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Report: Arkansas better prepared for public health emergency

December 18, 2008
by Rob Moritz
Arkansas News Bureau

Arkansas has improved its preparedness for a major public health emergency over the past year, but the state health director said it should ranked even higher in a health research group's report released Tuesday.

The sixth annual "Ready or Not?" report by Trust for America's Health found Arkansas performed adequately in eight of 10 categories measured. The state received a seven of 10 last year.

Arkansas Health Director Paul Halverson said Tuesday he was pleased that the state is being recognized for improving its preparedness but he disputed the score, adding Arkansas should have actually received a nine.

"We're trying to get that clarified with Trust for America's Health," he said.

Laura Segal, spokeswoman for Trust for America's Health, said Tuesday that Arkansas health officials apparently failed to report the correct information to the federal government.

"They may be entitled to receive a nine, but they don't because they didn't properly report it," Segal said.

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