NH DHHS - NH Receives High Marks for Public Health Preparedness

Concord, NH - A recent review of the preparedness efforts of the State’s

ability to distribute and dispense medical countermeasures for a public

health emergency showed improvement in the overall score over last year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts the annual

assessment of the State’s Strategic National Stockpile Program and the

seven Cities Readiness Initiative Regions, which include Strafford County

Region, Seacoast Region, Greater Derry Region, Greater Manchester Region,

Greater Nashua Region, Greater Monadnock Region, and the Capital Area


“Each year we are evaluated on our planning efforts including exercises and

drills,” said NH’s Public Health Director Dr. Jose Montero. “We’ve been

working closely with our regional public health partners and have shown

steady improvement in our assessment evaluation over the years and continue

to do well in our overall plan, communications, security and inventory


The annual assessment looks at the State’s efforts, regional work by Public

Health Networks and the Cities Readiness Initiative Sites from February

2012 to February 2013. The assessment process has been in place since 2004,

and New Hampshire continues to improve its readiness year after year.

“I’m very pleased with our scores this year,” said NH’s Strategic National

Stockpile Coordinator Vickie Carrier. “Our scores reflect the continued

dedication to training and preparation from the Public Health Coordinators

to emergency response teams and volunteers. New Hampshire is fortunate to

have the commitment of so many broadly trained individuals that help ensure

we are prepared if and when a public health emergency should arise.”

The SNS program is a federally managed system that, in the event of a major

emergency, provides medication, medical equipment, and medical supplies to

local areas to support the response to an emergency. The medical emergency

could be natural or human-caused. Typical planning scenarios include a

terrorist attack, pandemic influenza, and mass anthrax exposure. In the

event of such an emergency, citizens would be given specific instructions

and in most cases would be directed to go to various Points of Dispensing

to receive medication.

Public health threats are always present, whether caused by natural,

accidental, or intentional means. Incidents such as the 2009 H1N1 influenza

pandemic, Hurricane Katrina, and other disease outbreaks and natural

disasters that have occurred underscore the importance of communities being

prepared to receive and manage the Strategic National Stockpile. Preparing

adequately for future emergencies and outbreaks requires predictable and

adequate long-term effort to sustain and improve the public health

infrastructure, staffing, and training.

For more about the Strategic National Stockpile visit

www.cdc.gov/phpr/stockpile/stockpile.htm . For more information about New

Hampshire’s SNS Planning and DHHS’ Emergency Services Unit visit