Monday, February 11, 2008

Intrastate and Interstate Preparedness in Missouri

Missouri does well in a recent review of its preparedness for a health-related disaster.

[A] recent review from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that Missouri is well prepared to provide drugs and medical supplies from a federal stockpile in the event of a public health emergency.

Missouri scored 96 of 100 percent for its overall readiness to quickly distribute the necessary medicines and medical supplies received from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). These supplies would then be dispersed to local public health agencies, hospitals and other treatment sites for dispensing to Missourians. CDC's report card stated "the state of Missouri continues to demonstrate a well developed Strategic National Stockpile preparedness program with clear evidence of collaboration between state agencies; and should be highly commended for its significant work in improving preparedness through collaboration with all eight bordering states."

Local public health emergency response plans blend with the state-level plan, an achievement that requires a great deal of advance communication and collaboration with local partners. The state and local communities conduct exercises on an ongoing basis to identify gaps in the delivery and dispensing of supplies needed during emergencies, and then work on improvements to those plans.

Some improvements noted from last year's score of 85 percent include increased recruitment and training of Strategic National Stockpile team members; advance preparation of public information messages; cooperative planning with bordering states; and increased emphasis on exercise training and evaluation. The most recent state exercise focused on the use of a Regional Distribution Site; an alternate care treatment site as well as the capability of receiving and staging large shipments of managed inventory.
The good news here is the intrastate and interstate collaboration. As one of only two states that border 8 others (Tennessee being the other), Missouri has an exceptional need to develop relationships with bordering states.

The need for interstate planning is made all the more striking when you consider that the New Madrid fault area lies at the confluence of three states - Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

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