Governor Laura Kelly announced today that Kansas is ranked in the High-Performance Tier in Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) Ready or Not Report. Ready or Not 2023: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism measures states’ readiness to respond to a spectrum of health emergencies and to provide ongoing public health services.
The report takes an annual snapshot of states’ public health and emergency readiness. Authored by TFAH since 2003, it documents that all states have made progress in preparedness since 9/11. However, it also highlights the pressing need for additional action, particularly as weather-related and other public health emergencies become more frequent.
“This high ranking emphasizes the important role our public health departments play in keeping Kansans safe, healthy, and prepared for disasters and other emergencies,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “We must continue to invest in and strengthen public health efforts across the state so we can be prepared for whatever comes our way.”
“Preparedness is key to preventing harm when natural disasters and public health emergencies occur, and being prepared requires funding and collaboration,” said Michael McNulty, Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s emergency management director. “The risks to health security are very real, from severe storms to floods to food-borne illnesses; with an increased and sustained investment, we will save lives.”
The report’s findings showed both areas of strength and areas that need attention.
Areas of strong performance include:
- Adoption of Nurse Licensure Compact.
- Accredited in the areas of public health and emergency management.
- State public health funding increased from FY 2021 to 2022.
- Use of public water systems that met health-based standards.
- Percent of employed population that took paid time off, March 2017-2022.
- State public health laboratories with a plan for a six- to eight-week surge in testing capacity.
Areas that need attention include:
- Increasing flu vaccination rates.
- Increasing the percent of the population served by a comprehensive public health system.
- State percentage of general acute-care hospitals with “A” grade for patient safety scores.
Read the full report.