Reports: Virginia among most prepared for emergencies

Virginia was recognized as one of the states most prepared for emergencies, according to the Ready or Not 2021: Protecting the Public’s Health from Disease, Disasters and Bioterrorism report  and the 2020 National Health Security Index. It also recognizes the commonwealth as one of the “most prepared” among the states considered vulnerable in public health situations.


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The onset of the pandemic created “unthinkable” challenges for health care providers, said Sean T. Connaughton, Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association president and CEO.

“Throughout this 14-month and counting ordeal, Virginia health care providers have been supported by, and supported, our partners in state government — standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the shared work to protect community health. While no state has been spared by this viral outbreak, it is rewarding to see that Virginia has weathered this storm in part due to investments and preparation by hospitals, health care providers and government agencies to be ready for major emergencies.”

According to the reports, Virginia is highly rated due to:

  • Participation in the Nurse Licensure Compact that enables qualified, licensed nurses to practice in other states under certain conditions
  • Virginia hospitals’ 100% participation rate in regional health care coalitions (through the Virginia Healthcare Emergency Management Program (VHEMP) partnership with VHHA and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) that are positioned to help deploy resources and support frontline providers during public health emergencies;
  • State accreditation with the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMPA)
  • A strong degree of public health emergency readiness even in a climate of declining public health funding

The Ready or Not 2021: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism report calls for $4.5 billion in annual federal spending to rebuild the public health workforce and invest in public health infrastructure nationwide.