Report: States Underprepared To Meet Public Health Needs During A Crisis

December 20, 2012
Kaiser Health News


The report by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that although some states have improved their preparedness, gaps persist largely because of state budget cuts.

ABC: Most States Underprepared For Public Health Emergencies
There are persistent gaps in the nation's ability to respond to public health emergencies, according to a new study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health, despite a series of recent tragic events like 9-11, anthrax threats and Hurricane Katrina. One of the most notable findings is that 20 U.S. states do not currently mandate written evacuation plans for all licensed child care facilities, should the need arise. "Most school systems have plans in place, but we also need to recognize that child care facilities need plans as well," said Dr. Jeffrey Levi, executive director of Trust for America's Health (Austin, 12/19).

CQ HealthBeat: Report Finds Budget Cuts Put Preparedness at Risk
The nation has made progress in preparing for disasters in the past decade but those accomplishments "are now being undermined due to severe budget cuts and lack of prioritization," according to a report released Wednesday by the Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation…The 80-page report included a state-by-state analysis of the country's readiness, which determined that Kansas and Montana were the least prepared based on 10 measures. The report found that 29 states reduced public health spending from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2012, and 23 of them did so for the second consecutive year. State and local health departments have cut more than 45,700 jobs nationwide since 2008, the report said (Adams, 12/19).


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