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American Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Summit to Focus on Bioterrorism and Public Health


For Immediate Release



Holly Baker

(312) 729-6225 (O) | (312) 833-1753 (Cell) | 24/7 Media Line: (312) 907-0520 


American Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Summit to Focus on Bioterrorism and Public Health


Panels of experts address topics that focus on bioterrorism preparedness, public health response and more at the 8th annual preparedness summit on Thursday, August 17 at DePaul University.


CHICAGO, IL (Aug.15, 2016) – The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois is hosting a one-day conference on disaster planning with a focus on community recovery and resiliency in the face of acts of bioterrorism on Aug. 17 for local leaders representing more than 100 business, government and community organizations.


The 8th Annual American Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Summit, Bioterrorism and the Impact of Public Health in Community Recovery and Resiliency is Thursday, Aug. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at DePaul University, located at 2250 N Sheffield Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60614. See program agenda here.


“This is a chance to meet experts in the field of disaster response and learn more about how it directly relates to public health and bioterrorism threats,” said Celena Roldán, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. “As part of the world’s largest humanitarian network, much of our work in the Greater Chicago region is to help build more resilient communities, such as through the collaboration and shared learning at this conference.” 


The annual summit provides participants from both the public and private sectors with disaster preparedness planning tools and resources from subject-matter experts on bioterrorism preparedness. Topics include:

• Public Health Emergency Response

• Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Planning in Illinois

• Private Sector Response to a Bioterrorism Event

• Psychological Impact of Disasters

• What Ebola Taught Us Illinois: Views on the Treatment of Highly Contagious Infectious Disease

• Increasing Terrorism Preparedness of Public and Private Sector Agencies


Facilitating discussions are business, government and nonprofit leaders from: 

• University of Chicago Medicine

• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

• Illinois Medical District

• Hassett Willis & Company (HWC)

• Illinois Army National Guard

• Cook County Department of Public Health

• Federal Bureau of Investigation

• Chicago and Milwaukee Department of Homeland Security Office of Health Affairs

• ChicagoFIRST

• General Electric

• Aon Benfield

• Illinois Department of Public Health, Office of Preparedness and Response

• United Airlines


American Red Cross of Greater Chicago Board of Directors member Brenda Battle, Vice President, Urban Health Initiative and Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Officer at the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences, is the chair of this year’s summit. 


The event is free of charge for participants thanks to the generous support of Presenting Sponsors: Aon, ComEd and CSX; Readiness Sponsor: Grainger, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Motorola Solutions Foundation; and Community Sponsors: Illinois Medical District, JLL, and DePaul University with additional support from the United Way. 


About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:

The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.