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HEALTH SECURITY PROGRAMS

Agency Health Security: Following the 2003 SARS outbreak in Hong Kong, Rescue Medicine worked with local Chinese hospitals and US-based risk assessment organizations to develop a comprehensive training and resource program to protect federal agencies and critical corporations against disruptive health events. Agency Health Security programs include preventive medicine, health screening, workplace engineering and employee training programs which escalate in times of increased health threats. In recent years the Agency Health Security program has provided Corporate Medical Officers (CMOs) to support corporate executives in high-consequence decisions involving personnel, infrastructure, engagement with local health authorities, and selection of employee health plans. On the ground Agency Health Security programs include implementation of Agency Drug Stockpiles, immune hardening of buildings to prevent disease transmission, vaccination programs for employees, and 24/7 emergency medical coverage for international and domestic medical emergencies for executives.  

Highly Dangerous Pathogen (HDP) Response:  In 1999, at the request of several African ministries of health, national hospital networks, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the World Health Organization (WHO), Rescue Medicine dedicated a specialized on-call “HASTY Team” to deploy to disasters, mass displacements of people, and large-scale disease outbreaks. The Rescue Medicine HASTY teams have since deployed from Lagos, Bangkok and the continental US to over 29 large-scale disasters, including multiple influenza outbreaks (including H1N1 and H7N9), over 5 filovirus outbreaks (including the 2013 Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo), the 2005 Asian Tsunami, the Bhuj Gharat and Haiti earthquakes, and the 2003 SARS-CoV outbreak in Hong Kong. Over the last decade, Rescue Medicine infectious disease and disease control specialists and bedside sequencing technicians have worked with US and international research organizations such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop new technologies and medical interventions for the care of patients infected with highly dangerous pathogens. Examples of current HDP deployment assets include palletized mobile ICU systems to support local influenza outbreaks, portable laboratories to support disease characterization, and peer-to-peer consult education for local health care workers (HCWs) and physicians providing care to these complex, highly infectious patients.

Continuity of Critical Infrastructures (CCI): International operations in austere, chaotic and conflict-prone environments frequently result in unexpected interruptions of operations. For ports, airports, governments and hospitals, such interruptions can spell economic and public health disaster. Following the 1998 Jakarta Uprising which interrupted major financial markets and U.S. Government operations in Southeast Asia, Rescue Medicine worked with US Department of State personnel to develop programs to increase infrastructure resiliency in foreign nations. Over the following decade, Rescue Medicine’s CCI programs have allowed financial markets in Asia to remain open during SARS and other pandemics, international banks to harden infrastructure against attacks, and Indonesian hospitals to scale care for pandemic influenza and H5N1 bird flu.

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