Gem State Roundup

Idaho doctors publish ‘Preparing for the Next Global Outbreak’ with lessons learned from COVID-19

By: - April 3, 2023 4:10 am
Two vertical portraits of Dr. David Pate and Dr. Ted Epperly

Drs. David Pate and Ted Epperly wrote a book on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. They recommend actions by schools, hospitals, governments and others to prepare for the next pandemic. (Courtesy photos)

Two doctors who were part of Idaho’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic have published a book that examines “the failures of the U.S. response to COVID-19” and gives recommendations on how to avoid those failures in the next pandemic.

“Preparing for the Next Global Outbreak: A Guide to Planning from the Schoolhouse to the White House,” by Dr. David C. Pate and Dr. Ted Epperly, will hit shelves April 18. The publisher is Johns Hopkins University Press.

“The authors know that there will be another pandemic; they just do not know when,” the book’s preface says.

“Whenever it is, they pray that the country does not repeat the mistakes of this pandemic response and that, as a country, we can be better prepared for that future day,” it says, “so that there will be less loss of life, less serious illness, fewer long-term health consequences and health care costs, less economic devastation, less disruption to life, less impact on Americans’ mental health, and fewer disparities in health care — and less politicization, less divisiveness, and more compassion as we come together as one Idaho, one nation, and one global community.”

The book includes 117 recommendations for schools, hospitals, public health agencies and governments.

Pate served as a coronavirus adviser to Idaho Gov. Brad Little starting in early 2020, after retiring as CEO of St. Luke’s Health System. He spent his career in hospital administration and internal medicine. Pate also is an attorney.

Epperly served for 15 years on the board of Idaho’s largest regional public health department and is the longtime CEO of Full Circle Health medical residency and community health clinics, formerly known as Family Medicine Residency of Idaho and Family Medicine Health Center.

The book received praise from public health experts including Dr. Peter J. Hotez of the Baylor College of Medicine; Michael T. Osterholm of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota; and Gregg Gonsalves of Yale School of Public Health.


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Audrey Dutton
Audrey Dutton

Audrey Dutton, senior investigative reporter, joined the Idaho Capital Sun after 10 years at the Idaho Statesman. Her favorite topics to cover include health care, business, consumer protection issues and white collar crime. Before coming home to Idaho, Dutton worked as a journalist in Minnesota, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Dutton's work has earned dozens of state, regional and national awards for investigative reporting, health care and business reporting, data visualization and more.