Report: States underprepared to meet public health needs during a crisis

Published on December 21, 2012 at 5:12 AM · No Comments

The report by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that although some states have improved their preparedness, gaps persist largely because of state budget cuts.

Medscape: Public Health Emergencies: Most Of Nation Unprepared
More than a decade after the September 11, 2001, domestic terrorism attacks, most of the nation remains woefully unprepared to respond to pressing public health needs during such emergencies, largely because of budget cuts, according to a report released this morning. The annual report, "Ready or Not?" released by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ranked states' preparedness to handle public health emergencies resulting from natural disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy; disease outbreaks, such as Escherichia coli; and bioterrorism attacks. Pointing to the aftermath of the mass shooting last week in Newtown, Connecticut, Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director, Trust for America's Health, told reporters it was "a heartbreaking reminder about the importance of ensuring we invest in this as a society" (Henderson, 12/19).

ABC: Most States Underprepared For Public Health Emergencies
There are persistent gaps in the nation's ability to respond to public health emergencies, according to a new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health, despite a series of recent tragic events like 9-11, anthrax threats and Hurricane Katrina. One of the most notable findings is that 20 U.S. states do not currently mandate written evacuation plans for all licensed child care facilities, should the need arise. "Most school systems have plans in place, but we also need to recognize that child care facilities need plans as well," said Dr. Jeffrey Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health (Austin, 12/19).

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