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Archive for Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Kansas ranked at bottom for health, disaster prep

December 19, 2012

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TOPEKA — A national survey ranks Kansas at the bottom among states in being prepared for public health emergencies, terrorism incidents and natural disasters.

But state officials took issue Wednesday with the latest, annual “Ready or Not?” report from the nonpartisan Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It gave Kansas and Montana the lowest scores, three on a 10-point scale.

Kansas Division of Emergency Management spokeswoman Sharon Watson said the state has responded successfully to numerous natural disasters and other states routinely seek help from Kansas.

State health department spokeswoman Miranda Steele noted the state’s scores have varied widely in recent years.

The report suggested state regulations for day cares aren’t rigorous enough in requiring written emergency plans, but Steele said centers often consult with local emergency managers.

Comments

RezC 1 year, 4 months ago

State officials explained the report here: http://kansastag.gov/press_release_detail.asp?PRid=1091

State of Kansas officials today refuted a Trust for America’s Health report issued Wednesday for its inaccurate assessment of the state’s emergency preparedness.

"The report does not provide an accurate and thorough picture of the state’s readiness to respond to health emergencies, disasters or terrorism," said Governor Sam Brownback. "Kansas is no stranger to disasters and in recent years has responded to health emergencies including H1N1 pandemic and other disease outbreaks as well as tornados, floods, snow storms, and ice storms."

The Trust for America’s Health report ranked states in 10 areas of preparedness, including vaccination rates for whooping cough, a climate change adaptation plan, a nurse licensure compact and a voluntary state accreditation program.

"This scorecard’s criteria are chosen by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the foundation changes the criteria, or indicators, each year it has published its report. Since 2006, Kansas’ score in the Trust for America’s Health report has fluctuated, even scoring 9 out of 10 one year. No matter the score, the report presents a skewed view of public health readiness, draws inaccurate conclusions and in no way indicates the actual preparedness level in Kansas," said Robert Moser, M.D., Secretary and State Health Officer of Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

"Kansas has proven its ability to respond to emergencies many, many times including the deadly Harveyville tornado earlier this year, Missouri River flooding in northeast Kansas last year, and many deadly winter storms and tornados over the past several years," said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, Kansas Adjutant General and director of Emergency Management.

The Trust for America’s Health Report judged states on the following:

1) Whether the state maintained or increased funding for public health programs in FY 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. Federal entities determine the amount of funding which will be provided to Kansas, often based on population, which means Kansas receives less than other states.

2) Whether the state could notify and assemble public health staff to ensure a quick response: The report recognized Kansas has this capability.

3) Whether the state is vaccinating 90% of 19 to 35 month olds for whooping cough: Kansas achieved an 87.6 % rating, just 2.4% below the report’s recommendations.

4) Whether the state requires Medicaid to cover flu shots with no co-pay for those under 65:

The report recognized Kansas requires this.

See the rest of their response here: http://kansastag.gov/press_release_detail.asp?PRid=1091

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 4 months ago

With flim-flam sam at the helm, we are down at the head and sinking fast. Keep on re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

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68ET 1 year, 4 months ago

The whole "ranking" process is bunk. How does any of their criteria "demonstrate" that any state is "prepared". Events show if they are or not.

How does making sure 90 percent of young children, ages 19-36 months, are vaccinated against whooping cough (pertussis)make any state "prepared"? Vaccination rates have nothing to do with that. Parents can refuse vaccination and with the prevalent idiocy related to whether or not to vaccinate your child, this is ridiculous indicator of preparedness.

At least these "Trust for America's Health" nuts don’t try to compare year to year ratings anymore; they changed their “criteria” for what THEY think is prepared from year to year and tried to say that states were more prepared or less prepared than the year before. Unfortunately it wasn't comparing apples to apples; it was apples to rocks.

I’m sure many emergency management agencies are not happy that they put this out in comparing their agencies to public health response. Overall, I lend no weight to these reports. They are wrong.

While KS doesn’t have a specific statue “mandating” childcare facilities to have a fire evacuation plan. What we do have is a statute that allows KDHE to set the standard for a facility license and that standard has the language related to fire evac plans.

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Milton Bland 1 year, 4 months ago

It is a tough job climbing out of the deep hole Governor Sebelius left us in. Getting rid of the moron Bremby was a good start, but Watson should have gone with him.

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Katara 1 year, 4 months ago

We should all get used to headlines stating "Kansas ranked at bottom..."

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 4 months ago

Blow it off.

No one can prepare for terrorism because no on knows if or when terrorism will strike. Look at all the tax dollars spent on crime fighting yet crime is still on the rise.

Of course if 20 million unemployed had good paying jobs there would likely be less crime and violence.

Republicans create crime by putting millions out work and homes = depression and more crime.

Real good jobs = less crime and violence.

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