WV ranks higher than national average on preparedness - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV ranks higher than national average in preparedness

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The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said Friday the state scored 7.3 for health security preparedness efforts, a comparison .1 percent higher than the national average.

The data is a result of number released in the National Health Security Preparedness Index by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Association for State and Territorial Health Officials and 20 development partners.

One reason state officials give for the high number is the health and medical response in emergency situations including during major flooding, H1N1 and superstorms like Hurricane Sandy and the Derecho in 2012.

"The National Health Security Preparedness Index looks at five major categories or domains including health surveillance, community planning and engagement, incident and information management, surge management, and countermeasure management," said Dr. Letitia Tierney, State Health Officer and Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health.  "It's clear that West Virginia is on the right track when it comes to overall disaster and emergency preparedness. Much of our success is directly related to the outstanding partnerships we have at the state and local level including emergency management, hospitals, healthcare providers, pharmacies, EMS and health departments." 

 The NHSPI is not to be considered a comparative state-by-state ranking system, but rather a tool for each state to review its preparedness level crossing 14 sub-domain aspects of response, which make up the five major focal areas. The score was derived by examining 128 measurements from more than 35 sources. 

More information about the NHSPI is available at www.nhspi.org.