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ORAU Assists National Health Security Efforts

The updated version of the National Health Security Preparedness Index™ (NHSPI™) will gain great importance in 2015 as emergency preparedness and public health officials use the Index more and more to strengthen their efforts.

NHSPI logoThe NHSPI™ examines the health security preparedness of the nation by looking collectively at the health security preparedness of states. This valuable tool offers a new way to measure and advance the nation’s readiness to protect people during a disaster.

ORAU health communication specialists, statisticians, and Web professionals assisted in the development and implementation of the 2013 NHSPIâ„¢ and 2014 NHSPI™. ORAU members of the NHSPI™ project team conducted stakeholder engagement, web development, model design, data management, and quality control.

The NHSPI™ was inspired by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and developed by a coalition of 35 preparedness and response partner organizations facilitated by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). It launched in 2013.
Now updated, the NHSPI™ more fully portrays the state of the nation’s preparedness by offering expanded data. The 2014 NHSPI™ project team focused on enhancing two key areas: health care delivery and environmental and occupational health.

“This has been a tremendous accomplishment. It has been an incredible process and everyone has shown deep commitment to making this happen for the nation,” says Angela Schwartz, associate director of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation in the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, CDC.

The Index has applications across health departments, government agencies, community organizations, academia, and others. It is intended to be used to:

  • Strengthen preparedness
  • Inform decision making
  • Guide quality improvement
  • Advance the science behind community resilience

Standing on a solid foundation, the NHSPI™ will continue to evolve in 2015 and beyond. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) assumed leadership of the NHSPI™ at the beginning of 2015. RWJF is planning multiple activities to continue to grow the Index, including engaging and incorporating other sectors that influence health security preparedness into the Index, incorporating model analysis and validation studies to inform Index improvement, and developing new Web-based features and tools. Learn more about the Index at