people to complete a customer satisfaction survey to help guide future improvements to ChemView.

Reports

Preparedness Leadership Council (PLC) Report: Explosives 'Left of Boom'

Staying "left of boom" requires effective prevention, detection, and deterrence of explosives and improvised explosive devices. To address this topic, Charles Guddemi led a discussion with subject matter experts at the United States Park Police Anacostia Operations Facility. That discussion and survey results from a nationwide audience of preparedness professionals and the public provided content for this report.

View Full Report
Updates

CDC Develops a New, Faster Lab Test for Enterovirus D68

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed and started using a new, faster laboratory test for detecting enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in people with respiratory illness. This test will allow CDC to more rapidly test remaining specimens received from states since mid-September.

Updates

Infection Prevention & Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients With Known or Suspected Ebola Virus Disease in U.S. Hospitals

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following infection control measures for healthcare workers with the potential for exposure to infectious materials and patients  including body substances, contaminated medical supplies and equipment, contaminated environmental surfaces, or aerosols generated during certain medical procedures.

Updates

Best Practices for Crude Oil Rail Transportation Emergency Response Operations

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration and the U.S. Fire Administrations National Fire Academy, have been developing best-practices reference materials to prepare emergency responders to safely and effectively respond to crude-oil transportation incidents.

Updates

TGen, NAU Announce Patent for New Pandemic Flu Test

The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Northern Arizona University (NAU) have been awarded a patent for a test that can detect the H1N1 pandemic flu strain. The test not only detects influenza but also quickly informs doctors about the exact strain of flu and its level of resistance to oseltamivir, the primary antiviral drug on the market to treat H1N1.

Preparedness

A Training Partnership That Began With a Grant

by University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security -

Emergency management agencies must build relationships with many different agencies and organizations. In some cases, these relationships grow into an integrated partnership with diverse roles and responsibilities. The Center for Health and Homeland Security and Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Emergency Management have one such partnership, which is helping to build resilience throughout the region.

Updates

Enhanced Ebola Screening to Start at Five U.S. Airports & New Tracking Program for All People Entering U.S. From Ebola-Affected Countries

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security's Customs & Border Protection (CBP) will begin new layers of entry screening at five U.S. airports that receive over 94 percent of travelers from the Ebola-affected nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Commentary

Part III - Collaborative Efforts for Citywide Preparedness

by Catherine Feinman -

Part 3 of 5: In any large city, there are many agencies and organizations that must learn to work together for the benefit of the city as a whole. In Baltimore, these groups come together through local emergency planning committee meetings, trainings, exercises, special events, and other interagency preparedness efforts. As plans change, the key to success is adaptability.

Updates

Smiths Detection Launches Next-Generation Non-Radioactive Explosives Detector

Smiths Detection recently introduced the IONSCAN600 - its next-generation explosives trace detector for use in global aviation and infrastructure security. Its small, portable design, combined with ease-of-use, reduces the cost and time of screening for a range of high-threat explosives.

Updates

Candidate H7N9 Avian Flu Vaccine Works Better With Adjuvant

An experimental vaccine to protect people against H7N9 avian influenza prompted immune responses in 59 percent of volunteers who received two injections at the lowest dosage tested, but only if the vaccine was mixed with adjuvant  a substance that boosts the bodys response to vaccination.

Updates

NIH Invests Almost $32 Million to Increase Utility of Biomedical Research Data

Wide-ranging National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants that were recently announced will encourage development of new strategies to analyze and leverage the explosion of increasingly complex biomedical data sets, often referred to as big data.

Updates

RescueSim Training Course Gets Official LASER Certification

LASER Learning has certified, under the UK Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), the RescueSim Virtual Incident Command training delivered by Peter Stanley Training. The training course using the RescueSim simulators was accredited as being equal to 20 hours of guided learning.

Updates

The FDA Takes Steps to Strengthen Cybersecurity of Medical Devices

To strengthen the safety of medical devices, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently finalized manufacturer recommendations to help manage cybersecurity risks and better protect patient health and information.

Updates

HHS Pursues Detection Tests for Influenza

Potential tests to help doctors diagnose influenza sooner and more accurately will advance in development under contracts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The tests could help boost influenza pandemic preparedness by increasing diagnostic capabilities in doctors' offices, clinics, and hospitals.

Updates

Iowa Upgrades to Integrated EMS, Trauma Data System

The Iowa Department of Public Health selected the ImageTrend Inc.s cloud-based software for statewide emergency medical services (EMS) and trauma records. The digital records will provide statewide data analysis and reporting, which likely will improve treatments and patient outcomes.

Updates

Strengthening Safety & Security Across the U.S. Life Sciences Research Enterprise

The Obama Administration recently issued "U.S. Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern" to help ensure that the nation's vitally important research efforts in the life sciences are carried out safely and in ways that minimize the risk of use for unintended purposes.

Updates

UT Arlington Researchers Develop Transparent Nanoscintillators for Radiation Detection for Medical Safety & Homeland Security

A University of Texas at Arlington research team says that recently identified radiation detection properties of a light-emitting nanostructure built in its laboratory could open doors for homeland security and medical advances.

Updates

UMUC Master of Science in Cybersecurity Policy

University of Maryland University College (UMUC) offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity Policy designed for midcareer professionals who are interested in meeting the challenges posed by increasing cyber threats. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the program is designed to provide students with a broad analytical framework for evaluating and solving cybersecurity problems.

Commentary

Part II - Addressing Community Needs & Vulnerable Populations

by Catherine Feinman -

Part 2 of 5: Planning and response efforts for any city emergency management agency can be challenging, especially when working with diverse populations, neighborhoods living in poverty, and drug-infested communities. The Baltimore Mayor's Office of Emergency Management (MOEM) along with many partner agencies and organizations are going into vulnerable neighborhoods and tackling problems head on.

Reports

FDA Strategic Priorities 2014-2018

The world in which the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) operates today is one of growing complexity, new challenges, and increased risks. Thanks to revolutionary advances in science, medicine, and technology, there are enormous opportunities that can be leveraged in order to address such challenges and risks for the benefit of public health.

View Full Report
Reports

FEMA's Logistics Supply Chain Management System May Not Be Effective During a Catastrophic Disaster

After spending more than $247 million on a high-tech system, an Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit has found that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may still be unable to efficiently deliver emergency supplies to survivors following a catastrophic disaster.

View Full Report
Updates

NIH Awards Seven New Vaccine Adjuvant Discovery Contracts

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded seven research contracts to discover and characterize new adjuvants, or substances formulated as part of vaccines to enhance their protective ability.

Updates

HHS Funds Drug to Treat Severe Infections & Prevent Cytokine Storm

An agreement announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will advance development of a drug that could potentially combat cytokine storm, which is a complication caused by severe infections. This drug therapy modulates inflammatory response and may help treat flesh-eating bacteria and injuries caused by bioagents.

Updates

FEMA Awards $11 Million to Increase Preparedness Through the Continuing Training Grants Program

The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently awarded six training grants totaling $11 million for the 2014 Continuing Training Grant (CTG) program. These awards will help train and certify members of the whole community - including first responders, emergency managers, technical specialists, community leaders, and tribal and local governments.

Updates

New MSA PrimaX IR Combustible Gas Monitor for Reliable Performance in Extreme Conditions

MSAs SIL 2-certified PrimaX IR Combustible Gas Monitor offers superior performance by withstanding the most challenging environmental conditions and maximizing optics to provide maximum signal and extraordinary stability.

Healthcare

Ebola - Protecting Frontline Workers

by Joseph Cahill -

The first U.S. case of Ebola has been confirmed in Texas, so what once was considered a "foreign" disease is now on domestic soil. The key question is, "Are U.S. healthcare workers prepared?" Although it takes time, it is never too late to build awareness, provide protection, and implement procedures.

Commentary

Part I - 'Charm City's' Team Baltimore

by Catherine Feinman -

Part 1 of 5: This exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Baltimore Mayor's Office of Emergency Management (MOEM) highlights the multidiscipline planning efforts required for day-to-day operations as well as for natural and human-caused disasters. While wearing multiple "hats," the men and women of MOEM cultivate valuable interagency relationships to prepare the communities they serve.