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Texas in the Spotlight: COVID-19 Response - One Step Away from Catastrophe

Friday, July 30, 2021

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

About the Event

COVID-19 challenged our state health system in every aspect from testing and treatment to vaccinations and protection against the novel infection. It further challenged our society in terms of health disparities in relation to accessesible medical services and health insurance coverage. COVID-19 challenged our emergency response and our ability to mitigate multiple disasters at the same time.

In this second part of the Resilience Series, we take a hard, but progressive look at the steps taken by Texas to avert a catastrophic take-down of the state’s health system. We also describe lessons learned and what the takeaway may be in the face of future disasters.

About the Speaker

David Gruber, Associate Commissioner for Regional and Local Health Operations, Texas Department of State Health Services

Moderator: Dr. Winston Liaw, M.D., M.P.H., Chair of Health Systems and Population Health Sciences, University of Houston College of Medicine

David Gruber received his B.A. in Microbiology from Rutgers University and his Masters in Strategy from the U.S. Army Command and General Officer Staff College. He spent twenty-one years in the U.S. Navy serving as a pilot, Intelligence Officer and Chemical/Biological Warfare specialist. After retiring from the Navy, he was the Senior Planner for the Dallas County Health Department, Dallas, TX, followed by service with the New Jersey (NJ) Department of Health and Senior Services as Senior Assistant Commissioner for Regional and Local Health Department Oversight, Emergency Preparedness and Response, the Office of Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and the NJ State Public Health and Environmental Laboratories. Prior to returning to Texas, he was the Special Assistant to the NJ Director of Homeland Security and Preparedness. He is currently the Texas DSHS Associate Commissioner for Regional and Local Health Operations, Border Health, Emergency Preparedness and the Texas Center for Infectious Disease.



Group in a huddle
Hanadi Rifai
Director of HuRRI
Professor of Civil Engineering