Crisis Standards of Care

Generic Event Image

Join us for this webinar with Dr. Dan Hanfling, An Introduction to “Crisis Standards of Care”, hosted and moderated by the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine) released landmark reports in 2009, 2012 and 2013 articulating “crisis standards of care (CSC)”, which can be thought of as the intersection between clinical, legal and ethical boundaries that govern the response to large scale catastrophic disaster events. This framework for catastrophic disaster planning and response had been adopted across local, state and federal government agencies. The COVID-19 response brought this framework to the fore, with dozens of states writing and preparing for the implementation of CSC. In addition, the global pandemic has further exposed existing structural health disparities and inequities, especially evident in the U.S., and it has highlighted the fault lines evident in the public health and medical response ecosystem.

The focus of this conversation will highlight the core principles of crisis standards of care, review examples of the implementation of this framework, highlight the importance of provider and community engagement in the preparation for crisis standards, and discuss ongoing challenges related to CSC implementation.


Dan Hanfling is Vice President on the Technical Staff at In-Q-Tel, a non-governmental not-for-profit strategic investor focused on enabling technologies to support national security. He is a member of B.Next, the team within In-Q-Tel that explores the intersection of health security and national security requirements. His work is focused on the implementation of digital health tools – wearables, sensors, chatbots and telehealth connectivity -- useful to augment health security. He is also interested in the data systems needed to achieve a more comprehensive situational awareness required for crisis response.

Dr. Hanfling is a board-certified emergency physician and remains on the medical staff at Inova Fairfax Hospital, northern Virginia’s Level I trauma center, where he spent 18 years leading emergency preparedness and response efforts in the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks and the anthrax mailings. He was a founding director of the Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance, one of the first preparedness and response health care coalitions in the country. He served as a medical team manager for Virginia Task Force 1 (Fairfax County, VA) with responses to many of the most notable domestic and international disaster events over the past two decades. He has been appointed to the Standing Committee of the National Academies focused on Emerging Health Threats of the 21 st Century, and currently serves as the co-chair of the National Academies Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness. He co-chaired the Institute of Medicine committees responsible for developing the work on “crisis standards of care”.

Dr. Hanfling is Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University. He received an AB in political science from Duke University and was awarded his medical degree from Brown University. He completed an internship in internal medicine at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, and an emergency medicine residency at George Washington/Georgetown University Hospitals.