Four out if 10. That’s a failing grade on any scale.
West Virginia only met four out of 10 standards in recent reports released by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. But the state is in good company.
The report found that outdated systems and limited resources are hampering the nation’s ability to prevent and control infectious disease outbreaks, and West Virginia is certainly among the states lagging in their approach.
That includes failing to meet benchmarks for flu and whooping cough vaccinations; not maintaining or increasing funding for public health programs from the 2011-2012 to 2012-2013 fiscal year; not vaccinating at least half of its population ages 6 and up during last year’s flu season; and failing to meet a federal goal of vaccinating 90 percent of preschoolers against whooping cough.
The state also failed to require or fund a cervical cancer vaccine for teens, or provide education about the vaccine for the sexually transmitted HPV; lacks a plan for severe weather, air quality and other environmental threats that affect health; and the state didn’t evaluate an emergency management plan through a real event or exercise in 2012-13.
Those are the issues.
There are things that West Virginia has been very proactive and progressive with when it comes to some programs.
“We believe (the state) is doing a good job at protecting against infectious disease threats, but we are always looking for ways to improve,” said Allison Adler, spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Resources.
We can improve, and we need to. West Virginia has the opportunity to surge ahead of many states and serve as an example by concentrating on areas of public health that are lagging.
Just because we’ve made huge gains when it comes to public health and infectious diseases, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels.
“We can’t become complacent against the threat that they pose,” said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the group that completed the nationwide study.
We must constantly work to ensure that whether it be a normal day, a catastrophic event or a public health crisis, we are prepared.
Four out if 10. That’s a failing grade on any scale.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
- More Opinion Headlines
- United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project