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Spring Journal

Volume 30, Issue 1

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Jon Seals

Jon Seals

by Tom Jackson, Senior Training Advisor, CDC Division of Strategic National Stockpile

Tom Jackson touring proposed medical materiel storage site in Yaounde, Cameroon in March 2015.
Tom Jackson touring proposed medical material storage site in Yaounde, Cameroon in March 2015.

In the United States, most of us take it for granted that if we need medicine – cough syrup, aspirin, or even most antibiotics – we can just run down to the pharmacy and get it. That’s because our medical supply chain – the series of organizations, companies, and systems that make sure those shelves are stocked – works well. In an emergency, we even have a stockpile of medicines on hand and people with the skills and resources to deliver it anywhere in the United States within 12 hours.

In many parts of the world, it can be hard to even get the basics.

One of the essential goals of the Global Health Security Agenda is to create a structure for sending and receiving medicines and materials (medical countermeasures) and staff between international partners during public health emergencies. As a senior training advisor for the Strategic National Stockpile, my job is to help responders in other countries figure out how to make their supply chains work in any type of public health crisis. The stockpile has hosted medical supply chain workshops in developing countries, including Ethiopia, Uganda and Cameroon.

Every link in the chain is critical

From L to R – Tom Jackson, Joe Vital, and Michael Ayres: DSNS facilitators for medical countermeasures workshop at Ethiopia Public Health Institute in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 2016.
From left to right – Tom Jackson, Joe Vitale, and Michael Ayres: DSNS facilitators for medical countermeasures workshop at Ethiopia Public Health Institute in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 2016.

In a crisis, every link in the chain has to be working properly.

For example, if there’s a disease outbreak, what good is it to send a team to take a sample if you can’t ship that sample to a lab?

Or maybe there’s a nearby lab, but the lab workers don’t have the equipment or training to process the sample. How do you figure out what you’re up against and what supplies to order?

And, finally, if the supply chain can’t get the necessary medicines and supplies to the people who need them, all the other response achievements don’t matter. It all has to be in place, and it all has to work together.

Every emergency – and every place – is different

If every emergency were the same and required the same resources, figuring out how to help people would be easy and no one would ever have to suffer due to a lack of medicine or supplies.

But every place in the world is different, both in the risks people face and the resources they have available. I always tell responders to ask the right questions: What emergencies are most likely to happen? And what can we do to make the supply chain work better?

Let’s say there’s a large-scale public health crisis, and a ship full of medical supplies comes into the harbor. But, there’s not a single dock to unload it. What good are those supplies? However, if there’s even one dock – even if it’s not the best dock – people can unload the ship and deliver help. Improving any part of the supply chain helps.

Any plan is better than none

When I travel to other countries, I tell responders that any plan, even an imperfect plan, is better than no plan at all. In a crisis, we don’t want to be starting from scratch.

What will you do when you’re used to receiving and distributing 20 pallets of medicines and materials and all of a sudden you receive 200…or 2,000? These are the kinds of questions countries should be able to answer before disaster strikes.

Also important is to practice and exercise response plans ahead of time so everyone knows what to do. In the United States, the stockpile partners with state, territorial and local public health to conduct large-scale exercises that simulate a real emergency. This kind of practice is critical to identifying gaps in the plan.

So, in a nutshell, what is it I do? I help countries ask the right questions, plan, and find the resources they need to respond quickly and efficiently. And why do I do what I do? Because I believe this is how we stop outbreaks close to the source and keep epidemics from spreading around the world.

This story illustrates our commitment to implementing the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), which aims to improve the world’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. CDC is partnering with 31 countries around the world to reach the goals of the GHSA, including having a national framework for transferring (sending and receiving) medical countermeasures and public health and medical personnel among international partners during public health emergencies.

Achieves Certification to Further Mitigate Risk in Third Party Privacy, Security and Compliance for New and Existing Healthcare Customers

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Rackspace® today announced that it has earned Certified status for information security by the Health Information Trust (HITRUST) Alliance for its dedicated environment. With the HITRUST CSF Certified status, the Rackspace Dedicated environment now meets key healthcare regulations and requirements for protecting and securing sensitive private healthcare information (PHI).

HITRUST CSF Certified status indicates that the Rackspace Dedicated environment has met industry-defined requirements and is appropriately managing risk, and places Rackspace in an elite group of organizations worldwide that have earned this certification. By including federal and state regulations, standards and frameworks, and incorporating a risk-based approach, the HITRUST CSF helps organizations address these challenges through a comprehensive and flexible framework of prescriptive and scalable security controls.

"The HITRUST CSF has become the information protection framework for the healthcare industry, and the CSF Assurance program is bringing a new level of effectiveness and efficiency to third-party assurance," said Ken Vander Wal, chief compliance officer, HITRUST. "The CSF Certification is now the benchmark that organizations require to safeguard PHI are measured against with regards to information protection. We are pleased that Rackspace has taken the steps necessary to achieve HITRUST CSF Certified status, and we expect this designation to provide more confidence to its customers."

HITRUST CSF Certified status applies to the practices, procedures and policies that govern offerings within the Rackspace Dedicated environment including Rackspace Dedicated Servers, storage, databases, networking solutions and managed virtualization. Leveraging the Rackspace Dedicated environment helps healthcare organizations mitigate the security risk of electronic protected health information (ePHI) and ensure their data is hosted in an IT environment that complies with key controls from several industry standards.

"Medical data is becoming an increasingly attractive target for cyber criminals, so healthcare companies like Central Logic must keep security and compliance top of mind to protect our business and our customers," said David Meservy, director of IT and security at Central Logic, a healthcare solutions company and Rackspace customer. "HIPAA compliance alone is no longer enough for healthcare organizations, and we now look to frameworks like HITRUST for stringent, ongoing benchmarks that organizations can follow. By achieving HITRUST CSF Certification, Rackspace has offloaded the complexity of achieving these certifications on our own. This is a true differentiator and a sign of the company's emphasis on security and support for customers."

With the HITRUST CSF Certified status, the Rackspace Dedicated environment helps healthcare customers reduce the cost and complexity of creating a secure IT infrastructure that meets a multitude of regulations and standards, as well as alleviate audit fatigue from scrutiny of regulators, auditors and third parties. Additionally, customers leveraging the HITRUST CSF Certified Rackspace Dedicated environment gain 24x7x365 access to experts, and can benefit from 100 percent network availability SLAs, infrastructure architecture design and management, all backed by Fanatical Support®.

"Rackspace has served the needs of more than 2,000 healthcare customers for years, and we're now investing more heavily in this industry with the HITRUST CSF Certification on our dedicated solutions," said Mark Roenigk, chief transformation officer at Rackspace. "The HITRUST CSF is the most widely adopted security framework in the healthcare industry, and an IT infrastructure requirement for most healthcare organizations, including health insurance companies, hospitals, medical practices and SaaS providers. As the healthcare industry is further pressured to digitize data and operations, Rackspace is well positioned to help these organizations meet stringent technical regulations."

The Rackspace Dedicated environment now meets HITRUST CSF Certified status in all regions for new and existing customers. For more information about how Rackspace can help customers manage HITRUST compliant workloads, visit www.rackspace.com/healthcare or see the blog post at https://blog.rackspace.com/medical-data-security-certified-hitrust-now-available-rackspace.

About Rackspace
Rackspace, the #1 managed cloud company, helps businesses tap the power of hosting and cloud computing without the complexity and cost of managing it on their own. Rackspace engineers deliver specialized expertise, easy-to-use tools, and Fanatical Support® for leading technologies including AWS, VMware, Microsoft, OpenStack and others. The company serves customers in 150 countries, including more than half of the FORTUNE 100. Rackspace was named a leader in the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting, and has been honored by Fortune, Forbes, and others as one of the best companies to work for. Learn more at www.rackspace.com.

With the active shooter threat increasing in recent years, it has never been more important for organizations to be prepared. What's the best way to prepare for an emergency? Run exercises and drills. 

In this white paper, Designing an Active Shooter Exercise that Focuses on the Impact, Regina Phelps, Founder, Emergency Management and Safety Solutions, covers the value of running an impact exercise and how it can improve an organization's overall resiliency and readiness. Specific topics covered in the white paper include:

  • Exercise design teams and processes
  • Use of a simulation team
  • Communication tools and messaging
  • Human Resources response to a crisis

Designing an Active Shooter Exercise that Focuses on Impact


Regina Phelps is an internationally recognized expert in the field of emergency management and continuity planning. Since 1982, she has provided consultation and educational speaking services to clients in four continents. She is founder of Emergency Management & Safety Solutions, a consulting company specializing in incident management, exercise design, and continuity and pandemic planning. Clients include many Fortune 500 companies. Ms. Phelps is a frequent top-rated speaker at well-known conferences such as the Disaster Recovery Journal, CP&M, and the World Conference on Disaster Management. She is frequently sought out for her common sense approach and clear, clean delivery of complex topics.

Companies to Provide Validated Docker Solutions on Cisco UCS and Container Automation with Open Source Cisco Contiv

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Today, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Docker Inc. announced a strategic alliance for worldwide engineering, sales and support to deliver essential container capabilities for application-centric data center and cloud infrastructure.

Customers can modernize applications using Docker Enterprise Edition (EE) with Docker Datacenter, and deliver them securely and efficiently across Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and Cisco validated Converged Infrastructure solutions with Cisco partners. Cisco and Docker will deliver unified and certified solutions for the entire application journey, whether organizations are containerizing traditional applications, refactoring applications to microservices, or creating new applications. Docker EE with Docker Datacenter running on Cisco UCS will provide application developers a seamless way to deploy, iterate, re-deploy, and monitor applications onto production infrastructure.

This worldwide initiative between two industry leaders will deliver:

  • Reduced complexity for improved manageability and automation, leveraging the unified, highly scalable architecture of Cisco UCS, with consistent management across all computing environments -- traditional and modern. Cisco UCS is ideal for distributed, microservices application architectures with high performance networking and comprehensive infrastructure controls via application programming interfaces.
  • Scalable, resilient, secure networking for containerized applications using Contiv, a Cisco-initiated open source project that allows IT organizations to implement comprehensive network policy enforcement.

"The powerful combination of Cisco's leading UCS product line for Cloud infrastructure and Docker's containerized technology will offer customers high levels of security, manageability and scale," said Liz Centoni, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Computing Systems Product Group. "Developers and IT, working together, can now build ship and deploy container applications anywhere."

"Enterprises are increasingly looking to Docker to modernize their traditional applications so their investment in Linux and Windows Server applications can achieve major operational efficiencies while making these applications more agile, cloud-ready and more secure," said Ben Golub, CEO, Docker. "This strategic partnership brings even more opportunity for these enterprises by running Dockerized applications on a validated Cisco UCS infrastructure that is optimized for security, availability, performance and scale."

Docker EE is the leading container platform for enterprise developers and IT teams that are looking to converge a diverse set of application pipelines under one uniform packaging format, API & tooling for all their applications across the entire application lifecycle. Docker EE establishes the foundation for a Containers as a Service (CaaS) model that becomes the framework for an enterprise software supply chain where any applications (traditional and microservices) can be managed centrally and uniformly across any infrastructure.

Joint sales and support programs across Docker, Cisco and Cisco channel partners ensure that Docker EE works seamlessly for applications deployed across hybrid cloud, converged infrastructure, converged storage, hyperconverged infrastructure, and Cisco servers. Enterprise customers have the assurance of Cisco-supported Docker platform as part of this strategic relationship.

Cisco and Docker plan to deliver joint solutions, which will be available through Cisco's partner channels with full support:

  • Contiv: Contiv is a Cisco-sponsored, completely open source networking fabric for heterogeneous Docker deployments across virtual machines, bare-metal, and public or private clouds. As the industry's most powerful container networking fabric, Contiv, with its Layer2, Layer3, overlay and ACI modes, natively integrates with Cisco infrastructure and complements Docker by directly mapping the application intent with the infrastructure capabilities using rich networking and security policies. At Cisco Live! Berlin 2017, Cisco announced the availability of Contiv 1.0. Cisco and Docker announced today that Contiv is now a Docker Certified plugin, through participation in the Docker Certification Program, a framework for partners to integrate and certify their technology to the Docker Enterprise Edition commercial platform. Contiv is available as a certified plugin in the Docker Store.
  • Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for Docker Data Center on Cisco UCS: Customers can quickly deploy Docker Datacenter in a development or production environment on Cisco UCS B-Series blade servers or C-Series rack servers by leveraging a certified reference architecture and best practices for deployment. This solution is targeted at stateless container deployments and comes with entry and mid-range configurations; it is ideal for customers who want to jump start their container journey.
  • Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for Docker Data Center on Converged Infrastructure: Cisco, a leader in the converged infrastructure market, brings its proven data center architecture to containerized deployments through its CVD "Flexpod with Docker Data Center for Container Management." This CVD delivers a highly available and scalable converged infrastructure solution including how to deploy and configure Docker Datacenter on FlexPod to utilize both virtual and bare-metal instances of Docker Universal Control Plane (UCP) nodes. The reference architecture also includes manual deployment and automated deployment processes for Cisco UCS and the Docker volume plugin for NetApp storage.

Cisco has a proven history of working with partners to develop solutions that deliver business value. The Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS™) and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI™) are open infrastructure frameworks supported by broad, mature partner ecosystem. The alliance with Docker will extend benefits of Cisco's data center architectures to container environments, and the two companies will collaborate going forward to bring additional solutions to the marketplace.


Contiv is available now at http://contiv.io and can be downloaded from Docker Store and GitHub
Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for Docker Data Center is available now.
The Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for Converged Infrastructure is available now.

Additional Resources
Learn more about: Cisco Data Center and Virtualization
Learn more about: Cisco Unified Computing System
Learn more about: Cisco Data Center Services
Learn more about: Contiv
Read Cisco Contiv blog: Contiv 1.0

About Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®)
Generic servers run generic businesses but digital transformation demands more: it requires critical applications to be delivered with industry-leading performance, availability, and security. Cisco created a revolutionary computing architecture designed for IT innovation and business acceleration. Cisco UCS isn't just a server, it's a radically simplified solution for advanced application performance, increased operational velocity, and superior economics.

UCS customers tell us that UCS has helped them:

  • Reduce administration and management costs by up to 66 percent
  • Reduce total cost of ownership at the platform, site, and organizational levels by up to 48 percent
  • Accelerate the delivery of new application services by up to 83 percent

Cisco UCS. It's not a server. It's a system.™

About Docker
Docker, Inc. is the company behind the Docker open source platform, and is the chief sponsor of the Docker ecosystem. Docker is an open platform for developers and system administrators to build, ship and run distributed applications. With Docker, IT organizations shrink application delivery from months to minutes, frictionlessly move workloads between data centers and the cloud and can achieve up to 20X greater efficiency in their use of computing resources. Inspired by an active community and by transparent, open source innovation, Docker containers have been downloaded more than 10 billion times and Docker is used by millions of developers across thousands of the world's most innovative organizations, including ADP, GE, the BBC, Goldman Sachs, Groupon, ING, Yelp and Spotify.

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. For ongoing news, please go to http://thenetwork.cisco.com.

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

Availability Disclaimer: Many of the products and features described herein remain in varying stages of development and will be offered on a when-and-if-available basis. This products and features are subject to change at the sole discretion of Cisco, and Cisco will have no liability for delay in the delivery or failure to deliver any of the products or features set forth in this document.

This press release may contain forward looking statements relating to future events or future financial performance that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," or "continue," or the negative of such terms or comparable terms. These statements are only predictions and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these statements based upon a number of factors including those identified in the company's filings with the SEC.

Case Study:

Black Hills Energy

As a natural gas and electric utility, Black Hills Energy requires 24/7 access to critical IT/business systems to deliver trusted service to over 1.2 million customers across eight states in the Midwest and Mountain West. The company also produces and sources its own natural gas and electricity across the country.

With those huge responsibilities at stake and a diverse range of services, sites, and complex operations spread across a wide and varied geography, the company’s IT services can never waver.