Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky Scores Eight out of 10 Key Indicators in National Emergency Health Preparedness Report
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2009) – A new report released by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) ranks Kentucky as achieving a score of eight out of 10 criteria used to measure states’ preparedness to respond to public health emergencies and acts of bioterrorism.
"We should all be proud of the ongoing, collaborative efforts among state and local public health agencies, hospitals, emergency management, homeland security and many other partners that have allowed Kentucky to obtain this level of preparedness to deal with health-related emergencies," said Gov. Steve Beshear. "This cooperation will only grow as we continue to work to ensure that Kentucky is ready and able to respond to all types of emergencies."
“Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism – 2009” examined 10 key indicators to gauge state preparedness and determine America’s overall readiness to respond to public health emergencies and bioterrorist attacks. This is the fifth year that TFAH conducted a review of bioterrorism and public health preparedness. Only eight states received a score of nine out of 10 indicators, and no states received a score of 10. Last year, Kentucky received a score of seven out of 10 indicators.
“The findings from this year’s report show that public health agencies in the Commonwealth continue to provide essential prevention and preparedness services that are needed to protect the health of safety of Kentuckians,” said Janie Miller, secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Kentucky’s successful all-hazards planning for public health response to the 2009 winter ice storm was highlighted in this year’s report.
The report focused on these indicators:
• Has purchased 50 percent or more of its share of federally subsidized antiviral medications to prepare for a potential pandemic flu outbreak.
• Has submitted data on available hospital beds weekly for at least 50 percent of the facilities within the state to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the 2009 H1N1 response.
• Public health lab has the capacity in place to assure the timely pick-up and delivery of disease samples on a 24/7, 365-day basis.
• Public health labs have adequate staff to work intense hours needed during an emergency (five, 12-hour days for six to eight weeks).
• Diseases can be tracked through an Internet system used by the CDC.
• Identification of the pathogen responsible for reported food-borne disease outbreaks at a rate that met or exceeded the national average of 46 percent (combined data 2005-2007).
• Meets the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) readiness criteria for medical volunteers during an emergency.
• Requires all licensed childcare facilities to have a multi-hazard written evacuation and relocation plan for emergencies.
• Has a law or legal opinion in place to limit liability against organizations that provide volunteer help during emergencies.
• Increased or maintained level of funding for public health services from FY 2007-08 to FY 2008-09.
For the full text of the report, visit the Trust for America’s Health site at: http://healthyamericans.org/.