PROJECT DIRECTOR PETER KATONA M.D.
Dr. Peter Katona is a nationally recognized expert in infectious disease and bioterror, and how each can impact the private and public sectors. He is a co-editor of two books: Countering Terrorism and WMD and Global Biosecurity: Threats and Responses. A book on the vulnerability of the health care system to disasters is in progress.
His recent work synthesizes his understanding of effective disease surveillance and response with evolving technology. In July 2012, Katona implemented a short message service (SMS) biosurveillance system to streamline disease reporting in 20 commune clinics in Vietnam. There, mobile phones are ubiquitous, while Internet access and smartphones are rarely available, making it the ideal location for integrating text messaging into biosurveillance. The project allowed healthcare workers at commune health stations to directly report disease activity to a central data repository using their mobile phones and an intuitive, user-friendly platform.
The impetus to use the democratizing nature of technology to resolve health care access disparities arose from Katona’s appointment at Louisiana State University’s National Center for Biomedical Research and Training. He teaches two courses for LSU: a course on bioterrorism and a course on community preparedness for medical disasters.
As the Corporate Medical Director for Apria/Corum Healthcare, Katona studies industry best practices and supply chains, including the health care business’ public responses to attack or disaster. He has worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer studying viral diseases and doing epidemic investigation in the US and abroad.
He is a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s National and Global Public Health Committee, the Pacific Council on International Policy’s Homeland Security Committee, and is a member of the distinguished Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on the FDA’s Anti-Infective Drugs Advisory Committee. He has served as Chairman of the UCLA Hospital Infection Control Committee. He has authored articles on medical informatics, medical education, influenza, polio, nutrition, bioterrorism, disasters, and the future of health care. He is an internationally recognized authority on bioterrorism and has lectured internationally on this topic. He sits on the Board of the University of Florida School of Medicine Alumni Association, and has received the Dean’s Humanitarian Award from the University of Florida School of Medicine. He also maintains a private practice in infectious diseases and internal medicine in Los Angeles.