Mississippi State Department of Health receives perfect score

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - From the Mississippi State Department of Health

JACKSON, MS - The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has received a 100 percent score for its ability to receive and dispense medicine and medical supplies within 48 hours of a public health emergency.

Mississippi is one of only nine states to achieve this. The other states are Virginia, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Louisiana, Indiana, and California.

MSDH has planned, trained and been graded on this federal program since December 2000. On September 2, 2005, Mississippi became the first and only state to receive, stage, store, and distribute the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) package "12 hour push package" of medicine and medical supplies during the Hurricane Katrina response.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) SNS program is a national warehouse of medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public when a public health emergency severe enough to deplete local supplies occurs.

The SNS is designed to assist and resupply state and local public health agencies anywhere and at any time within the U.S. or its territories. The goal of SNS is to save lives by rapidly dispensing medication to an entire affected population within 48 hours.

"Public health is now integrated into the emergency response system as a full partner, and often, as the lead player. That's because any type of hazard or emergency can affect the health and safety of Mississippians. This report further indicates that Mississippi is better prepared to respond to a public health emergency," said Jim Craig, Director of Health Protection.

For more information on emergency preparedness and the SNS program, visit the MSDH website at www.HealthyMS.com or call 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948).