HHS renames National Biodefense Science Board

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Wednesday that it renamed the National Biodefense Science Board, which will now be called the National Preparedness and Response Science Board.

The federal advisory committee's name was changed to more accurately reflect its work, expertise and contributions to the HHS and the nation's health resilience. The board provides guidance and advice to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Office of the HHS Secretary on preventing, preparing for, responding to and recovering from the adverse health effects of emergencies.

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006 created the National Biodefense Science Board, which was chartered in May 2007. The Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 amended the board's authorities. Changes included adding a representative with pediatric expertise; adding a local, territorial, state or tribal public health official; and expanding the board's duties to include providing specified information to appropriate committees of Congress.

The board has provided recommendations on multiple federal disaster and response issues, including the anticipated responsibilities of the Strategic National Stockpile in the year 2020.

The National Preparedness and Response Science Board has 13 voting members with varied expertise in public health, medicine and science. New members were sworn in on Tuesday.