I’m excited to announce that our State has received another set of outstanding scores for public health preparedness from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR). The 2018 National Snapshot provides an overview of federal, state, local, and tribal preparedness and response efforts. The report also includes fact sheets with performance measures for each of the 50 states, U.S. territories, and select metropolitan areas.
The Arizona fact sheet shows that our public health preparedness programs continue to improve and maintain top scores for emergency operations coordination and public health laboratory testing. As demonstrated during drills and exercises, critical response staff decreased the amount of time needed to report to duty and establish emergency operations. Epidemiology and laboratory personnel successfully completed required communications drills and our biological and chemical laboratory teams received perfect scores for their annual proficiency tests.
In addition to these preparedness efforts, the report highlights our Department’s role in several real-world responses including the 2016 measles outbreak, multiple wildland fires, and the national opioid crisis. Our first responder, county, and health care partners also received accolades for their response to a severe winter storm and power outage. This 2017 weather event created a dangerous situation for people requiring medical equipment that runs on electricity. Responders worked together to ensure that affected residents had no gap in access to life-saving medical resources.
These coordinated public health responses are a direct result of state, local, and tribal commitment to public health and health care system preparedness. Furthermore, our achievements illustrate a statewide dedication to protecting the health and wellness of all Arizonans during all types of emergencies and disasters.