Washington, D.C. — Congressional approval of the “Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act” was hailed by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) who worked closely with the bill’s sponsor, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC). The legislation renews a bioterrorism law enacted after the September 11 terrorist attacks and creates the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to coordinate the research and development of new vaccines.
Brian Keaton, MD, FACEP, president of ACEP, made the following statement:
“Emergency physicians are on the front lines in times of natural or man-made disasters and this legislation strengthens our nation’s ability to respond in the worst of times. The legislation calls for the development of an electronic, nationwide public health situational awareness system- syndromic surveillance- that will give us the ability to monitor the status of emergency department patients in real time. This is absolutely vital in times of a national public health emergency. We at ACEP were pleased to be able to work with Senator Burr and look forward to working with the 110th Congress on the important issues facing emergency medicine and the health of our patients.”
ACEP is a national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine with more than 25,000 members. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.