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By PBN Staff
WASHINGTON – On the 10th annual “Ready or Not? Protecting the Public from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism” report, Rhode Island scored a 5 out of 10 on the key indicators of public health preparedness.
The report, issued by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was released Wednesday and found “persistent gaps” in the country’s ability to respond to health emergencies.
Rhode Island shared its score with Alaska, Arizona, Washington, D.C., Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas and West Virginia. The majority of states earned a 6 or lower in the report, with Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin ranking highest with scores of 8.
Scores were compiled based on a list of 10 indicators, including infectious disease control and extreme weather event preparedness. States got a point for each of the 10 indicators they qualified for.
Rhode Island earned points for:
Rhode Island did not earn points for the following five indicators:
“Public health preparedness has improved leaps and bounds from where we were 10 years ago,” said Paul Kuehnert, director of the Public Health Team at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in prepared remarks. “But severe budget cuts at the federal, state and local levels threaten to undermine that progress. We must establish a baseline of ‘better safe than sorry’ preparedness that should not be crossed.”
To view the full report, visit: www.healthamericans.org.