Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra Friday elevated the Office of Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to a standalone HHS agency called the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response to better coordinate the national response to future disasters and emergencies. HHS said the change recognizes the growing scope of ASPR’s mission to include the Strategic National Stockpile in 2018, public health supply chain in 2020 and HHS Coordination Operations and Response Element (H-CORE) early this year. Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell will continue to lead the office.

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