☷HHS Strengthens Country s Preparedness for Health Emergencies Announces Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response ASPR
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ( By Press Release office)
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Secretary Becerra elevates HHS’s existing preparedness and response office to an operating division , providing additional tools to respond to current and future health emergencies . The U . S . Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ) today announced that Secretary Xavier Becerra has elevated the existing Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response ( ASPR ) from a staff division to an operating division , taking on the new name of the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response ( ASPR ) . The move elevates ASPR to a standalone agency within the Department alongside other HHS agencies , such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) , the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) , the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ( CMS ) , the Health Resources and Services Administration ( HRSA ) , and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ( SAMHSA ) , among others . This change will allow ASPR to mobilize a coordinated national response more effectively and efficiently during future disasters and emergencies in close collaboration with its sister agencies . While the change in name and organizational status are effective immediately , the transition will be phased in over the next one to two years , and , when complete , will provide ASPR with greater administrative capabilities to help it execute its work more effectively . “Our mission at HHS is to improve the health and wellbeing of all Americans , and our country must be prepared to respond to health - related emergencies , ” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra . “The reclassification of ASPR helps strengthen our long - term preparedness posture by better positioning the division to continue coordinating health - related emergency response in collaboration with our various HHS teams . ”ASPR will continue to be led by Dawn O’Connell , who retains the title of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response , and will continue to advise the Secretary on preparedness and response issues and coordinate response to health - related emergencies on the Secretary’s behalf as defined in statute , in partnership with HHS’s other staff and operating divisions . “Across the Department , we continue to look for opportunities to build on our core capabilities while also strengthening our ability to respond to future health threats , ” said HHS Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm . “This administrative change is recognition of the growing size and scope of ASPR , which plays an important coordination role in responding to health threats and emergencies . ”ASPR , which was established in 2006 , has always had operational responsibilities including the missions of the National Disaster Medical System ( NDMS ) , the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority ( BARDA ) , and Medical Reserve Corps . In recent years , however , particularly during the multi - year COVID - 19 pandemic response , ASPR’s operational functions have grown significantly to include the Strategic National Stockpile ( SNS ) in 2018 , public health supply chain in 2020 , and the establishment of the HHS Coordination Operations and Response Element ( H - CORE ) at the beginning of 2022 . The reclassification of ASPR as an operating division is recognition of the growing size and scope of ASPR’s mission over the years , especially in light of the multi - year COVID - 19 response .
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