Issue: Historically, respiratory pathogens have posed the greatest threat to the nation’s workforce and this is particularly true for our first responders, healthcare workers, and national security personnel such as Uniformed Service members, Border Patrol Agents and Transportation Security officers. They are, by nature of their occupations, often are asked to work near individuals who may have communicable diseases or in environments and with goods that may intentionally or unintentionally contain harmful pathogens.
Objectives: As we have learned through the COVID-19 pandemic, the critical workforce necessary to keep the nation running includes transportation, truckers, service industry, and other frontline workers such as grocery personnel. This workshop, held in partnership with the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University will bring together government and non-government experts and thought leaders to discuss border health threats and supply chain defense topics identified by officials within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) office.
Outcome: The goal is to identify researchable topics that will address the most pressing of the CWMD-identified gaps. Broadly, these topics include limited infectious disease surveillance along the border, challenges associated with response to cross-border disease events, related medical and pharmaceutical supply chain topics, joint training needs to promote improved response to pandemics or disease pressures at the border, and the ability to effectively communicate across our border.
Value Proposition: The workshop findings are essential to the development of Requests for Proposals that will focus on DHS relevant mission concerns related to border health security.