Pandemic and all-hazards preparedness, response law emboldens U.S. disaster recovery efforts

Kim Reilly | Homeland Preparedness News | June 25, 2019

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing (PAHPA) Innovation Act, S. 1379, became law on Monday with the president's signature, prompting accolades from national stakeholders, company executives and federal lawmakers. The far-reaching law ensures the United States will be better prepared to respond to a wide range of public health emergencies, whether man-made or occurring through a natural disaster or infectious disease. Overall, the law aims to bolster the nation's health security strategy, strengthen the country's emergency response workforce, prioritize a threat-based approach, and increase communication across the advanced research and development of medical countermeasures (MCMs), among numerous provisions contained in the law.

Dr. Robert KadlecDr. Robert Kadlec, the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response(ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which will have oversight of many aspects of the law, said it enables ASPR to continue enhancing the nation's health security. "We look forward to using the new or renewed authorities in the law as we work with long-standing and new partners to build readiness and response capabilities against the very serious health security threats our nation faces," he said earlier today.

A few of the ways the new law does this is via enhanced public-private partnerships, such as between military and civilian entities for trauma readiness; between state and regional hospital coalitions to improve surge capacity and to "address gaps and inefficiencies in emergency preparedness and response efforts for children," according to the law's text; and partnerships for the development of vaccines, among others. For instance, the newly signed law strengthens authorities for specific healthcare programs, including the Hospital Preparedness Program and the National Disaster Medical System, according to Kadlec...