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Optimization of Supply and Transportation Networks in an Epidemic Situation in Collaboration with the Seattle Flu Study

The mission of the Seattle Flu Study (SFS) is to prototype city-scale capabilities for epidemic preparedness and response. One of the aims of this study is to understand methods to implement rapid interventions outside of clinical settings and within 48-72 hours of the onset of symptoms, to enable the immediate diagnosis, treatment, or isolation of flu-positive individuals.

SFS has reached out to the Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Center at the University of Washington to test various to develop models and perform sensitivity analyses on epidemic response scenarios via simulation and mathematical optimization. Modeling will allow SFS to measure and understand questions like, “when will our supply chain break?”, “how do you prevent it from breaking?” and “how do you get drugs and tests to people if your driver workforce gets sick?”. By modeling these types of scenarios, they will be able to assess the pros and cons of various supply chain strategies and develop multiple levers that can be pulled depending on the epidemic situation including prepositioning of orders, and leveraging in-house and supplementary private transportation alternatives (FedEx, etc.).