Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announces that the nonprofit organization Trust for America’s Health issued its annual report today entitled “Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism 2012” and New Hampshire received a score of 7 out of 10. The report ranks all 50 states and Washington, DC, on public health preparedness improvements made since 9/11 on ten preparedness criteria, which change from year to year. The highest score received by any state this year was an 8.
“Through a great deal of hard work on the part of our agency and our partners,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health for DHHS, “we have improved the public health and emergency preparedness and response in New Hampshire since 9/11. This report is and should be viewed as a composite of preparedness activities and planning across agencies, a snapshot if you will, but by no means is the work complete. Our efforts will focus on building capacity, communication flow, and partnerships going forward, among other areas. We also continue to build capacity, exercise, and learn by responding to real-life events.”
The states were scored yes or no on ten areas of preparedness: increased or maintained public health funding in the past year, notified and assembled public health staff to ensure quick response to an incident, met goal of vaccinating 90% of 19- to 35-month-olds against whooping cough, require Medicaid coverage of flu vaccines with no copay for people under 65, have a completed climate change adaptation plan, mandate all child-care facilities have a multi-hazard written emergency plan, accredited by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program, participate in the Nurse Licensure Compact, public health lab has enough staff to operate five 12-hour days for six to eight weeks in response to an outbreak, and public health lab reports increasing or maintaining Laboratory Response Network–Chemical capability.