The Invisible Backbone: Strengthening Supply Chain and Public Health Infrastructure

Summit: Disruptors and Transformers

Online Webinar

Pandemic responses require efficient flow of materials (like vaccines, supplies, and equipment), information, and workforce across the entire system. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed deep gaps and flaws in the United States public health infrastructure and supply chain—leading to shortages and disruptions throughout all levels of care and prevention. In order to successfully stop the spread of COVID-19, rebuild, and prepare adequately for future pandemics, these often unseen but critical frameworks of our health care system must be evaluated and shored up. This panel explained components and processes that comprise our vaccine development pipeline, medical supply chain, and public health infrastructure, as well as explore the crucial interactions between the three operations. Expert panelists highlighted policy considerations to leverage and improve these foundational systems for the future.

Event Materials


  • Jennifer B. Alton, MPP, Senior Strategy and Policy Advisor, Coalition to Stop Flu
  • Anita Cicero, J.D., Deputy Director, Center for Health Security, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (moderator)
  • Nicolette Louissaint, Ph.D., Executive Director, Healthcare Ready
  • Jennifer Rakeman, Ph.D., Assistant Commissioner and Laboratory Director, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

This panel was part of our Summit, a program of our 2020 Signature Series.