Muckstadt Appointed to Board of Scientific Counselors to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Jack Muckstadt, the Acheson-Laibe Professor of Engineering in ORIE, has been named to the Board of Scientific Counselors of COTPER, the office in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that has strategic, coordination, management and operational responsibility for terrorism preparedness and emergency response activities. He was appointed by Michael O. Leavitt, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, of which CDC is a part.
The Board of Scientific Counselors for the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response (COTPER) consists of 10 members selected from "authorities knowledgeable in fields relevent to the issues addressed by the coordinating office, e.g. medicine, epidemiology, laboratory science, information science, behavioural science, social science, engineering, business, and crisis leadership." The Board is charged with advising the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the CDC concerning strategies and goals for the programs and research of the national CDC centers; conducting peer-review of scientific programs; and monitoring the overall strategic direction and focus of the centers.
In January, Muckstadt and Nathaniel Hupert, M.D., Assistant Professor of Public Health and Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, presented a talk on Emergency Response Logistics in the Director's Inaugural Seminar at COTPER. Richard E. Besser, M.D., Director of COTPER, commented that "many of the participants found the presentation to be very insightful and valuable...(with) thought provoking scenarios and considerations for application of non-traditional methods to preparedness and response."
For the past three years, Hupert and Muckstadt have been working with colleagues and students at Weill Cornell and on the Ithaca campus on the topic of disease and disaster preparedness. They are in the process of formalizing a Cornell Institute devoted to the new field of response logistics. According to Muckstadt, the goals of the proposed Institute are "primary research through theoretical modeling and decision support tools for improved health system response to pressing health threats, as well as education of engineers and public health practitioners and outreach to end-users such as hospitals, health systems, insurance entities and system developers about these models and tools."
The work of Hupert and Muckstadt has also attracted attention outside of the United States. Last December they presented a talk at MaRS, a non-profit innovation center in Toronto, as part of a session on the current state of pandemic preparedeness in the Canadian health-care system. Their talk was titled "Quantitative Planning for Epidemic and Disaster Response: An Engineering Approach to Public Health Response Logistics." Stephen Strauss, a reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) spoke with Muckstadt at the meeting and quoted his comments in an article called "The Unsettling Truth About Flu Pandemic Preparedness Plans".
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