Oklahoma’s ever-growing public health infrastructure has received a top tier rating from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) in its level of preparedness to respond to emerging public health threats. The report based the ranking on emergency readiness measures such as public health funding, seasonal flu immunization rates, public health lab capacity, hospital preparedness and public health agency accreditation.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has an expansive network of local, state and national partners who are trained and prepared for a public health emergency such as an infectious disease outbreak.
“The OSDH continues to invest in our communities and seek out partners statewide to protect and improve the health of Oklahomans,” said Commissioner of Health Gary Cox. “This is just another example of how we are propelling our great state to top 10 in health.”
In the last year, public health officials in Oklahoma responded to disease outbreaks such as measles, foodborne illnesses, illness and injury due to vaping, and seasonal flu, while also joining national efforts to end the HIV epidemic and preventing a number of other diseases by providing vaccinations and other prevention strategies. The state continues to monitor the current outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and is engaging with a network of partners to respond to any potential or confirmed cases in Oklahoma.
"The ability to respond to health-related emergencies quickly and effectively is critical to the function of our State, and I applaud the team at OSDH for their commitment to protect and improve health outcomes for all 4 million Oklahomans," said Governor Kevin Stitt. "I look forward to continuing to accomplish Top Ten results together as we work to efficiently deliver services and move the needle in this critical area.”
The top tier ranking is an improvement as Oklahoma fell into the middle tier in last year’s report. TFAH is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization which promotes optimal health for every person and community and makes prevention of illness and injury a national priority.