Bernard Goldstein, MD, has been appointed to chair a National Academies Committee on the Effectiveness of National Biosurveillance Systems: BioWatch and the Public Health System. The 25-member committee was convened to respond to a congressional request to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the BioWatch program, an advanced bioterrorism monitoring system that collects airborne particles to provide early warning of the release of pathogens, alerting authorities before victims begin to show symptoms, and providing the opportunity to deliver treatments earlier.
The committee will compare the BioWatch Program to alternative approaches in an effort to enhance the public health surveillance system by strengthening the U.S. public health response to potential bioterrorism threats. The committee, which has been jointly convened by the National Research Council (NRC) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), has received $2 million in funding from congress for the evaluation, which is to be completed in early 2009.
Goldstein is a professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and former dean of GSPH. He has previously chaired 12 committees, including current service as chair of the NRC Standing Committee on Risk Assessment and Reviews, and of the IOM Environmental Health and Toxicology Interest Group. He is an elected member of the IOM.