State gets top marks during outbreak
Updated 10:38 AM CST, Tue, Jan 3, 2012
Texas is getting high marks for the statewide response to the swine flu outbreak.
TheTrust for America's Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation gave Texas a score of nine out of ten for its handling of the health crisis.
"The H1N1 outbreak has vividly revealed existing gaps in public health emergency preparedness," said Richard Hamburg, Deputy Director of TFAH. "The Ready or Not? report shows that a band-aid approach to public health is inadequate. As the second wave of H1N1 starts to dissipate, it doesn't mean we can let down our defenses. In fact, it's time to double down and provide a sustained investment in the underlying infrastructure, so we will be prepared for the next emergency and the one after that."
The report found that 20 states scored six or less out of 10 key indicators of public health emergency preparedness. Eight states tied for the highest score of nine out of 10: Arkansas, Delaware, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Vermont. Montana had the lowest score at three out of 10.
"State and local health departments around the country are being asked to do more with less during the H1N1 outbreak as budgets continue to be stretched beyond their limits," said Michelle Larkin, J.D., Public Health Team Director and Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Overall, the report found that the investments made in pandemic and public health preparedness over the past several years dramatically improved U.S. readiness for the H1N1 outbreak. But it also found that decades of chronic underfunding meant that many core systems were not at-the-ready.
Click here to see the report.
First Published: Dec 15, 2009 12:57 PM CST