Health and Family Services Cabinet
State Health Department Receives High Rating for SNS Preparedness
The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) announced that Kentucky has received one of the highest ratings -- a “green minus” -- from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its level of preparedness to receive and dispense medications and supplies through the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) program.
“Receiving such high marks for our emergency preparedness efforts shows that Kentucky is a national leader in preparedness,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. “Kentucky’s public health officials and response partners continue to work closely to be prepared to respond to any public health threat or other emergency that may occur.”
Kentucky achieved the “green minus” rating – one of only 15 states to receive the rating - following an annual statewide assessment. Part of the assessment included the “Unbridled Response” full-scale disaster preparedness exercise last November that involved several state and federal partners. The CDC evaluated the state in the following areas: overall preparedness; SNS plan development; overall operations; tactical communication; public information and communication; security; receipt, stage and storage of the SNS; inventory control; repackaging; distribution; dispensing; coordination of treatment centers; and training, exercise and evaluation.
“This high rating is the direct result of the dedication, commitment and perseverance to public health among the preparedness community in Kentucky,” said William D. Hacker, M.D., commissioner for public health and acting undersecretary for health at the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “While we can always improve, this demonstrates that Kentucky is prepared to receive, distribute and dispense emergency medications and other supplies in the event of a statewide public health emergency.”
The rankings are part of CDC's scoring system, where “green” indicates the highest level of preparedness, “amber” is average and “red” demonstrates the need for improvement. Green means that during a potential crisis, health officials in the state can access and distribute a portion of the national cache of life-saving pharmaceuticals, antidotes, vaccines, medical supplies and equipment maintained to respond to the release of biological pathogens, toxic chemical agents or the impact of other large-scale health emergencies. Kentucky's previous ranking was “amber minus.”
The federal government initially established the SNS program in 1999 to assist states and communities in responding to public health emergencies, including those resulting from terrorist attacks and natural disasters. The SNS program can deploy medicines, antidotes, medical supplies and medical equipment to any U.S. location within 12 hours. Each state has plans to receive and distribute SNS medicine and medical supplies to local communities as quickly as possible.
More information on the Strategic National Stockpile program is available at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/stockpile/.