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Roundtable Discussion: Corporate Pandemic Preparedness

Beth Maldin-Morgenthau, Eric Toner, David Wilkinson, Barry Horwitz, Karen Antons, Thomas V. Inglesby, Tara O’Toole
Date posted:
July 03, 2007
Publication type:
Meeting report

Biosecur Bioterror 2007;5(2):168-173

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
Available on publisher's website
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Full article as PDF


On November 29, 2006, senior executives representing 20 corporations, many of them Fortune 500 companies, met in New York City to discuss corporate preparedness for pandemic influenza. The participants included 21 senior leaders with responsibility for business continuity, corporate security, emergency preparedness and response, and risk management. Industries represented included information technology, finance, pharmaceuticals, transportation, aerospace, consumer products, utilities, communication, energy, and defense. (Participating organizations are listed in the sidebar.) The Corporate Pandemic Preparedness Roundtable was jointly organized by The Bellwether Group, Inc., and the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC); it was sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The Roundtable provided executives from leading national and international businesses with the opportunity to share information and discuss the challenges they face in preparing their organizations, customers, suppliers, and employees to cope with a possible pandemic. The meeting included presentations from the Center for Biosecurity, The Bellwether Group, Inc., and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, followed by a structured discussion among the practice leaders in the room. Prior to the Roundtable, participants responded to a survey that enabled the organizers to evaluate the status of corporate pandemic planning amongst attendees. Results from this survey were presented, in nonattributable format, at the meeting. To facilitate an open discussion, information shared at this Roundtable was not for attribution.

The primary objectives of this Roundtable were: (1) to discuss the current threat from pandemic influenza and the corporate response thereto; (2) to determine the state of preparedness within the participant group; (3) to identify best practices in corporate preparedness for pandemic flu; and (4) to provide the participating companies an opportunity to learn from each other.



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