Kudos! Public Health Preparedness gets perfect score in CDC review

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded Public Health’s Preparedness Section a perfect score of 100 in a recent assessment of its ability to receive, stage, store, distribute, and dispense medications during a public health emergency.

In 2004, the CDC established the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) to increase preparedness for biological disasters and protect the public if there is a public health emergency in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. A public health emergency could include an anthrax attack, an influenza pandemic, or a natural disaster that affects the health of a community.

The goal of the CRI is to ensure appropriate medical supplies and medications can be mobilized during a disaster and provided to an entire jurisdiction’s population within 48 hours of the decision to do so.

The CDC conducts annual technical assistance reviews to assess state and local capabilities and readiness, and results in a numerical score of up to 100 for the participating jurisdiction. In addition to an assessment of the jurisdiction’s handling of medications during a public health emergency, the review also evaluates response plan development, stakeholder coordination, public and internal communication planning, trainings and exercise, and outreach to vulnerable populations.

Michelle Dulaney and Ali Jaffe-Doty in Preparedness led Public Health’s medical countermeasures capability, working with employees in Public Health’s Preparedness Section, Communications, the Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunization Section, Community Health Services Division, and pharmacy operations, whose expertise was essential in securing a perfect score.

“Our ability to leverage resources and gain commitment from key partners including commercial pharmacies, healthcare systems, long term care providers, local emergency managers, first responders and private industry has generated resilient, sustainable, community-based capability,” Dulaney said.