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Funding Cuts Hurt State Score on Public Readiness

Trust for America's Health.jpg

Florida hit only half of the indicators for public health preparedness, according to  the “Ready or Not” report from Trust For America’s Health

Funding cuts for public health programs really sank the score for Florida, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.

Florida also missed benchmarks on whooping cough vaccinations, flu shots without a copay for those on Medicaid, concrete evacuation plans for vulnerable populations and licensing that would allow nurses to practice across state lines.

However, Florida does have a plan for climate change, a system to deal with chemical threats, emergency management accreditation, enough public health employees to quickly respond to incidents and labs that can process new threats or outbreaks.

The report also noted the serious tuberculosis outbreak that hit Florida last spring.

Lottie Watts covers health and health policy for Health News Florida, now a part of WUSF Public Media. She also produces Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show.