From 2000 to 2002, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies, Baltimore, worked to educate and promote communications among medical and public health professionals and policy-makers about bioterrorism, emerging infections and emergency preparedness.
The dual threats of new or emerging infections and bioterrorism present urgent and complex challenges to the nation's public health system. Yet these threats have arisen as the capabilities of the public health infrastructure to monitor and respond to infectious disease outbreaks are eroding. In 1998, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported that the public health system in the United States is "in disarray."
During the grant period, the center:
- Held a series of eight dinner lectures for medical and public health professionals.
- Gave expert testimony to various congressional committees and subcommittees.
- Briefed members of Congress.
- Maintained and enhanced its Web site, which provided practical information about bioterrorist threats and emergency preparedness. The Web site is now inactive; see After the Grant for information on the new Web site.
- Disseminated its free newsletter, the Biodefense Quarterly.
From September 2000 to August 2002, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided $299,863 to the center.