It is only possible to achieve a resilient community and an integrated, comprehensive, and resilient health system that can respond effectively to a public health emergency through active collaboration, coordination, and shared responsibility among a broad group of public and private stakeholders and the community itself. The Institute of Medicine established the Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events in 2007 to provide a neutral venue for dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders in the preparedness field. In the Forum's first year, the members began to address topics such as medical countermeasures dispensing, crisis standards of care, and medical surge capacity. In the past 9 months, the Forum members have expanded their areas of interest in response to current events and national areas of focus. Current topics include individual, family, and community preparedness and resiliency; medical countermeasures from development through dispensing; and the response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Across all of the initiatives undertaken by the Forum, the common element is that they tackle problems, gaps, and future opportunities that can only be successfully addressed if multiple stakeholders work together.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2010;4:174-177)