FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Connecticut is more prepared than most states to deal with a public health emergency, according to a new report by the Trust for America's Health.
"Ready or Not? Protecting the Public's Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism," ranked states on 10 key indicators of public health preparedness. Connecticut scored a 7 in the report. Half of all states in total scored a 5 or lower. Alaska scored the lowest with a 2 out of 10, while Massachusetts and Rhode Island scored the highest at 9 out of 10.
According to TFAH, the report found that the country does not invest enough to maintain strong capabilities for health security readiness. Instead, the nation is in a continued state of inefficiently reacting, with federal emergency supplemental funding being issued each time a disaster strikes.
According to the report, Connecticut received points for the following key indicators:
- National Health Security Preparedness Index
- Public Health Accreditation
- Flu Vaccination Rate
- United States Climate Alliance
- Public Health Laboratories
- Paid Sick Leave
Connecticut did not receive points for the following indicators:
- Public Health Funding Commitment
- Antibiotic Stewardship Program For Hospitals
- Enhance Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC)
TFAH found that funding to support the base level of preparedness has been cut by more than half since 2002.
"While we've seen great public health preparedness advances, often at the state and community level, progress is continually stilted, halted and uneven," said John Auerbach, president and CEO of TFAH. "As a nation, we-year after year-fail to fully support public health and preparedness. If we don't improve our baseline funding and capabilities, we'll continue to be caught completely off-guard when hurricanes, wildfires and infectious disease outbreaks hit."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.