New National Biodefense Science Board Member Will Advise HHS

Federal advisory committee provides insight for disaster preparedness, response and recovery

"The best of science needs to be the basis for protecting and informing all communities" stated Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health as she was appointed by Secretary Sebelius to the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB), a federal advisory committee which provides expert advice and guidance on preventing, preparing for, and responding to adverse health effects of public health emergencies to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

The board was created under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act in 2006 and chartered in May 2007. Since then, the board has provided recommendations on such issues as whether the federal government should encourage stockpiling antibiotics at home for use after a bioterrorism attack and how the department can help protect, preserve, and restore individual and community mental health after a disaster.

In addition, the board has provided recommendations on ways to improve the management of the research and development of medicines, vaccines, and equipment for pandemic diseases. The board's recommendations were included in the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise Review, released by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in August 2010.

By statute, the board has 13 voting members with a broad range of expertise in science, medicine, and public health. Additionally, there are non-voting members from federal and state government agencies as identified by the Secretary.

Because the board is a federal advisory committee, board meetings are open to the public. The next meeting of the board and the first for new members takes place April 28-29. You can learn more about the National Biodefense Science Board, at http://www.phe.gov/PREPAREDNESS/LEGAL/BOARDS/NBSB/Pages/default.aspx.