The 2012 State-by-State Report on Laboratory, Emergency Operations Coordination and Emergency Public Information and Warning Capabilities addresses three public health preparedness capabilities: public health laboratory testing, emergency operations coordination, and emergency public information and warning.
"Our ability to assemble response teams has steadily improved so we are now twice as fast as the national target," William Mason, MD, MPH, Preparedness and Emergency Response Branch Chief, ADH, said.
"We work very hard to ensure that our facilities and response teams are ready to handle any type of disaster-weather, disease or even bioterrorism. While we are proud of our score, preparedness is ongoing, and we will continue to train and plan for emergencies," Mason said.
Arkansas's response to emergencies relies in part on the Arkansas Public Health Laboratory, dedicated in 2006, which is a 5,000-square-foot level 3 bio-safety lab equipped to handle highly infectious disease agents. Each year the lab performs more than 800,000 tests on about 500,000 specimens.
The ADH Emergency Communications Center (ECC) serves as a point of emergency contact for ADH and provides 24-hour, 7-days per week coverage for anything affecting the health and welfare of Arkansans.
The ADH Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is a state-of-the-art facility that coordinates with local, state, federal, and private partners to respond to public health aspects of natural disasters, disease outbreaks or deliberate attacks.