07.13.05

Burr to Hold Roundtable on Public Health Response to Bioterrorism

North Carolina Health Director among experts to participate

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Richard Burr, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness, will hold a formal roundtable to investigate the measures necessary to respond to a bioterrorism outbreak. The roundtable, entitled "When Terror Strikes - Preparing an Effective and Immediate Public Health Response," will be held on Thursday, July 14 at 10:00 AM in 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

The roundtable will focus on three areas critical to bioterrorism preparedness: the additional provisions necessary to develop biodefense countermeasures, strengthening the public health infrastructure to meet the challenges of the 21st Century and protecting our Nation's agricultural resources and food supply.

"As the Senate considers further bioterror legislation, we must provide the resources necessary to meet possible bioterrorism threats directly," said Senator Burr. "Clearly, there are many areas where we remain vulnerable. While we are making tremendous strides, more must be done to increase our countermeasures, improve our response capabilities and ensure our food supply is safe."

Dr. Leah M. Devlin, State Health Director of the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services, will participate in the roundtable. Dr. Devlin received her dental degree and Master's degree in public health administration at the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus. Under her leadership, North Carolina's public health system was cited by the Trust for America's Health as one of the Nation's best in bioterrorism preparedness.

In addition to Dr. Devlin, other participants will include Dr. Tara O'Toole, MD, MPH CEO and Director of the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Dr. Elin Gursky, MD, Msph, Principal Deputy for Biodefense, National Strategies Support Directorate; Dr. John M. Clerici, McKenna, Long and Aldridge; Mr. George Barrett, President and Chief Executive Officer, Teva North America; Mr. Chuck Ludlam, Esq, Former Legal Counsel to Senator Joseph Lieberman; David P. Wright, President and Chief Executive Officer, PharmAthene; Clay Elward, Benefit Plan Design Manager, Caterpillar Inc.; Brownen A. Kaye, Senior Director, Government Relations, Wyeth; George W. Conk, Adjunct Professor, Fordham Law School; Dr. David Franz, Director, National Agricultural Biosecurity Center; John Pournoor, 3M Corporation.