by the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs to take the lead on the following activities laid out in Sec. 748, H.R. 1815:
Surveillance efforts domestically and internationally, including those utilizing the Global Emerging Infections Systems (GEIS), and how such efforts are integrated with other ongoing surveillance systems
Integration of pandemic and response planning with those of other federal departments, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of the Veterans Affairs, Department of State, and U.S. Agency for International Development
Collaboration (as appropriate) with international entities engaged in pandemic preparedness and response
The supervisory role of DoD-GEIS headquarters in Avian Influenza/ Pandemic Influenza (AI/PI) activities was further reinforced in 2006 when the U.S. Army Surgeon General designated DoD-GEIS as the oversight agency for the 2006 congressional AI/PI supplemental funding and as the responsible agency for “monitoring and reporting execution and outcomes … to improve pandemic and avian influenza surveillance for DoD” (Kiley, 2006).
In the fall of 2005, DoD-GEIS headquarters began to assess the gaps in DoD influenza surveillance and response activities in anticipation of the expansion of its influenza surveillance capability. The DoD-GEIS director submitted to the DoD-GEIS-supported laboratories and DoD agencies a December 22, 2005, memorandum, “Fiscal Year 2006 Special Supplemental Budget for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness,” requesting the partners to submit surveillance proposals to carry out the mandate of the $39.28 million congressional supplemental appropriation that was soon to be distributed (Malone, 2005). In addition, DoD-GEIS headquarters worked closely with decision makers at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, the Force Health Protection Council, the Army Executive Agency, and the Commander of U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to develop a strategy for handling the AI/PI funding and coordinate AI/PI activities across DoD.
Upon receipt of the AI/PI supplemental funds in March 2006, the recently appointed DoD-GEIS director reorganized the headquarters to create a separate influenza and zoonoses divisions, and, with the advice and consultation of the existing professional staff, the director developed an AI/PI emergency preparedness plan (AI/PI EPP) program concept of operations, outlining program priorities. In addition, the DoD-GEIS headquarters established a core staff of professional public health and scientific personnel to properly and responsibly execute these funds. The staff was to include an individual to serve as the leader of the supplemental influenza oversight