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CDC's Global Rapid Response Team Is a First Responder to Health Threats Worldwide

JUN 28, 2016 | LORRAINE L. JANECZKO, MPH
To illustrate the breadth of RRT's work, Cyrus Shahpar, MD, MBA, MPH, contrasted the cholera and Zika deployments.)
 
Tanzania's response to cholera was national in scope, involving the Ministry of health, multiple CDC assets on the ground, the Tanzania country office, the Ministry of health, and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs). By contrast, the Zika response in Panama had a more regional focus and partnered with UNICEF, the CDC and other agencies, he explained.
 
Both efforts involved workforce development, emergency operation center work, linking public health and law enforcement in multi-sectoral rapid response, medical countermeasures and personnel deployment, creating standards and procedures and sharing information.
 
Since the Global RRT began about one year ago, it has worked on polio, Ebola, cholera, wildfires, yellow fever and Zika.
 
The over 300 team members are devoted to global rapid response, Dr. Shahpar said. They routinely work on emergencies and are ready to quickly deploy wherever needed, including 50 or more on call at any given time. Members have international and emergency experience and critically needed foreign language skills.
 
Dr. Shahpar invited EIS officers and others to join the Global RRT. "To EIS officers who are graduating, we want you to join us. If you're finishing your first year, you're automatically a part of the Global RRT," he noted.
 
Applicants have come from the CDC, UNICEF, WHO and other agencies, and recruiters welcome candidates with various qualifications, "so we have a diversity of skill sets," he added.
 
"The Global RRT needs more than researchers and epidemiologists." Dr. Shahpar said. "We need emergency coordinators, team leads, task force leads, country directors and others to fulfill the breadth of public health work. We will have another recruitment in the fall and we hope that you will consider joining the Global Rapid Response Team."
 
Lorraine L. Janeczko, MPH, is a medical science writer who creates news, continuing medical education and feature content in a wide range of specialties for clinicians, researchers and other readers. She has completed a Master of Public Health degree through the Department of Epidemiology of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Dana Postdoctoral Fellowship in Preventive Public Health Ophthalmology from the Wilmer Eye Institute, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School.
 
SOURCE: EIS 2016 Conference Program, p 104: Global Rapid Response Team — An Agency-Wide Approach to Supporting CDC’s Response to Global Outbreaks and Humanitarian Emergencies
 
Presentations:
Carlos Navarro Colorado, MD, MSc, PhD, medical epidemiologist, Global Rapid Response Team, Enhancing CDC’s Response to Global Outbreaks and Humanitarian Emergencies: An Overview of the Global Rapid Response Team
 
Ashley Greiner, MD, MPH, emergency public health epidemiologist, Global Rapid Response Team, Building Local Capacity for Emergency Response: The Role of the Global Rapid Response Team during the Cholera Outbreak in Tanzania
 
Tasha Stehling-Ariza, PhD, MPH, emergency public health epidemiologist, Global Rapid Response Team, Supporting Regional Capacity for Emergency Response: The Role of the Global Rapid Response Team during the Zika Outbreak in the Latin America and Caribbean Region
 
Cyrus Shahpar, MD, MBA, MPH, medical officer and deputy team lead, Global Rapid Response Team, Working with the Global Rapid Response Team
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