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A Perfect Score for Readiness

March 3, 2014

It’s tough to earn a better score than a 99 percent. But that’s just what an emergency preparedness team at the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) did on its Technical Assistance Review. DPH’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) team improved their score from 99 in 2013 to a perfect 100 percent for this year.

Administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Technical Assistance Review (TAR) measures a state’s readiness to distribute and dispense supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), a national program designed to provide medicine and medical supplies to a large population in the event of a public health emergency.

“This report reflects DPH’s ability to demonstrate measurable and sustainable progress toward achieving public health and health care preparedness capabilities that promote prepared and resilient communities,” said Dawona Hough, deputy director of operations for DPH’s emergency preparedness and response section. 

The state SNS team worked to update plans, strengthen partnerships and fill in the gaps that would elevate the score while maintaining the positive aspects of the program that earned the score of 99 last year. Team leaders are pleased to see that work has been recognized.

“The TAR is a snapshot of the standing of the state SNS program’s measure of emergency readiness,” said Gladys Arome, SNS program coordinator. “Since 2007, the first year numerical scores were recorded, the state’s TAR score has increased from 23 to the current score of 100, the highest score in the history of the program.”

Rejani Rajan, pharmacy disaster response coordinator, said the team identified gaps in preparedness based on the recommendations received from the CDC during the 2013 review. 

“Credit for this accomplishment goes to the entire SNS team because without the collaborative effort of each individual we would not have been able to achieve this,” Rajan said.

Now that the team has received the highest score possible, maintaining it and further improving an already successful program is the challenge that lies ahead. Those efforts are already underway.

“The SNS team is involved in various activities related to best practices in preparedness and response,” said Arome. “The state SNS team has formed countless critical partnerships and maintains a close relationship with volunteer organizations, faith-based organizations, colleges, universities, federal, other state and regional partners as well as local officials and law enforcement agencies throughout the state in exploring options that will continue to promote prepared and resilient communities throughout the state of Georgia.”

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