Author Archives: nacchovoice

Recognizing the Importance of NACCHO’s Profile Study to Public Health

By JP Leider, Senior Lecturer at the University of Minnesota, Associate Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and independent consultant based out of Minneapolis, MN

As NACCHO’s Profile Study returns to the field, I’ve decided to share a reminder of its importance to public health and thank practitioners.

The field of governmental public health is a complicated one. Between our state, local, territorial, and tribal health departments, there are something like 3,000 agencies devoted to the promotion and protection of population health. As someone who studies and works to support those organizations, large-scale datasets that enumerate their activities and characteristics are absolutely critical. I recognize big datasets don’t always sound like the most exciting things in the world. But these datasets, like NACCHO’s National Profile of Local Health Departments (Profile) Study, help us project workforce shortages, keep up with Electronic Health Record uptake at local health departments (LHDs), and figure out just how much the nation is spending on public health and whether it is worth it (spoiler: it is). Continue reading

How Local Health Departments Protect Families from Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Q&A with National Association of County and City Health Officials Chief Executive Officer Lori Tremmel Freeman

Measles have reemerged as a public health threat in the United States in 2019. New York and Washington state are facing the worst measles outbreak in a generation, but cases have also been reported in 10 states so far this year. Below, National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) CEO Lori Tremmel Freeman discusses the importance of vaccines, vaccine hesitancy, and how local health departments work diligently to protect communities from vaccine-preventable diseases including measles. NACCHO represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local health departments. Continue reading

How Can Public Health Students Make Themselves Competitive for Employment?

The Scholarship of Public Health is a blog series from the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice that addresses topics relevant to scientific publishing, dissemination of evidence and best practices, and the education of current and future professionals. 

As soon as I entered academia, one of the most common questions I received from students was some variation of, “What is the best way to make myself more competitive for a job when I graduate?” To me, there are many answers one can give, and each of them is necessary but not sufficient. One that I most commonly hear is to network, but networking is like marketing, and it’s fruitless to market an inferior product (ask the marketers of “New Coke”). This is not to say that networking, and building contacts, is not necessary, but it’s not sufficient. To me, the answer to the question of marketability is deceivingly simple but often overlooked: demonstrable skills. Both words are important. “Skills” reflects the ability to do something useful, and “demonstrable” represents the fact that they can be observed, most often in the form of a product. Continue reading

Outgoing Membership Committee Chair Winifred Holland Reflects on Her 30-Year Career in Public Health

Winifred M. Holland, MPH, MA, LMHC, retired public health officer, spent more than 30 years in local public health. She has served as an Administrator at Bradford County Health Department, Union County Health Department, and Clay County Health Department the last 10 years of her career. She also worked at various other health departments during her career in Florida, including Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, Polk, Sarasota, Lee, Hendry, Glades, Collier, and Manatee, and served as a regional manager covering multiple health departments. Continue reading

Member Spotlight: Health Director Damon Chaplin Discusses His Department’s Plans to Address the Opioid Epidemic and the Significance of Achieving Accreditation

NACCHO’s Member Spotlight series features interviews with local health department leaders and staff about their careers in public health. This interview features Damon Chaplin, MBA, Health Director of the New Bedford Health Department in Massachusetts. Below he shares how community partners have come together to address the growing opioid epidemic and discusses how the accreditation process will help outline strategies for efficiently affecting better health outcomes in his community. Continue reading

January Is Birth Defects Prevention Month: Are Local Health Departments Ready?

Q&A with NACCHO Board Member Sandra Elizabeth Ford, MD, MBA Director of the DeKalb County Board of Health

A baby is born with a birth defect in the United States every 4.5 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Birth defects are defined as any structural changes present at birth that affect how the body looks, works, or both, and they can vary from mild to severe. While not all birth defects can be prevented, there are concrete steps pregnant mothers can take to increase the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby. In honor of National Birth Defects Prevention Month, the CDC released a resource guide providing pregnant moms tips for preventing birth defects. Continue reading

Teaching Public Health Practice for Non-Practitioners

By Justin B. Moore, PhD, MS, FACSM, Journal of Public Health Management & Practice

The Scholarship of Public Health is a blog series from the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice that addresses topics relevant to scientific publishing, dissemination of evidence and best practices, and the education of current and future professionals. This column presents some considerations and best practices for finding time to produce scholarship in the form of a manuscript or presentation. Continue reading