Defense of Houston, Fifteen Year Later

Sept. 11, 2016

Board Members,

Defense Of Houston

Dear Friends,

By now you may have read that our little web site,, was selected as a Best Practice in Public Health by the US Department of Health and Human Services. This is a tribute to your input and to the tireless efforts of Mohammed Madjid, MD, John Mossbarger, Parsa Mirhaji, MD , Claudia Ferreira, MD, and others who volunteered their time.

I myself have done very little , and I am embarrassed at the thought of the many emails I have yet to answer. I suspect you will understand that for me, as for you, terrorism readiness is not a full time job. To support the website financially we finally had to turn for help to the University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center, who have pledged to respect the community leadership.

Now I am very happy to be able to tell you that the university and the city have been blessed with reinforcements, in the person of Scott Lillibridge, MD, one of the top bioterrorism experts at CDC and HHS. Dr Lillibridge will be professor of public health at UT and director of the Center for Disaster Preparedness and Biosecurity. Unless there are objections from the board I will ask him to take my place leading the web site. I know he has some ideas about how to improve it and I hope you will read what he has posted. There is also a new editorial which has a long list of readiness checklist which we hope you can use and improve.

It has been a great honor to be associated with this community effort. I believe we have done some good , but I know we can do more over the next year to protect our families and those of the Houstonians who died at the hands of terrorists a year ago today. In their memory we must do more.

With Respect and Gratitude,

Ward Casscells


Defense of Houston was made possible by the Disaster Relief and Emergency Services (DREAMS) program of the US Army based at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Texas A & M University (DoD grant no.DAMD17-98-1-8002). DREAMS physicians and scientists acknowledge with gratitude the vision, leadership, and advice of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Congressmen Tom DeLay, Ken Bentsen, Henry Bonilla, and Kevin Brady.