U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Health Affairs (OHA) Assistant Secretary Kathryn Brinsfield addresses how OHA’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget request will allow OHA to further the Office’s health and homeland security missions.
office of health affairs
In 2014, the world faced a public health emergency with the outbreak of Ebola across West Africa. In response, President Obama declared Ebola a national security priority and directed a government-wide aggressive response to limit the risk of the disease reaching the Homeland. Working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Homeland Security quickly established an effective screening process by funneling 94 percent of passengers originating from Ebola-affected countries into five designated U.S. airports. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) also implemented measures at all other U.S. ports of entry to conduct enhanced screening of the remaining six percent of travelers. During this time not a single traveler exhibiting Ebola symptoms is known to have entered the country undetected.
On January 28, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson was in Arizona to meet with local law enforcement officials and oversee the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) security operations surrounding Super Bowl XLIX. Secretary Johnson announced the re-launch of the Department’s “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign and continued partnership with the National Football League (NFL) to help ensure the safety and security of employees, players and fans during Super Bowl XLIX.
DHS works with state and local officials through the BioWatch program to monitor for traces of dangerous pathogens in public places where large groups of people gather to ensure that we respond quickly when a potential threat is identified.