Study Finds Idaho Improving On Health Emergency Preparedness

Apr 17, 2018

Idaho’s doing better than in previous years when it comes to emergency preparedness. That's according to a new national study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

This is the fifth year of the study charting state preparation for health emergencies. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded this year’s index, which shows Idaho lagging behind the national average.

Glen Mays is a professor at the University of Kentucky and helped develop the index, which considers a range of potential crises, including:

“Storms and fires and floods, [all] kind of natural disasters," Mays says. "But also disease outbreaks and infrastructure failures, like when water systems fail.”

He says like other rural areas with limited numbers of doctors and specialized healthcare centers, Idaho faces challenges when it comes to healthcare access.

“Where it can be difficult to make sure you have the full continuum of healthcare resources and services geographically accessible to the full population.”

But Mays also points out that the state has improved by about 10 percent on these markers since 2013. A spokesperson for Idaho’s Department of Health and Human Services was not immediately available.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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