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Health Department receives perfect score for emergency preparations

Tue July 19, 2011

DUPAGE COUNTY-The DuPage County Health Department is proud to announce that for the second time it has received a 100 percent rating-the highest possible score-following a thorough review of its public health emergency plans by health officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Health Department is the local coordinating agency for the county-wide Strategic National Stockpile, which would deliver medications to nearly 1 million DuPage County residents in the event of a public health emergency.

This remarkable accomplishment is the second time that the Health Department achieved a 100 percent rating in all 12 of the functional areas that were reviewed by officials. A perfect score was also attained in 2009 and the CDC waived last year's review because of the Health Department's exceptional score.

The "Technical Assistance Review" of the Health Department included high praise for every facet of the agency's planning, which officials called "well developed, well thought out and continually enhanced."

Officials added that the Health Department, despite its high rating, is strengthening its training and education, as well as scheduling more drills and exercises to test and validate plans.

Linda Kurzawa, President of the DuPage County Board of Health, said, "This tremendous score indicates a high level of staff competence and a commitment by the Health Department to protect DuPage County residents in the event of a public health emergency. The entire Board of Health compliments Health Department staff for this 100 percent rating."

Maureen McHugh, Executive Director of the Health Department, said, "This perfect score is possible because of our external partners throughout DuPage County, including county officials, hospitals, municipalities, the DuPage County Sheriff and others. We could not have achieved this score without their help and support."

McHugh said state and federal officials conducted their assessment in June and focused their review on the Health Department's ability to respond to a public health emergency and maintain operational readiness, which makes sure that residents are protected during an emergency. The Health Department is the lead county agency in public health emergencies.

The Health Department's emergency response plans are reviewed as a requirement of the Cities Readiness Initiative grant. The CRI grant is a federal program to aid local agencies and cities while improving their ability to deliver medicines and medical supplies to the entire population during a large-scale public health emergency, such as a bioterrorism attack.

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Health Department receives perfect score for emergency preparations