Center for Public Health Preparedness and Resilience

CNA's Center for Public Health Preparedness and Resilience works with government agencies, nongovernmental organizations and international organizations to develop, implement, assess and enhance public health and health care emergency preparedness programs. We apply innovative and customized research and analytical approaches to help our clients improve decision-making and operate more effectively. Our work is objective, data-driven and actionable.


To improve the lives of people and the communities in which they live by strengthening the public health and health care systems they rely on daily and in times of crisis.


Policy analysis— We evaluate the efficacy, cost, and consequences of existing policies; develop alternative approaches for new policies; and design systems for measuring policy effectiveness in the future.

Planning— We develop strategic and operational plans based on hazards, threats, or the functions and phases of emergency management. We incorporate comprehensive risk management, an understanding of capabilities-based planning, and our extensive real-world operations experience into our planning approach.

Risk assessment— We help public health agencies and health care organizations and coalitions understand the natural, technological and man-made threats and hazards they face, as well as the potential impacts of those threats and hazards.

Capability and readiness assessment— We help agencies or jurisdictions understand their current capabilities and operational readiness, establish practical targets given their priority threats and hazards, and to make smart investments to close identified gaps.

Data analytics, and visualization— We maintain expertise in collecting, processing, exploring, analyzing, interpreting, and visualizing data for our clients. Our expertise includes geospatial analysis and disease outbreak modeling, as well as modern approaches to statistical analysis and predictive analytics.

Modeling and simulation— We develop computer simulation models for use in training and exercise programs, operational evaluation and policy development. Our experience ranges from the design and development of models and interfaces in advance of training and exercises, to their use during workshops and exercises based on input from participants.

Training and exercises— We develop training and exercise programs, and help agencies implement those programs by designing, conducting and evaluating trainings, exercises, drills and advanced games. Our approach complies with Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program guidance, yet is flexible and fully customized to meet the unique requirements of our clients.

Critical incident analysis— We conduct independent reviews and analyses during and after real-world incidents to identify critical lessons and needed improvements to public health and health care response systems and capabilities. Our experts routinely deploy to disaster areas to collect and analyze data to support operational decision-making. We have analyzed nearly every major domestic public health emergency since the 2001 anthrax attacks, as well as many international emergencies. We also conduct meta-analyses to identify cross-cutting priority areas affecting public health and health care preparedness.

Recent Reports

Report of the Independent Panel on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Ebola Response

To capture critical lessons from the Ebola epidemic of 2014–2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked CNA to convene an independent panel of public health, health care, emergency response and communication experts to review the department’s international and domestic responses. This report summarizes the independent panel’s assessment of HHS’s challenges —and, where appropriate, challenges facing the broader U.S. government — and presents recommendations for addressing future urgent public health threats.

Opioid Data Initiative

Substance use disorders, especially those involving the misuse of opioids, represent a major public health and public safety crisis for communities across the U.S. States and local communities are using data-driven approaches to better understand the size and scope of the epidemic, identify populations at risk, and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their response efforts.