Comment history

Kansas ranked at bottom for health, disaster prep

State officials explained the report here:

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:

December 21, 2012 at 5:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )