CARSON CITY — The State of Nevada’s Public Health Preparedness (PHP) program scored 94 percent on its Technical Assistance Review (TAR) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), thus demonstrating its competency and assuring full, continuous funding.
The TAR is a 13-part review of the state’s operational plans to request, receive and dispense federally provided medical materials such as antibiotics, immunizations or antiviral medications. Past scores for Nevada were 34 percent in 2007; 84 percent in 2008; 89 percent in 2009; and 83 percent in 2010.
In this year’s 2011 TAR audit, Nevada scored 90 percent to 100 percent in 12 of the 13 categories.
Nevada’s PHP program receives about $7.5 million in federal funding from the CDC each year, which supports public health preparedness activities such as the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The SNS is a national repository of antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, life-support medications, IV administration, airway maintenance supplies and medical/surgical teams. The SNS is designed to supplement and re-supply state and local public health agencies in the event of a national emergency anywhere, anytime within the United States or its territories.
“As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and with the movie ‘Contagion’ due for release this month, we want the people of Nevada to know that public health agencies within their state are diligent about preparedness, and that the state’s 94 percent TAR score shows how far we’ve come,” said Dan Mackie, CDC Program Manager with the Nevada State Health Division.
An example of how far Nevada has progressed is an exercise last May in which preparedness agencies across the state tested their plans and capabilities in the largest public health preparedness exercise ever attempted in the state’s history: the 2011 Eagle Package Exercise. This full-scale exercise demonstrated how state and local public health partners would work together to request and mass dispense antibiotics following an anthrax scenario.
For more information about the Nevada State Health Division, visit http://health.nv.gov.