Resilience challenge

In 2014, the United States’ first Ebola patient was diagnosed in Dallas, TX. While only a few cases ensued, the initial response revealed serious deficiencies in coordination and overall preparedness. With support from the Federal government, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) took the initiative by launching a program to improve high-consequence infectious disease planning and response.

Witt O’Brien’s solution

DSHS partnered with Witt O’Brien’s to deliver this first-of-a-kind program. We worked with the state and a wide range of organizations across its 8 regions to develop a series of plans to address not just Ebola, but all infectious diseases deemed to be “high consequence.” We reviewed after-action reports, existing plans, federal guidelines and national best practices. We also met regularly with DSHS and key response partners in a series of highly interactive meetings. A critical part of the effort included pioneering a new planning framework to align with relevant state, local, and federal plans.

Resilience delivered

This innovative and complex program was delivered on time and on budget. Key results included:

  • Some of the first regional and state high-consequence disease plans in the country
  • Creation of a standardized framework for development of regional preparedness and response plans that align with state and federal requirements

We continue to help Texas with the roll-out and continued evolution of this program.


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