Public Health Preparedness and the Unthinkable: Reflections on Nuclear Terrorism and Pandemic Influenza



Richard Hatchett,

Date and Time

December 3, 2008 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


Reuben W. Hills Conference Room

FSI Contact

Justin C. Liszanckie

Abstract:  In this era of catastrophic terrorism and heightened concerns about pandemic influenza and other emerging diseases, unprecedented resources have been allocated to improving medical and public health emergency preparedness.  Investments in such preparedness, however, can impose significant opportunity costs, particularly when the investments are focused on improving consequence management capabilities.  Enhancing preparedness and response capabilities in economically efficient, proportionate, and politically sustainable ways thus becomes a critical component of any longterm effort to address the threats we face.  Dr. Hatchett will speak about the challenges of developing medical countermeasure for CBRN threats and preparing communities for infectious disease emergencies, using these examples to raise more general issues about the relative benefits of specific v. "broad-spectrum" strategies and countermeasures, decision-making under conditions of uncertainty, and our efforts to "get ready" for nuclear terrorism and pandemic influenza.

Dr. Hatchett is Associate Director for Radiation Countermeasures Research and Emergency Preparedness at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, overseeing a program that develops drugs and devices to prevent or mitigate the effects of radiation exposure. 

In 2005-06, he served as Director for Biodefense Policy at the White House Homeland Security Council, where he was a principal author of the Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza and helped set policy and devise strategies to mitigate the consequences of a pandemic.  Dr. Hatchett previously served as Senior Medical Adviser in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness, where he worked on a wide range of biodefense issues, including the delivery of mass prophylaxis to urban populations, the development of disease containment strategies, and the role of modeling in the formulation of public health policy. 

Dr. Hatchett completed his undergraduate and medical educations at Vanderbilt University, an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center, and a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Duke University Medical Center.

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