By Holly Groom and Sonya Czerniak
The mission of the Oregon Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Program is to deliver critical medical assets to the scene of an emergency. The SNS Program is reviewed annually by the CDC’s Division of Strategic National Stockpile (DSNS) to measure its planning and response capabilities. This year the program received a 98 percent grade, up from 92 percent last year, on its overall readiness to respond to an all-hazard event.
Thanks to the strength of the SNS Program’s partners and to Health Security, Preparedness, and Response (HSPR) program support, the Oregon SNS continues to improve and rank among the highest performing SNS programs in the country.
Even with this achievement, the program is continuing to build on lessons learned, and meets regularly with its partners to review the Oregon SNS Plan. This year, several new state partnerships have paved the way for expanding the response demographics of the SNS. These partnerships will allow for improved resource allocation for those areas in the state that are more difficult to reach, and a decrease in overall response time. A shorter response time will lead to swifter care for affected families and individuals in distress, in keeping with the SNS mission to deliver critical medical assets to all Oregonians in need of help.
In the next year, the program is focused on training and exercising to strengthen its response to emergency events. With coordination of the Oregon Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) program, Oregon will conduct a full scale exercise in spring 2013. The exercise is intended to increase SNS response capabilities while building on existing state partnerships within the program. While still in the early stages of planning, the program plans to exercise receiving, allocating, and distributing medical assets, followed by a thorough evaluation process. A full-scale exercise is the best way to evaluate and improve on our program's capacity and readiness for response.
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