Iowa is being downgraded in a non-profit group’s report which ranks the states for public health emergency preparedness. Dr. Nadine Gracia, president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health, says the past year brought many challenges, including the ongoing pandemic, extreme weather events, rises in chronic disease rates, and startling jumps in the number of lives lost to substance misuse and suicide.
Of the ten key categories the report measures in each state, Gracia says Iowa slid back in two of them, though she says those are opportunities for growth over the coming year.
The report found Iowa excelled in some areas, like in the percentage of Iowans who got their seasonal flu vaccine. Also, the number of Iowans who can take paid time off is higher than the national average. Among the other positives for Iowa:
Iowa also saw improvements in its water safety, according to the report. Gracia says putting a sufficient investment into public health in Iowa and nationwide is vital.
The mission statement of Trust for America’s Health is to promote optimal health for every person and community, and make the prevention of illness and injury a national priority.