Change is in the Air

Posted on by Ali S. Khan


Change is a good thing: it brings new ideas and new opportunities. I’m excited about the new changes in my career as I transition from the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) to the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR) within CDC. I joined OPHPR this August as the new Director and am thrilled about the opportunity to engage in some more disruptive innovation.

I understand the critical mission of safeguarding health and saving lives by providing a platform for public health preparedness and emergency response from my own experience participating and leading responses to infectious disease outbreaks associated with hantavirus, Ebola virus, SARS, and anthrax. But public health emergency preparedness and response doesn’t just deal with threats, be they biological, chemical, radiological/nuclear, or even natural disasters. At its heart, preparedness is a prevention strategy and should prepare us for the more frequent public misadventures that impact our health every day.

As I take on my new role, I hope to expand the scope of this blog to include posts that talk about these preparedness and response issues. As we all know from recent events such as the H1N1 pandemic, flooding in North Dakota, and the Gulf oil spill, public health emergencies can happen to anyone, at anytime, anywhere. It is important to be educated and prepared for these and other possible threats to our health security if we want truly resilient communities.

As we transition the Public Health Matters blog to OPHPR, NCEZID’s leadership team is exploring the possibility of starting a new blog that will focus on various topics related to the prevention and control of emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases. 

We will still continue to cover a wide range of public health topics here on Public Health Matters. Stay tuned for new guest posts from our Career Epidemiology Field Officers (CEFOs). They have some great stories to tell about their work out in the field!

Always listening,
RADM Ali S. Khan

Posted on by Ali S. Khan

9 comments on “Change is in the Air”

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    May I wish you all the best in your new post, Ali. I look forward to reading and sharing in the blog.

    I think the new blog on Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response will go far. But the job of keeping track of emerging problems is also important. For the disability community both the Public Health Preparedness and Response and keeping track of emerging biological threats are of critical importance. People who have disabilities seem to be more susceptable to a broader range of health problems and more severely impacted by them. They also are among the groups having the hardest time being able to read and understand complex medical information that in a public health emergency they maybe expected to understand and act on. Members of the disability community should be involved in the planning and preparedness aspect. Too often, this community is ignored or covered as an afterthought. Ciritical information needs to be available in multiple formats, including Braille, Large Print, audio version, and simple language/picture version to explain complex ideas and make information accessible and understandable. Websites need to be card reader accessible. Some members of the Emergency Preparedness and Response teams need to know American Sign Language and need to know important communications services for the disability community like the California Relay Service for The Deaf.
    I am a member of People First, California, Orange County Chapter. I am also the Vice-Chairman of the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities. The State Council would like to do more coordination and collaboration with our partners like the CDC’s Public Health Prepgaredness and Response Program. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

    Thank you for this wonderful information. I am presently on the Board of Directors for Southlake County Fire Protection District. We have already been awarded 2 emergency preparedness grants and have been training our crews for a couple of years. Our plans have included close contact and mutual training with other districts in our County learning to work with each other as a team.

    Dear Dr.Khan,
    Happy to visit and get to know the details. I am a Public Health Microbiologist in Department of Public Health, Chennai, India and am closely working on Public Health Emergencies and Response.
    Reaching the community and meeting the displaced poor during post tsunami as a part of epidemic and pandemic preparedness in Tamilnadu state, India has been really satisfying in my career. Even more so is our successful mission to prevent epidemics.
    Influenza A H1N1 pandemic is a different story in Tamilnadu state, India where only the affluent society got the disease and most of the cases we picked up are from the airport. Once it reached the community, again it was surprised to see that the disease was confined to the people with better socio economic status.
    Expecting to learn more from this bog site
    Sivadoss Raju

    Congratulations are in order fo rthis important and vital post you have undertaken.

    I especially like the title of your blog “Change is in the Air” since it is a motto we are using to help those who are fighting infection in healthcare and those who are doing their level best to prepare for potential national emergencies understand the importance of finding new technologies that lower the many risks associated with the contribution of airborne routes in these fields.

    We find ourselves in a world of change.

    Hello! I really like your blog! Continue to write more! Very interesting!

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Page last reviewed: October 22, 2010
Page last updated: October 22, 2010