To ensure that Rhode Island maintains the ability to respond to a public health emergency by receiving, distributing, and dispensing medical countermeasures and supplies.
The MEDS program maintains the State’s plan to receive, stage, distribute, and dispense medical countermeasures and supplies during a public health emergency with the assistance of state and federal partners. The MEDS program reviews and offers guidance for all local MEDS Point-of-Dispensing (POD) Plans, provides POD staff training, and gives direction for dispensing the countermeasures to the general public.
An act of terrorism (or a large-scale natural disaster) affecting the United States may require rapid access to large quantities of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. Such quantities may not be readily available unless special stockpiles are created in advance. Therefore, a national inventory of supplies, called the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) has been created as a resource for all states.
CDC's Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is a large national repository of life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency (terrorist attack, pandemic influenza outbreak, earthquake) severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. Once federal and local authorities agree that the SNS is needed, medicines will be delivered to any state in the U.S. within 12 hours. CEPR is responsible for keeping their MEDS plan up to date and in line with CDC guidance to ensure Rhode Island is capable of receiving and distributing medical supplies and countermeasures from the SNS. more
The Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) is a federal effort designed to increase bioterrorism preparedness in the nation's larger cities. The goal is to save lives in these selected cities or Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) by rapidly dispensing medication to their entire population within 48 hours of the decision to do so. Providence is considered one of these cities; however, the entire State of Rhode Island is included in the Providence CRI MSA. The State, in collaboration with each municipality, has developed a comprehensive MEDS Plan to accomplish this goal. more
Rhode Island participates in the CDC's CHEMPACK program, the goal of which is to "forward place" chemical nerve agent antidotes throughout the country. In the case of a chemical nerve agent event, these antidotes would be readily available to local emergency responders to ensure a rapid response.