Public Health and Vulnerable Populations

Since 1999, CNA has supported local, state, and federal government agencies in addressing the complex challenges of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from public health and medical emergencies and emerging health threats. We use objective, data-driven techniques to help senior decision-makers and operators address their most important problems. Our goal is to deliver solutions that are evidence-based, practical, and sustainable.

As an operational research and analysis organization, CNA’s work is informed by practical experience. Our staff has supported the responses to some of the most significant domestic and international public health emergencies that have occurred over the past 15 years, including anthrax and ricin incidents; SARS; H1N1 influenza pandemic; Ebola virus disease; Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Sandy; the Haiti earthquake; the Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis; and the Indian Ocean tsunami. This experience directly informs our planning, training, exercise, and real-world evaluation research by giving us insight into the systems, processes, and coordination structures that have been successful during crises.

Our work

As part of our public health preparedness and security practice, we support the following core services:

  • Planning. We have experience developing, revising, and evaluating preparedness plans for all levels of government. Our process emphasizes assessment to identify planning gaps or needs, as well as collaboration with clients to identify and engage key stakeholders during plan development, review, and validation.
  • Exercises. We have designed, facilitated, and evaluated more than 70 public health emergency exercises, ranging from workshops and discussion-based events to full-scale exercises and games. We work with our clients to define measurable training and exercise objectives, develop delivery formats appropriate for those objectives, and evaluate performance to distill key lessons.
  • Real-World Response. CNA has evaluated responses to more than 35 real-world emergencies over the past 15 years. Our analysts routinely deploy to the field during crises to observe operations in real-time and deliver practical insights that translate to improved outcomes for our clients. We have led retrospective analyses for some of the highest profile real-world incidents, including the Ebola virus disease outbreak; Hurricane Sandy; Hurricane Katrina; the Haiti earthquake; and SARS.
  • Technical Assistance. CNA is the lead technical assistance provider for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services National Background Check Program (NBCP), which was established under the Affordable Care Act to create a system for conducting comprehensive background checks on applicants for employment in the long-term care industry.