On November 16, 2002, a 45-year-old man was admitted to hospital in Foshan City in Guangdong, China. His condition was consistent with pneumonia, a high fever, muscle aches, shortness of breath, coughing and respiratory difficulties.
The federal advisory committee known as the National Biodefense Science Board will now be recognized as the National Preparedness and Response Science Board, more accurately reflecting the board’s work, expertise, and contributions to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 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 National Biodefense Science Board was created and given authorities under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006 and chartered in May 2007. The Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 (PAHPRA) amended the board’s authorities by broadening membership to include a representative with pediatric expertise and a state, tribal, territorial, or local public health official and expanding the board’s duties to consist of providing specified information to appropriate committees of Congress. These changes, as well as the board’s new name, are reflected in the most recent charter dated April 2014.
Since inception, 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. New memberswere sworn in on April 29.
For information on the National Preparedness and Response Science Board, visit www.phe.gov/nprsb.