U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health

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Establishment of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Tuesday, September 15, 2015—The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announce the appointment of nationally recognized experts to the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (the Advisory Council).

 “Antibiotic resistance is a growing public health threat across our country. That’s why it’s so important that we work together to address this challenge,” said HHS Secretary Burwell. “Work is underway to implement a National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, a research-driven plan to identify and coordinate action across the administration to prevent and control outbreaks of resistant pathogens. We have made progress including CDC’s new recommendations for nursing homes to improve antibiotic prescribing. But there is still more to do. I know this council will be important to this effort and provide invaluable advice on our programs, policies and plans to continue our work to combat this growing global threat.”

Antibiotics reduce illness and death from infectious diseases. However, an increasing number of bacterial infections no longer respond to our most powerful antibiotics, putting patients at risk for severe infections and even death. Detecting, preventing, and controlling antibiotic resistance requires a strategic, coordinated, and sustained effort. The work of the Advisory Council complements other federal efforts, including the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria. Together, these efforts provide a roadmap to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics, strengthen surveillance, prevent the transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, further new research, and improve international coordination.

 “The range and depth of expertise on the Advisory Council will be invaluable to USDA and our partner agencies as we work to ensure the continued effectiveness of antibiotics,” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “We at USDA look forward to working with these council members who have dedicated their careers to addressing what has become a critical public health concern.”

 "The threat from antibiotic resistant bacteria is not just a health issue - it is a threat to the safety of all Americans and their trust in our institutions providing health care," said the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. Jonathan Woodson. "The Defense Department is excited about this opportunity to work with leading scientists and researchers in the field to improve our national and international strategies for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria." ...

Please see entire News Release:

Note: “The appointed Vice Chair: *Lonnie J. King, D.V.M., M.S., M.P.A., A.C.V.P.M.; Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, Executive Dean, Health Science Colleges, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Dr. King has more than 30 years of expertise in advancing the health and welfare of animals and humans. He is an innovator in veterinary education, biomedical research, and animal disease discovery. Dr. King is an expert in the “One Health” initiative and frequently serves as a keynote and guest panelist to diverse audiences worldwide regarding the convergence of human and animal health. He has also served as co-chair on the joint Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture to respond to the recommendations in the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report on Antimicrobial Resistance.”

*Dr. King is also a member of the One Health Initiative team’s Honorary Advisory Board