|November 9, 2007|
Gov. Blagojevich announces Illinois ahead of the national curve for emergency preparedness
Illinois Strategic National Stockpile plan scores above the national average in ability to receive, distribute and dispense medications
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that Illinois’ plan to distribute necessary medications and medical supplies in the event of an emergency received high marks from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Illinois Strategic National Stockpile plan scored 91 out of 100, well above the national average, during a recent in-depth assessment by the CDC. Reviewers looked at 13 different areas including controlling inventory of vaccines and medical supplies, distribution and security.
“When an emergency strikes, it is critical that we have a solid plan to get the necessary medical supplies to communities across the state. This assessment tells us not only that we’re well prepared but more so than other states around the country. Illinoisans should feel confident that we are working hard to prepare for even the worst of situations,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is charged with leading the response efforts of state agencies to ensure medications and medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) are provided to hospitals and health departments during a major disease outbreak; safeguarding the life and health of the citizens of Illinois.
The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) consists of large quantities of medications and medical supplies to protect people if there is a public health emergency (terrorist attack, flu outbreak, earthquake, etc.) severe enough to cause local and state supplies to run out. Once federal, state and local authorities agree the stockpile is needed, medications and medical supplies will be delivered to any state in the U.S. within 12 hours. Each state has plans to receive and distribute medications and medical supplies to local communities as quickly as possible.
“In 2003, Illinois became only the second state to obtain the Green, or highest rating, for its SNS plan and maintained that rating for three years. The CDC no longer uses the color rating system, but Illinois continues to rank above the national average for our SNS plan and preparedness efforts,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold.
Under the Governor’s direction, much of the state’s success in developing a high scoring SNS plan can be attributed to the emphasis on multi-agency coordination and collaboration. IDPH handles product allocation quality control procedures as well as directing the activities of other state response agencies. For example, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) manages the coordination of assets for the stockpile’s distribution and delivery; the Illinois State Police handles security; the Illinois National Guard provides warehouse manpower; the Illinois Department of Transportation is utilized for both ground and air transportation services and the Illinois Department of Corrections assists with facility availability. Other state agencies can be called on to help support the SNS plan at any time. The CDC’s review of the Illinois SNS plan comments on the solid working relationship between state agencies and the leadership of IDPH, “This cannot be more evidenced by the fact their Overall Preparedness assessment score is now a 91 percent.”
Gov. Blagojevich has focused on state preparedness through various actions and exercises including:
of Public Health
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