Public Health

IEM’s Expertise in Public Health Policy, Planning and Modeling

IEM is a national leader in public health policy, planning, and modeling.  IEM’s modeling following the 2001 anthrax attacks and other disease outbreaks led to two Presidential policies – one from President Bush and another from President Obama.

IEM’s modeling showed that specific actions have the potential to save millions of lives during catastrophic biological scenarios.

Support for Federal Policy on Pandemics and Medical Countermeasures: HHS

For over 15 years, IEM has supported the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and their planning and modeling for pandemics and medical countermeasures requirements.

IEM initially supported HHS as part of the Secretary’s Council on Public Health Preparedness and their Anthrax Modeling Working Group in 2003. As part of our support to the Working Group, IEM modeled the medical consequences of an anthrax attack by examining the time to complete rapid dispensing of post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, with multiple courses of action in a targeted area.

IEM continued to support HHS analyzing public health consequences of anthrax attacks and examining the time to complete PEP dispensing throughout the mid-2000s. Our modeling and analyses demonstrated that post-exposure prophylaxis needs to be accomplished as quickly as possible to save lives. The IEM team presented our anthrax modeling analysis and results to the Biodefense Net Assessment Executive Review Panel in June 2007, leading to the creation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive-21 (HSPD-21) – Public Health and Medical Preparedness issued by President George W. Bush in October 2007.

As part of IEM’s modeling and simulation support to HHS, IEM investigated and modeled the feasibility and potential effectiveness of using the U.S. Postal Service to deliver medical countermeasures (MCMs) to households to augment the local points of distribution. At HHS’s request, in January 2008, the IEM presented our anthrax modeling to the Special Assistant to President Bush for Biodefense Policy, including an analysis of the effectiveness of Postal Service delivery of MCMs. We continued to work with HHS to further model and analyze the effectiveness of Postal Service delivery of MCMs as a potential dispensing mechanism.

Then, in late December 2009, President Barack Obama and the White House issued Executive Order (EO) 13527Establishing Federal Capability for the Timely Provision of Medical Countermeasures Following a Biological AttackThe EO was directly informed by IEM’s modeling work and directed the federal government to finalize plans to implement the Postal Service’s delivery of MCMs as a Federal augmentation to local MCM dispensing to ensure a rapid response to a biological attack on U.S. soil.

Data Driven, Evidence-based:  Policies and Plans

IEM’s public health and pandemic data and modeling expertise is world class. Our work remains the basis for federal government policies and plans that are still being used today.

Our team works each and every day to enable data-driven planning in the federal, state, local, and territorial government and the private sector. We help public health agencies and healthcare organizations overcome the challenges they face preparing for emergencies and disasters.  

Since 2003, IEM’s modeling has driven federal policy and planning. Our work transformed planning for all national and regional medical countermeasures using medical consequence modeling and simulation of disease outbreaks and medical consequences following emerging infectious diseases or hypothetical attacks with biological agents.  In fact, IEM has supported interagency working groups to develop vetted disease models for all Category A and some Category B biological agents.

The best planning documents for a medical or public health response are evidence-based, supported with data. Our analyses incorporate mitigated and unmitigated consequences, public health responses, and concepts of operation, as well as the responses of the general public to such events.  IEM professionals have proven experience in helping states and health care systems ensure organizational resiliency and become more effective service providers during emergencies – whether it is transporting and distributing the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) or caring for a small population of patients with highly specialized medical needs.

IEM professionals have first-hand public health and medical services knowledge and expertise. Our staff of experts includes medical preparedness and response planners, epidemiologists, disease progression modelers, public health practitioners and educators, former hospital emergency managers, and public health policy analysts. They are experienced clinicians in the areas of public health, emergency care, critical care, medical-surgical, hospital administration, and emergency medical services.  

Sample IEM Public Health-related Projects

  • Modeling support for the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine), to support research studies, including Dispensing Medical Countermeasures for Public Health Emergencies
  • Modeling work for HHS to support the Executive Office of the President in 2008, resulting in a subsequent Homeland Security Presidential Directive and Executive Order
  • Modeling all Category A and some Category B biological agents as well as the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the 2008-2009 Ebola outbreak, and the novel coronavirus (2020) for HHS
  • Biological tabletop exercises for the CDC
  • Biological modeling for FEMA’s Biological Incident Annex to the Response & Recovery Federal Interagency Operational Plan
  • Public health and medical subject matter expertise support to FEMA for Comprehensive Preparedness Guidance (CPG) initiative
  • Pandemic flu supplement for the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP)
  • State of Colorado’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Transportation Plan, including tabletop exercise and participation in full-scale exercise
  • Catastrophic planning for the Missouri Hospital Association to improve immediate and long-term capacity to respond to a major disaster
  • Technical Assistance (TA) Program for Mass Casualty and Mass Fatality planning covering capability assessment, state/local planning, regional planning, resource coordination, and plan validation
  • Business continuity planning for Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), including training and tabletop exercise
  • COOP plan assessment for the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services

For more information on how IEM can assist with you with your planning needs, please contact Bryan Koon or Kristin Robinson at 703-414-8187 or kristin.robinson[at]

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IEM became one of the first companies to focus solely on emergency management and to use quantitative data and science to inform decisions in emergency management. Over the past 35 years, IEM has grown from a company of one to an employer of over 550 employees, and has provided clients and communities with innovative solutions that produce results and save lives.

The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) is jointly managed by FEMA and the U.S. Army. The program ensures maximum protection for the communities surrounding U.S. chemical weapons stockpile sites. Since 1993, IEM has provided program integration services to FEMA and through FEMA to the states and counties that are part of CSEPP.

In 1999, FEMA selected IEM to be the CSEPP onsite Program Management and Integration Contractor. IEM worked with program managers to develop a flexible protection framework that broke down the “maximum protection” mandate into measurable benchmarks. These benchmarks have been adopted by emergency managers in 10 states, 40 countries, and one Tribal Nation.
IEM was awarded a five-year BPA with FEMA to continue working to further CSEPP initiatives between 2000 and 2004. During this time IEM was contracted to develop a secure website to facilitate communication and information-sharing among CSEPP planners nationwide who work in different jurisdictions. The website IEM created now has over 1,000 active users who use it as their primary source of CSEPP information. IEM also developed a demonstration version of an interactive computer-based “game” designed to illustrate the effects of different protective action decisions in a CSEPP emergency to citizens in the Madison County, KY, CSEPP community.

FEMA awarded IEM a second five-year BPA from 2005-2011. IEM was asked to provide CSEPP technical and analytical studies, risk assessments, support for development of programmatic guidance and preparation of reports to Congress. IEM was required to evaluate the Oregon CSEPP community’s readiness in the event of a depot incident. IEM also assisted in the planning and execution of regular readiness exercises and supported pre-exercise meetings. IEM’s work for CSEPP has been recognized on multiple levels. In 2004, FEMA and IEM received a Profiles in Innovation Award for Emergency Preparedness and Response Excellence from GOVSEC (Government Security Expo and Conference). IEM continues to work with FEMA to increase preparedness and achieve measurable results.


QEM uses the information gathered from conducting different scenarios to calculate the risk and impact of implementing different risk-reducing strategies. It pinpoints the actions that are the most effective at reducing risk across a wide spectrum of potential events. QEM allows clients to know the best way to allocate funds and bridge gaps in preparedness without spending thousands of dollars to implement ideas that cannot work.

QEM’s methodology has been applied to hundreds of IEM projects, such as readiness assessments, chemical plant mitigation studies, protective action analyses, and hurricane evacuation planning. The U.S. Army and FEMA have repeatedly used QEM technology to assess strategies to protect citizens in case of an accidental release of chemical agents. DOD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) also utilized QEM to quantify the effectiveness of various chemical defense systems. The software continues to provide valuable solutions to clients.