This document presents the Nation's first National Health Security Strategy (NHSS), which is intended to help galvanize efforts to minimize the health consequences associated with significant health incidents. The NHSS was developed in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, including representatives from local, state, territorial, tribal, and federal government; community-based organizations; private-sector firms; and academia. The statutory authority and requirements for the NHSS are provided under section 2802 of the Public Health Service Act.
The vision for health security described in the NHSS is built on a foundation of community resilience - healthy individuals, families, and communities with access to health care and with the knowledge and resources to know what to do to care for themselves and others in both routine and emergency situations. Communities help build resilience by implementing policies and practices to ensure the conditions under which people can be healthy, by assuring access to medical care, building social cohesion, supporting healthy behaviors, and creating a culture of preparedness in which bystander response to emergencies is not the exception but the norm.
Securing our Nation's health is a formidable task and must be a responsibility that is broadly shared among virtually all segments of society. The NHSS reflects current approaches and priorities for improving our Nation's ability to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from a major health incident. However, the NHSS also acknowledges that achieving national health security is a long-term proposition, one that requires a process of continuous learning and improvement, strict accountability, a willingness to engage domestic and global partners, and an on-going commitment to measuring, evaluating, and improving our collective ability to recognize, confront, and resolve existing and emerging threats to our Nation's health. Learn More >>[http://www.hhs.gov/aspr/opsp/nhss/nhss0912.pdf]