Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Panel to Hold Hearing on DHS Office of Health Affairs – TOMORROW

Mar 28, 2012 Issues: -

The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, chaired by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), will hold a hearing entitled “The Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request for the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs” tomorrow at 10 a.m. in Room 311 Cannon House Office Building. 

The DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHA) provides health and medical expertise to assist DHS’s mission to prepare for, respond to, and recover from all hazards impacting the nation’s health security.  In particular, OHA operates BioWatch, a program designed to detect and warn health and law enforcement officials about airborne biological attacks, and the National Biosurveillance and Integration Center, a technological information-sharing platform to rapidly identify, monitor, and disseminate information on biological events of national concern.  These two programs together comprise more than 80 percent of OHA’s budget request.

At tomorrow’s hearing, the Subcommittee will examine the President’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget request for OHA.  Members will also examine how OHA supports health security for the nation, and identify areas for improvements and cost-savings. 

Bilirakis said: "This hearing continues the Subcommittee's oversight of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs (OHA), and particularly the BioWatch Program and National Biosurveillance Integration Center.  The President's Fiscal Year 2013 budget request provides a significant increase for the development and testing of BioWatch Gen-3.  This Committee and the Office of Management and Budget have previously expressed concern about the management of this program, including the fact that a sufficient cost-benefit analysis has not been conducted.  This hearing will provide Members with an opportunity to more closely examine this, and other, OHA programs to ensure our resources are leveraged to best enhance our security."

What:                 Subcommittee Hearing on “The Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request for the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs”

When:                10 a.m., Thursday, March 29, 2012

Where:               311 Cannon House Office Building

                           **Live video feed will be available HERE

Opening statements, witness testimony, and the live video feed will be available online HERE

Witness List:

The Honorable Alexander Garza, MD, MPH
Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs
Office of Health Affairs
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

 

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