September 3, 2002
MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Stephenson
Hopkins Establishes Enterprise-Wide Office To Deal With Terrorism, Disaster Response
In a move to use and integrate more of the resources and expertise of the Johns Hopkins Institutions to deal with terrorism and other disasters, Hopkins officials have established the Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR).
As the centralized command and control center, CEPAR will direct planning activities, conduct drills and exercises, manage logistics needs, develop policy, oversee public educational outreach programs, and coordinate funding and grant opportunities, while providing a single point of access for coordination with government agencies. Each Hopkins component, including The Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, will still maintain its own specific disaster plans.
In announcing the initiative, Johns Hopkins University President William R. Brody, M.D., Ph.D., noted that "the tragic events of September 11 have shown us that disasters can strike swiftly and without warning. It is imperative that all our private and public-sector resources prepare for the once unimaginable."
Because the Johns Hopkins Institutions include "an unparalled combination of resources and expertise," he added "we recognize and embrace our special responsibility to assist local, regional and federal organizations in this endeavor. CEPAR is the tangible manifestation of our commitment to the safety and well-being of our fellow citizens and to being prepared to respond to disasters, both within Johns Hopkins and in the broader community."
Edward D. Miller, M.D., CEO and dean of Johns Hopkins Medicine, calls CEPAR the logical next step in what Johns Hopkins Medicine began more than three years ago. "We recognized early on the threat of terrorism and bioterrorism," he said, "and began work on plans for our health system to deal with it. CEPAR takes those plans one step further to benefit not only the Hopkins community, but the greater community around us by coordinating our efforts with those of relevant federal, state and local authorities."
Gabor D. Kelen, M.D., director of the Hopkins Department of Emergency Medicine, will direct CEPAR, with emergency medicine specialist Christina Catlett, M.D., serving as deputy director. "Johns Hopkins needs to speak with one voice in matters of homeland security," Kelen says. "CEPAR creates that unified voice and gives us the ability to respond to threats more effectively."
CEPAR will be governed by an executive council composed of key Hopkins officials who will make formal decisions, set priorities and formulate institutional policies. Assisting the executive council will be an advisory council with members representing key components of The University and Hopkins Medicine, including the chief operating officers of all three Hopkins hospitals, security chiefs from the various Hopkins institutions, and senior experts in biologic, nuclear and chemical sciences, who will recommend actions to the executive council and implement the policies. In addition, CEPAR plans to create an external group of advisors made up of local, regional and national public health agencies, government experts, military planners and other regional business and community leaders who also will advise the CEPAR executive council.