Public Health Preparedness Summit Workshop

Kay Aaby and Rachel Abbey (my collaborators from the Montgomery County, Maryland, Advanced Practice Center) and I will be leading a workshop on Preparing for Emergencies and Every Day: Planning with Computer Models at the 2009 Public Health Preparedness Summit in San Diego, California, in February, 2009. We invite everyone to join us to learn more about how computer models can help you plan not only for emergencies but also for more routine operations such as seasonal flu clinics.

Hot Topics in Preparedness

According to its website, the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice (NWCPHP) coordinates workforce development activities as part of the Department of Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine.

One of its significant contributions is the Hot Topics in Preparedness series. The page includes information about upcoming topics as well as an archive to topics discussed in previous years (from 2004). There is about one topic each month. The website include the Powerpoint slides and a recording of the presentation for each topic. The topics cover recent exercises, resources available for public health preparedness planners, and guidance from experts on various issues. Note: Participating in the live web event (which uses a combination of iLinc web conferencing and teleconferencing) is limited to those in the Northwest region.

Lawrence Wein

Today at the 2008 INFORMS Annual Meeting, being held in Washington, D.C., this week, Lawrence Wein gave the Philip McCord Morse lecture. Professor Wein has many accomplishments and has, with his collaborators, developed mathematical models for some interesting policy questions related to homeland security and bioterrorism. There are links to his articles and op-ed pieces on his home page. Today he talked about his work on responding to an anthrax attack, protecting the nation’s milk supply, the spread of influenza, and identifying terrorists at ports of entry. It is an impressive amount of work that has led Wein to present his results to government officials of all types, leading to policy changes and increasing our preparedness.

As someone who works in this area, his accomplishments motivate me to continue helping public health officials, and I hope that his success will inspire others to work in this area as well.