TFAH Publishes 2020 Preparedness Report

The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) recently published its report “Ready or Not 2020: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism,” which provides an annual assessment of states’ level of readiness to respond to public health emergencies and recommends policy actions to ensure the public’s health is protected during such events. The 2020 edition found overall preparedness improvement but identifies significant areas that still require attention.

Based on 10 performance indicators and public health funding, TFAH’s report ranks state preparedness into three performance tiers of high, middle, and low. 25 states and the District of Columbia were categorized into the high preparedness performance tier, representing an increase from 17 states last year. 12 states, including California, fell into the middle tier, and 13 states fell into the low tier.

Among the major findings of the report, TFAH determined a majority of states have plans in place to expand healthcare capacity in an emergency and most states are accredited in areas of public health and/or emergency management. TFAH further determined seasonal flu vaccinations remained too low, access to paid time off was limited resulting in the exacerbation of some infectious disease outbreaks, and hospital safety scores in a number of areas need improvement. TFAH set forth a series of recommendations to improve the nation’s ability to protect the public’s health during emergencies, including:

  • Providing stable and sufficient funding for domestic and global public health security
  • Preventing outbreaks and pandemics
  • Building resilient communities and promoting health equity in preparedness
  • Supporting the public health workforce and ensuring effective leadership and coordination
  • Accelerating development and distribution, including last mile distribution, of medical countermeasures

The full report from TFAH is available here.