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Eric Toner, MD

Senior Scholar, Senior Scientist

Professional Profile

Dr. Toner is a Senior Scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and a Senior Scientist in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His primary areas of interest are healthcare preparedness for catastrophic events, pandemic influenza, and medical response to bioterrorism. He is Managing Editor of the online newsletter Clinicians’ Biosecurity News and an Associate Editor of the journal Health Security, the leading peer-reviewed journal in this field.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Toner has authored numerous reports and journal articles, including several describing hospital preparation approaches, estimating national personal protective equipment needs, proposing an ethical framework for allocation of scarce COVID-19 vaccine, exploring next-generation respirators and masks, and assessing the integration of primary care and public health. He chaired a National Academies of Medicine workshop on crisis standards of care during the pandemic. Dr. Toner frequently serves as an expert for major national and international news media.

Prior to the pandemic, Dr. Toner authored scores of scholarly papers and government reports on healthcare and pandemic preparedness, and he organized numerous meetings of national leaders on the topics of hospital preparedness, pandemic influenza, emerging infectious diseases, mass casualty disasters, biosecurity, and nuclear preparedness. He has spoken at many national and international conferences on a range of biosecurity topics and appeared in high-profile national television and print features on pandemic flu and bioterrorism preparedness. Dr. Toner served as the project director and principal designer of the influential pandemic exercises Clade X and Event 201 and has been the principal investigator of many projects to assess and advance healthcare preparedness.

Dr. Toner has been involved in hospital disaster planning since the mid-1980s. Prior to joining the Center, he was Medical Director of Disaster Preparedness at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland, where he practiced emergency medicine for 23 years. In 2003, he spearheaded the creation of one of the nation’s first healthcare coalitions under the then new Hospital Preparedness Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The coalition included disaster preparedness personnel from the 5 Baltimore County hospitals, the county health department, and the county Office of Emergency Management. During this time, he also headed a large emergency medicine group practice and co-founded and managed a large primary care group practice and an independent urgent care center.