Is Illinois prepared to respond to the medical needs of the community in the event of a disaster? Not according to the 2014 American College of Emergency Physicians' state-by-state report card on America's emergency care environment. Illinois received a failing grade for disaster preparedness and ranked 43rd in the nation.
The state has not kept pace with other states' efforts to update its disaster policies and procedures. To improve this grade, Illinois should work to increase the per-capita number of physicians, nurses and behavioral health professionals registered in the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, which are among the lowest in the nation.
The failing grade we received for disaster preparedness is, frankly, a disaster. The state's disaster preparedness should rise to the gold standard set by Boston after the marathon bombing.
Soumiya Prakasam M.D.
Presence Provena Hospital