Posts Tagged ‘Strategic National Stockpile’

AZ Aces Latest CDC Public Health Preparedness Report Card

February 3rd, 2014

Arizona continues to score high marks on preparedness according to a CDC report released this week.  We got a perfect score this year for biological laboratory testing, and we’ve kept our excellent performance measures for incident management, public information, and medical countermeasures.  Our response times for activating our emergency operation center have been well above the national target for the last three years, and our chemical laboratory detection capabilities have been fully “demonstrated” and “passed” for two years running.  

Our state’s Strategic National Stockpile program received a special mention on page 18 of the report.  ADHS, along with Maricopa and Pinal Counties, conducted a full-scale exercise to distribute life-saving medications to the public.  This national recognition demonstrates the hard work of our preparedness staff and our local health department partners. Thanks to all of you for your hard work through the years to get us to this stage of readiness. 

You can view this year’s National Snapshot report to see how Arizona compares to the rest of the nation.  You can take steps to make sure your family is prepared too – check out my blog from last Spring – the Family is the First Responder.

Strategic National Stockpile Readiness

February 27th, 2013

The CDC’s “Strategic National Stockpile” is a large quantity of medicine and medical supplies that are available to states in case there’s a public health emergency (flu outbreak, asteroid, etc.) severe enough to cause local health supplies to run out.  Once federal and local authorities agree that the stockpile is needed, meds and supplies are delivered to any state in time for them to be effective. Each state is responsible for receiving and distributing the stockpile assets to local communities fast. 

Our Public Health Emergency Preparedness shop is responsible for the overall planning and execution in AZ.  The Plan (which isn’t posted on-line for security reasons) provides a step by step approach to accessing and distributing pharmaceuticals, vaccines and other medical equipment and products stored by the Feds.  Our Plan is evaluated yearly by the CDC.  The review covers every aspect of our plan… including how we communicate with the public, work with our healthcare and Agency partners as well as how we plan to work with vulnerable populations should SNS assets be needed. 

This year we got a score of 93% from the CDC…  and our partner counties (Pinal and Maricopa) received similar scores- demonstrating that the plans work together effectively to serve the public when they need to be activated.  We’ll be testing these plans during a full-scale exercise this week.  Congratulations to our preparedness rock-stars Teresa Ehnert, Marcus Castle, Stacey Cain and the whole emergency preparedness team! 

By the way…  we received and executed stockpile assets (antiviral medications and other healthcare supplies) during the 2009 H1N1 Influenza pandemic.  Our turnaround time from the minute we received the first shipment until everything was at its local destination was less than 36 hours- an impressive testament to our ability to plan and execute during a public health emergency. 

 

Acing the Readiness Test

December 12th, 2011

Disease detection and swift and effective public health interventions are essential to saving lives in a public health emergency.  According to a new report from the CDC on Public Health Preparedness, Arizona’s public health system is ready and well-prepared. The CDC report outlines the Department’s ability to detect and respond to a wide range of public health threats including our ability to request, receive, and distribute emergency supplies through the Strategic National Stockpile.  This year, we scored 97 out of 100 on the review.  The evaluation for the Phoenix metropolitan area rose to 95.  You can see the complete report on the CDC’s website.

By the way, the CDC has developed a new National Strategic Plan for Public Health Preparedness and Response- which is a guide for the nation’s public health system.  The plan identifies eight core objectives which need to be achieved to reach the vision.

Arizona Vigilant Guard Exercise Update

October 13th, 2011

In less than a month (Nov. 4) thousands of people from a variety of response agencies will be testing their plans and coordinating response efforts for the Vigilant Guard exercise- which will allow us to practice what we would do during a disaster.  One of our main tasks will be medical surge management.  Medical surge is the influx or surge in people seeking medical care during an emergency or disaster.  Hospitals deal with medical surge every year during flu season, but the medical surge one would expect after a catastrophic event poses unique challenges. 

During the exercise, staff in our Health Emergency Operation Center will be working with county, tribal, state, and hospital partners to manage medical surge.  There are several key things we can do.  Through the Hospital Preparedness Program grant, we’ve equipped hospitals and clinics with communications equipment and IT systems.  Hospitals can use these systems to communicate with local and state partners during a disaster. These systems are also used to conduct “bed polls”, which let county, state, and federal agencies know how many hospital beds are available across Arizona.  Another way we manage medical surge is through licensing waivers, which allow a facility to temporarily increase the number of patients in can serve.  Staff from our licensing shop is on hand during exercises and real world responses to assist health care facilities, and issue waivers if necessary.  

Another way to manage medical surge is to bring in additional resources such as medical supplies and qualified health care workers.  In a disaster situation, staff from our public health emergency preparedness shop would work with federal partners to bring in medical supplies and pharmaceuticals from the Strategic National Stockpile and volunteer health professionals would be brought in through the Arizona Emergency System for the Advanced Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (AZ ESAR-VHP) program. 

As an aside, the Center for Biosecurity published the Rad Resilient City fallout preparedness checklist, which incorporates federal guidance and technical reports into seven steps that communities can take now to protect themselves from radioactive fallout.  Just sayin’…  the above document might be a good thing to know in early November.

AZ Smokes CDC’s Preparedness Report Card

September 24th, 2010

Arizona got a great public health preparedness report card from the CDC this week, getting a solid A by scoring 30/32.  The report (Public Health Preparedness: Strengthening the Nation’s Emergency Response State by State) examines each state’s readiness using 32 criteria designed to drive states toward demonstrating results, measuring their program improvements and increasing accountability.

Examples of the criteria used to assess state’s performance include:

  1. Laboratory proficiency testing performance measure data;
  2. Performance measures during exercises, drills, and real incidents, activation of emergency operations centers, and after action report assessments; and
  3. Readiness for executing strategic national stockpile assets.

Each state has a fact sheet that shows jurisdiction scores, allowing folks to compare readiness in our sister states and helping us to adopt best practices from each other.   Our success on this year’s report is a testament to solid collaboration with our counties and hospitals as well as a rock-solid teamwork among our staff.  Right on.

AZ Smokes CDC's Preparedness Report Card

September 24th, 2010

Arizona got a great public health preparedness report card from the CDC this week, getting a solid A by scoring 30/32.  The report (Public Health Preparedness: Strengthening the Nation’s Emergency Response State by State) examines each state’s readiness using 32 criteria designed to drive states toward demonstrating results, measuring their program improvements and increasing accountability.

Examples of the criteria used to assess state’s performance include:

  1. Laboratory proficiency testing performance measure data;
  2. Performance measures during exercises, drills, and real incidents, activation of emergency operations centers, and after action report assessments; and
  3. Readiness for executing strategic national stockpile assets.

Each state has a fact sheet that shows jurisdiction scores, allowing folks to compare readiness in our sister states and helping us to adopt best practices from each other.   Our success on this year’s report is a testament to solid collaboration with our counties and hospitals as well as a rock-solid teamwork among our staff.  Right on.

ADHS Aces the 2010 Strategic National Stockpile Test

September 21st, 2010

The Strategic National Stockpile is a national repository of antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, life-support medications, IV administration, airway maintenance supplies, and medical/surgical items which are stored in a few locations around the country. The stockpile is designed to supplement public health agencies in case there’s a national emergency anywhere and at anytime within the U.S. or its territories. At the beginning of the H1N1 pandemic, Arizona  received and distributed hundreds of thousands of treatment courses of antiviral medication and other hospital supplies.  We turned around our supplies and shipped everything to their final destinations at the local health departments within 36 hours.

Each year the CDC comes out to “grade” our readiness by reviewing our plans, exercises, our execution during actual events (e.g. H1N1) and our after action reports.  This week, our project officer gave us a final grade of A+ or 97%.

Well done Preparedness Team.

The reviewer gave us glowing commendations for factors including leadership support, effective coordination and collaboration with the state/local/private sectors (Scott Voss & Kaitlin Henslee), and development and implementation of a multi-year Training and Exercise Plan (Andrew Lawless).  We already knew we were ready because we smoked the H1N1 stockpile distribution, but it’s nice to know that we’re still in crackerjack shape.