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March 18, 2020

Podcast: Dr. Patrick O'Carroll on COVID-19 outbreak prevention through health systems strengthening

Dr. Patrick O'Carroll recording this episode of the podcast

In the midst of a global pandemic, one public health issue has eclipsed many others on the forefront of most of our minds: novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. I wanted to better understand how informatics—and public health infrastructure more broadly—could help protect populations from outbreaks like COVID-19, and so in early March, I sat down with Dr. Patrick O'Carroll to ask him about this issue. Patrick is the head of health systems strengthening at the Task Force for Global Health, and is a former leader at both CDC and HHS. In the course of our conversation, he advised public health jurisdictions on how best to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak, discussed informatics as an outbreak prevention tool, and offered some words of caution for how to think about a pandemic in a politically charged environment.

In the roughly two weeks between our recorded conversation and the publication of this podcast episode, of course, much has changed, and this situation continues to evolve rapidly, but Patrick's perspectives on novel coronavirus continue to be valuable and relevant.

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Piper Hale, MPH

Assistant Director of Communications