Earlier this month the NACCD approved its fourth report. The Human Services Work Group report details the recommend roles and integration of human and social services into disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Some highlighted recommendations include the promotion of the Children and Youth Task Force in Disasters model, and the call for regulatory flexibility to allow needs to be met effectively. The report’s approval is particularly timely and can enable its recommendations to be incorporated into the response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The NACCD is also in the final stages of approving report five, from the Funding Strategies Work Group. This report will discuss various economic strategies to prioritize children’s preparedness within existing funding streams, including the HPP, BARDA and PHEMCE, philanthropic grants, public-private partnerships, among others. The public meeting for full NACCD approval should take place in October or November.
Two additional NACCD workgroups have been formed in response to task letters from prior interim ASPR George Korch. The first will follow-up the 2011 Bethesda meeting convened by the NCDMPH on pediatric training needs for disaster. The NCDMPH is again participating and lending its expertise as the 2011 ideas are reassessed with regards to interim progress, recommendations for moving implementation forward, and the addition of lay responders as a new target audience. Linda McIntyre from the American Red Cross and Robin Gurwitch of Duke University are the work group leads. The second work group will be using the 2013 NBSB Future Strategies ASPR report as a springboard to develop recommendations on how the ASPR can be best strategically positioned to address children’s needs in disaster. Steve Krug and John Bradley from the NBSB (now NPRSB) are offering their expertise as well as experience from creating the original 2013 report. Georgina Peacock and Michael Anderson are the leads for this group.
The NACCD has also sent welcome letters to HHS Secretary Tom Price and new ASPR Robert Kadlec, briefly outlining the role and history of the NACCD, some identified priorities, and our desire to have a productive engagement with these gentlemen on behalf of ensuring the health of children in disaster.
The NACCD and NPRSB were hoping to convene another in-person joint meeting this fall, but funding was not approved. ASPR staff is working on rescheduling this for spring of 2018.
Some members have stepped off of the committee for various reasons, and the approval for new members is in process. The formal appointment of Scott Needle as NACCD Chair also remains in process, though I have been taking on the duties since the start of this year with the help of our ASPR staff. Captain Charlotte Spires is now in charge of veterinary services under NDMS, and Captain Evelyn Seel has assumed her role as Federal Advisory Committee leader for ASPR. Justin Willard has also left ASPR for new opportunities.
The NACCD continues to enjoy tremendous AAP support and participation, for which we are most grateful. I would encourage the AAP to use the NACCD Public Meetings as a chance to publicly comment on children’s needs and the AAP’s recommendations, roles, and/or activities in meeting these. We will also be looking to the AAP to help support our inclusion and reauthorization in the next PAHPRA in 2018. Finally, the prior interim ASPR encouraged the NACCD to offer comment on emerging pediatric issues or developments in disaster, to help inform ASPR be proactive and forward-thinking. While we have not yet had a chance to meet with the new ASPR to discuss the NACCD’s future role, we would appreciate any AAP input in this direction.
Scott Needle MD FAAP
Acting Chair, National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters