It will soon be 10 years after September 11, 2001 (9/11). What progress has been made in healthcare and public health in regard to disaster preparedness and response? How have the public and private sectors been working together to ensure public safety? What does the future hold for the burgeoning discipline of disaster medicine for healthcare professionals?

Post-9/11, the American Medical Association (AMA) felt that they needed to have a credible presence in the area of preparedness and response. In December 2002, the AMA launched its Center for Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response (CPHPDR). James J. James, MD, DrPH, MHA, a pivotal and well-known leader in the field, has served as its director since its inception. He brings more than 30 years of experience in the public and private healthcare sectors -- as a clinician, researcher, professional personnel manager, and program director -- to this challenging and critical undertaking. As director, Dr. James spearheaded the development of a number of key initiatives.

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In the wake of the 10-year passing of 9/11, how ready are we to respond to new/emerging bioterrorist threats? Dr. James J. James discusses what we need to do to plan for today's potential challenges.