2009 Trust for America’s Health Report Ranks Vermont Among Nation’s Best for Third Year in a Row

For Immediate Release:  Dec. 15, 2009
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – Vermont achieved a score of 9 out of 10 for the third year in a row in the Trust for America’s Health “Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism” report.

Vermont was one of only eight states in the nation to receive a score of 9 or above for public health preparedness in the 2009 report, and achieved the highest score of any state in New England.

Ten key public health preparedness indicators were measured, including the capacity for a state’s public health laboratory to test for biological threats, use of an electronic disease surveillance system compatible with national standards, and having laws in place that protect healthcare volunteers from liability in public health emergencies.

“The report recognizes that the arrival of the 2009 H1N1 influenza in North America was a daunting test of every state’s capacity to effectively respond to a public health threat,” said Health Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD, “and we’ve seen the benefit of our preparedness efforts day after day, week after week during what is an extended public health event."

“We can be proud of our ranking this year, but there is always more work to do,” Dr. Davis said. “Our goal is to continue to improve and refine our capabilities and capacities with our many state and local partner organizations.”

The full TFAH report with state rankings is available at: www.healthyamericans.org.

For information on emergency preparedness from the Vermont Department of Health, go to: http://healthvermont.gov/e_ready.aspx.

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