Global Secure buys health IT firm

Global Secure officials announced today they purchased a company based in Sacramento, Calif., that provides public health technology services for state and local governments and a federal biosurveillance program.

Global Secure officials purchased Virtual Alert, which provides integrated software systems that enable state, local and federal governments to prepare, track and respond to public health emergencies, for $20 million in cash and stock. Virtual Alert's clients include 16 state governments, Washington, D.C. and San Diego. According to a press release, the company's products and services provide protection for more than 100 million people or nearly 40 percent of the nation's population.

Virtual Alert also provides services for the federal BioWatch program, which is a network of environmental sensors deployed in at least 30 cities nationwide that collect air samples to detect biopathogens. The Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention administer and fund the program. Federal officials want to enhance to hasten the system's collection and analysis of samples and dissemination of results.

"The product suite of Virtual Alert plays an essential role in protecting Americans in the event of a terrorist attack or epidemiological emergency by efficiently enabling the public health community to capture and share critical information," Craig Bandes, Global Secure's president and chief executive officer, said in the press release. "Virtual Alert is the leader in this field and is a tremendous enhancement to Global Secure's homeland security products and services."

Global Secure, which is based in Washington, D.C., is a holding company of venture capital firm Sky Capital Enterprises and has a mission to consolidate and integrate homeland security related products and services. Virtual Alert is the fourth company to be purchased by Global Secure.

The company's advisory board includes several heavyweights, including Mark Holman, a former deputy homeland security advisor to President Bush, former CIA director Adm. Stansfield Turner, former New York City Police Department Commissioner Howard Safir and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey.


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