Oklahoma leads the nation in many categories that don’t elicit state pride. But the ranking from the Trust for America’s Health this week gives us plenty to brag about.

The state scored a perfect 10 out of 10 in all areas listed in a report titled “Ready or Not: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism,” by the Washington, D.C., - based Trust for America’s Health. It was the only state so recognized by the Trust.

The organization, in a press release, said it analyzed the state’s ability to distribute medicines and supplies from the strategic national stockpile, maintain laboratory capacity and personnel to detect biologic agents used in a terrorist attack and maintain year-round laboratory surveillance for influenza.

The state health department, and its partner local health departments, deserve the credit for the state’s grade.

Also reviewed were the state’s ability to handle a surge in hospital bed requirements during a pandemic and in the flu and pneumonia vaccination rates. The state routinely holds exercises to test local responders and their ability to give mass inoculations and alert residents to potential problems.

All 50 states were evaluated and half of the states scored six or less. California, Iowa, Maryland and New Jersey scored the lowest with a four out of 10. Neighboring Kansas scored a nine.

Our collective ability to respond to the report points out that more than five years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, emergency health preparedness is still inadequate in America.

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