Healthcare Leaders Applaud Congressional Passage of Disaster Preparedness Bill

Reauthorization of Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) Critical in Ensuring Effective Public-Private Response to Public Health Emergencies 

WASHINGTON – Leaders from across the healthcare spectrum today praised Congress for passing the reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) and sending it to President Trump for his signature.  The Healthcare Leadership Council (HLC), comprised of chief executives from all healthcare sectors, has been actively supporting PAHPA reauthorization.

“Whether they stem from natural disasters, biological weaponry, infectious diseases, or drug-resistant pathogens, the public health hazards we could possibly face are increasingly dangerous and complex,” said HLC president Mary R. Grealy.  “PAHPA reauthorization is necessary in order to have the infrastructure in place to protect our population against the full range of 21st century health security threats.”

The original PAHPA, passed in 2006, established the Department of Health and Human Services office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and enabled coordination between HHS, CDC, CMS, FDA and other agencies to coordinate preparation for and response to emergencies.  Ms. Grealy said the legislation contains other critical provisions such as the Hospital Preparedness Program, which supports coordination between local hospitals and public health departments, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which works with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to develop medical countermeasures to catastrophic events.

“The nation’s healthcare industry is working cooperatively with federal and state leaders to protect our people and our healthcare delivery systems and supply chains in the event of a major emergency,” said Ms. Grealy.  “We are pleased that Congress has done its part in finalizing the vital legislation that keeps the necessary resources and programs in place to safeguard our health and our security.”