New York State Among Top States in U.S. Health Security Preparedness Index

New York Improves in Annual Review of States Health Preparedness Efforts

New York State Ranks Fourth Among all States with a Score of 7.6 out of 10

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 17, 2018) – The New York State Department of Healthannounced today that New York is among the most well-prepared states in the nation for managing emergencies, according to the 2018 National Health Security Preparedness Index, an annual assessment sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and managed by the University of Kentucky.

"At the Governor's direction, the Department of Health is working with agencies and stakeholders across the state to ensure that we are prepared to appropriately and efficiently handle any public health emergency"said Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. "The report released today is testament to the Governor's leadership on this issue and the work the Health Department and our partners have put in to increase our level of preparedness."

The National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI) evaluates the health security preparedness of the U.S. by looking collectively at the preparedness of states. It is designed to gauge the states' readiness to protect individuals from public health threats, such as a major disease outbreak or natural disaster, and ability to help communities recover from these types of incidents.

The NHSPI analyzes 141 measures of preparedness to identify strengths and opportunities for keeping the nation safe. These measures include: vaccination rates for infectious diseases, such as flu; access to trauma centers; presence of state public health laboratories that test for contaminants like lead and asbestos; ability to conduct successful drills and exercises in several scenarios; number of emergency volunteers; and hazard planning for public schools. From these measures, the NHSPI provides a composite score that reflects the most comprehensive picture of health security preparedness available.

On a scale of 1-10, the national NHSPI average for 2017 was 7.1. Individual state scores ranged from a maximum of 8.0 to a minimum of 6.4. New York State received a 7.6, placing it among the top four highest scores in the country. New York's score represents a 13.4% increase from 2013, the year the NHSPI was created.

A report released that provides in-depth information about the NHPSI notes that New York State's results exceed the national average in the majority of domains, and demonstrate high levels of proficiency and leadership in many areas, including:

  • Community planning and engagement, which increased by 25.5% in New York between 2013-2017;
  • The ability to quickly detect potential health threats through a highly ranked laboratory system;
  • Strong partnerships and coordination among multiple stakeholders including public health providers, the health care system, emergency management, and the laboratory system;
  • Ability to provide critical medications to the public quickly and efficiently if needed during a public health emergency; and
  • Capacity to prevent health impacts from environmental or occupational hazards.

The NHSPI was originally developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a tool to advance discussions to improve health security and preparedness. In 2016, the NHSPI transferred to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which engaged the University of Kentucky to serve as the program management office.

For more information about the National Health Security Preparedness Index, visit