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PRINCETON, N.J. — The sixth annual assessment of America’s day-to-day readiness for managing community health emergencies found Idaho has improved since 2013. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released the results of the 2019 National Health Security Preparedness Index which found, in the past year, Idaho scored 6.6 on a 10-point scale for preparedness compared to 6.7 for the United States as a whole. The nation’s overall preparedness improved slightly over the last year, though deep regional differences remain.

These topics are followed by the 2019 national average, the Idaho 2019 score and Idaho 2013 score:

Health security surveillance — 8.3, 7.8, 7.0

Community planning and engagement — 5.2, 5.4, 5.0

Incident and information management — 8.7, 9.5, 7.9

Healthcare delivery — 4.9, 5.1, 4.7

Countermeasure management — 6.5, 5.5, 4.6

Environmental and occupational health — 5.9, 5.3, 6.0

Source: 2019 National Health Security Preparedness Index

Originally developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a tool to drive dialogue to improve health security and preparedness, the index is a collaborative effort funded by RWJF involving more than 30 organizations. State and local health officials, emergency management experts, business leaders, nonprofits, researchers and others help shape the index.

The Index analyzes 129 different measures for each state and the nation — including the percentage of bridges that are in good condition, the prevalence of hazard planning in public schools, the number of paramedics and hospitals, and other factors — to calculate a composite score providing the most comprehensive picture of health security available. The scores indicate the ability to protect the health status of residents from incidents like newly emerging infectious diseases, terrorism and extreme weather conditions at the state and national levels.

For more information, go tonhspi.org.

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