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Public Health, Injury Prevention Measures Get Favorable Rating

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) is pleased to announce that a recent report card published by the American College of Emergency Physicians ranked the state’s public health and injury prevention efforts as eighth best in the country with a grade of B+ and ranks the state as tied for second in the country.

Contributing to this high ranking was the state’s increase in the percentage of adults age 65 or older who received an annual flu shot or who had ever received a pneumonia vaccination (74.7% and 72.5%, respectively). Rhode Island also saw a reduction in the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities.

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The state’s Disaster Preparedness efforts for healthcare, that are led by HEALTH, also received an overall grade of B+. This is a result of having a state-wide patient tracking system, a state-wide victim tracking system, state-wide medical communication system with one layer of redundancy and state-wide real-time syndromic surveillance.

The report recommended that HEALTH focus on increasing participation in Rhode Island’s medical volunteer registry. The data used for the report was representative of enrollment as of March 2007. Since that time, HEALTH has seen an increase in the number of healthcare professionals who volunteered for the program, as the program was officially launched in May 2008. Providers can register for the volunteer program when they complete HEALTH’s on-line renewal process.

HEALTH took an innovative approach to ESAR-VHP, developing the umbrella system of RI Responds. This 3-tiered approach blends SERV-RI (RI's ESAR-VHP), which is the state medical volunteer registry, the RI Medical Reserve Corps and the RI-1 DMAT.