Michigan Demonstrates Impressive Pandemic Readiness

Contact: James McCurtis (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

February 17, 2009

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (2006) requires each state to meet critical benchmarks and standards in their pandemic preparedness and operational readiness. In March 2008, the federal government released their Federal Guidance to Assist States in Improving State-Level Pandemic Influenza Operating Plans. This document outlined three strategic goals as an overarching framework for the various functions of state government during a pandemic: ensure continuity of operations of state agencies and continuity of state government, protect citizens, and sustain/support critical infrastructure and key resource sectors.

In July 2008, Michigan submitted its Pandemic Influenza State Operational Plan to the federal government for review. In all, the federal government assessed Michigan's pandemic preparedness against twenty-five operating objectives. In January 2009, the federal government released their report to the Homeland Security Council: Assessment of States' Operating Plans to Combat Pandemic Influenza. Michigan achieved and overall score of 71 percent, met or exceeded the national average in twenty-four out of twenty-five operating objectives, and proved its pandemic operational readiness.

Michigan scored in the 90th percentile or above in several pandemic planning areas: medical countermeasures, sustainable transportation, community mitigation strategies, the integration of foreign diplomatic missions, and public safety and law enforcement. Other areas where the federal government assessed Michigan's pandemic preparedness included continuity of operations and government, surveillance and laboratory capability, community mitigation related to schools, mass vaccination, communications, critical infrastructure and key resources, and integration with other agencies' planning.

The federal government also assessed Michigan's operational readiness for a pandemic. This single rating determined whether or not Michigan had sufficiently tested its pandemic response capability. Michigan achieved a rating of "substantial evidence of operational readiness".

Michigan's Pandemic Influenza Coordinating Committee (PICC), established in 2006, meets regularly to ensure a coordinated and progressive state operating plan. The PICC membership includes all state-level agencies, local representatives, and tribal delegates. Through this collaborative planning and partnership, Michigan continues to lead the nation in public health preparedness initiatives.

For more information, please contact the Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness, Dr. Jacqueline Scott, at (517) 335-8150.