CDC report provides snapshot of Vermont Public Health Preparedness.BURLINGTON--A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center. (CDC See Control Data, century date change and Back Orifice.
CDC - Control Data Corporation ) report "Public Health Preparedness: Mobilizing State by State" published on Feb. 20 provides a snapshot picture of progress and challenges faced by each state, including Vermont. The report examines three key public health preparedness capabilities: disease detection and investigation, public health laboratories, and overall response capabilities.
The Vermont Department of Health was recognized in the report for conducting a full-scale, two-week exercise, Operation Pandemic pandemic /pan·dem·ic/ (pan-dem´ik)
1. a widespread epidemic of a disease.
2. widely epidemic.
Epidemic over a wide geographic area.
n. Flu, in July 2006 and was also noted for its ability to receive and investigate urgent disease reports 24/7 365 days a year, to conduct laboratory testing for an array of chemical and biological agents, and to activate its public health emergency operations center The Emergency Operations Center, or EOC, is a central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management, or disaster management functions at a strategic level in an emergency situation, and ensuring .
The public health laboratory routinely tests "unknown" samples from the CDC to assess and maintain competency to detect biological and chemical terrorism agents. However, the report identified areas for improvement, such as testing the emergency response of the network of laboratories around the state, and drilling with key response partners to test communications when power and land lines are down.
"We are working every day to strengthen our ability to respond quickly and effectively to any public health emergency--whether biological, chemical or radiological--and whether the emergency is a natural event like pandemic influenza or a terrorist event like an intentional release of anthrax," said Health Commissioner Sharon Moffatt, RN, MSN (1) (MicroSoft Network) A family of Internet-based services from Microsoft, which includes a search engine, e-mail (Hotmail), instant messaging (Windows Live Messaging) and a general-purpose portal with news, information and shopping (MSN Directory). . "But we must keep striving to improve and to meet new challenges."
Vermont was rated as among the most prepared states in the nation in the 2007 Trust for America's Health Trust for America's Health (TFAH) is a Washington, D.C.-based health policy organization. The organization's website calls the group "a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention "Ready or Not? Protecting the Public's Health from Disease, Disasters, and Bioterrorism" report. In that report, based on 10 key indicators to assess health emergency preparedness capabilities, Vermont was rated 9 out of 10. Vermont was cited for its readiness to quickly move pharmaceuticals, vaccines, antidotes and medical supplies from national and state stockpiles to clinics and hospitals in the event of an emergency such as pandemic flu, an anthrax attack or toxic chemical spill.
Vermont was one of the few states in the nation in 2007 to achieve a score of 90 or above (out of 100) from the CDC for its Strategic National Stockpile The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is a national repository of antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, life-support medications, IV administration, airway maintenance supplies, and medical/surgical items. (SNS SNS sympathetic nervous system. ) emergency preparedness program. SNS is a federal asset that augments local supplies with a large, continuous quantity of medications, vaccines, supplies and equipment delivered to the state within 12 hours of an emergency.
The Burlington Metropolitan Statistical Area (including parts of Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties) has now joined 71 other cities nationwide in CDC's Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI CRI
constant-rate infusion. ). CRI is a pilot program to help cities strengthen their capacity to quickly deliver medicines and medical supplies during a large-scale public health emergency such as an airborne anthrax attack. States must develop plans that support mass distribution of medication to 100 percent of an identified population within 48 hours of a possible exposure.
Vermont has exercised its ability to dispense medication quickly to a large population during two large-scale exercises, "Operation Pandemic Flu" in 2006, and "Operation Red Clover" in 2004. "Operation Red Clover" was a three-day scenario that involved a simulated intentional release of pneumonic plague pneumonic plague
A frequently fatal form of bubonic plague in which the lungs are infected and the disease is transmissible by coughing. and air delivery of SNS supplies by the Vermont National Guard The Vermont National Guard is composed of the Vermont Army National Guard and the Vermont Air National Guard. Together, they are collectively known as the Green Mountain Boys to public clinics. Also in 2004, during the severe influenza vaccine shortage, the Vermont Department of Health organized community mass vaccination clinics for very high risk adults that were held in 17 locations around the state on a single day.
An effective response involves multiple state and local agencies and the entire health care community working within the framework of the State Emergency Operations Plan.
Key planning and response partners include the Office of the Governor, Vermont National Guard, Department of Public Safety (including Vermont Emergency Management, Vermont Homeland Security, Vermont State Police, Vermont Hazmat), Vermont 2-1-1, Agency of Human Services, Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, the Vermont Association of Hospitals & Health Systems Network Service Organization, Fletcher Allen Health Care Fletcher Allen Health Care is a tertiary referral hospital for Vermont and northern New York State, a Level I Trauma Center, and a teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont College of Medicine. , hospitals and laboratories around the state, University of Vermont and colleges around the state, Vermont League of Cities & Towns, Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs), local government and planning commissions, schools, law enforcement, refugee community organizations, health care providers, community leaders and the Vermont media corps.
The CDC report is posted at: http://emergency.cdc.gov/publications/feb08phprep(exit VDH VDH valvular disease of the heart.
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