I am proud to announce that Arizona is one of the top states in the nation for public health preparedness. The annual Ready or Not report from the Trust for America’s Health that was released on Dec. 19 grades all 50 states on a variety of criteria including available resources, policy environments, and healthcare systems. Arizona scored seven points on a ten-point scale, putting us in the top 90th percentile, with only five states receiving higher scores.

The Ready or Not report focuses on the ability of the federal government, states, localities, and the healthcare system to effectively respond to all types of emergencies and disasters. It outlines major advancements as well as ongoing gaps for public health departments nationwide.

In September 2017, ADHS achieved accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board. This recognition helped improve our ranking for this year’s Ready or Not report. Additionally, ADHS increased its score on the National Health Security Preparedness Index. Through diligence and lots of hard work by state, local, and tribal health departments, our state has been able to strengthen these key measures for public health and community resilience.

Although these achievements highlight our State’s ability to engage in critical public health and emergency response activities, our work is never done. ADHS is committed to continuous quality improvement in all of our programs including preparedness. This is why ongoing support for the CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness program and HHS’s Hospital Preparedness Program is essential. These resources enable partners across the state to sustain and build response capabilities thereby increasing our ability to protect the health and wellness of all Arizonans.