Oklahoma ranks among rest of states in level of public health preparedness, report says
Trust for America's Health released a report Wednesday that ranked states on their level of public health preparedness, meaning their ability to respond to a health-related crisis. Oklahoma, like many states, ranked a six out of 10.
The state received its six points because of the state's ability to assemble public health staff quickly in case of emergency; its mandate that child care facilities must have a written evacuation and relocation plan; increased or maintained level of funding for public health services from the 2010-11 to 2011-12 fiscal years; the state's accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program; and two points related to the state public health lab's ability to respond in crisis.
The Oklahoma Health Department has a plan for emergency response for several public health crises, including pandemic, catastrophic health events and bioterrorism, said Scott Sproat, chief of the emergency preparedness and response service at the Heath Department.
And it's hard to measure, using only 10 indicators, how prepared the state is for any of those crises, Sproat said.
The report is fair, but at the same time, isn't designed as a comprehensive look at a state's level of preparedness, he said.
It does allow people, though, to see the complexity and the context of public health preparedness, Sproat said.
“Not only the resources and the systems the Health Department has put in place, but also that public health preparedness, starts with the individuals and making sure that we're availing ourselves and our families of vaccinations and really doing those things to prepare ourselves,” he said.
“That's really the foundation of preparedness is individual preparedness,” he said.
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 77840Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 16227OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant tours Moore, meets with residents
- 13741Oklahoma tornado: Names of dead released; missing individuals located
- 12057Clippers' Donald Sterling hints coach let go to keep Chris Paul
- 11953Oklahoma tornadoes: ‘All I could do was sit there and hold her'
- 11115Oklahoma tornadoes: Red Cross text donations not designated for Oklahoma
- 11023Oklahoma tornadoes: Oklahoma tornado victims identified