Biosurveillance provides information that improves decisions about mitigating the effects of disease outbreaks and bioterrorism. Applying two standard risk and decision analysis tools to biosurveillance -decision trees and value-of-information analysis-- I demonstrate an approach for evaluating strategies to enhance biosurveillance and to improve decisions about whether and how to act after detection of a biosurveillance signal.
Bio: Henry H. Willis is director of the RAND Homeland Security and Defense Center and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Willis has applied risk analysis tools to resource allocation and risk management decisions in the areas of public health and emergency preparedness, homeland and national security policy, energy and environmental policy, and transportation planning. He is the author of dozens of publications, book chapters, and op-ed pieces and has testified before Congress as an expert on applying risk analysis to homeland security policy. Willis's recent research has involved assessing the costs and benefits of terrorism security measures like the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and evaluating the impact of public health emergency preparedness grant programs like the Cities Readiness Initiative. Willis earned his B.A. in chemistry and environmental studies from the University of Pennsylvania, his M.A. in environmental science from the University of Cincinnati, and his Ph.D. from the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.