Category Archives: advocacy

Local Health Departments and Communities Will Benefit from the Recently Passed FY2020 LHHS Spending Bill

Appropriations Bill Includes Strong Spending Levels for Many Local Health Department Priorities

NACCHO thanks the House of Representatives for passing a FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) funding bill that includes strong spending levels for many local health department priorities. They include a total of $8.3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and strong top-line funding levels for other federal agencies that help support public health activities through local health departments.

“The House Appropriations Committee sent a strong message today that they are not only supportive of public health, but willing to put the dollars needed into the system,” said Adriane Casalotti, NACCHO Chief of Government and Public Affairs. “These federal investments are key to supporting the work of local health departments to prepare for, identify, prevent, and respond to public health issues. These funds are critical to enable local health departments to work each day to strengthen their communities across the country.”

H.R. 2740 includes the following:

  • $700 million, an increase of $25 million, for public health emergency preparedness cooperative agreements, which provide every state, eight territories, and four directly funded cities with funding to foster all-hazards emergency
  • $650 million, an increase of $39 million, for the Section 317 Immunization
  • $100 million for the first year of a multi-year effort to support modernization of public health data surveillance and analytics at CDC, state and local health departments, and the National Center for Health
  • $56 million, an increase of $5 million, in public health workforce initiatives to address workforce

NACCHO urges the Senate to also include robust funding to protect the public’s health in its FY2020 LHHS appropriations bill. The association also urges Congress and the White House to reach a budget deal to raise the caps on discretionary spending without delay in order to make increased funding for these public health priorities a reality.

Public Health on the Hill: A Coalition for Sustained Support

Adriane Casalotti, Chief of Government and Public Affairs, NACCHO

By Adriane Casalotti, Chief of Government and Public Affairs, NACCHO & Carolyn Mullen, Chief of Government Affairs and Public Relations, ASTHO

Our nation’s public health system is, at its core, a partnership between federal, state, and local governments. While these partnerships are clear on the ground in communities, many members of Congress are unaware of the important work being done each day to keep their states and communities safe and healthy.

That is why, for the first time ever, ASTHO and NACCHO will host a joint public health advocacy day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to help bring these messages to elected officials from across the country. Along with members of the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), the State Associations of County and City Health Officials (SACCHOs), and the National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH), state and local public health leaders will educate policymakers about the value and importance of federal funding for public health departments and programs throughout the country. In order to best protect and promote the health of all Americans, it is critical that there is a strong coordinated public health system at all levels. Without a robust system, people suffer. Continue reading

2018 Election Recap: What Does It Mean for Public Health?

By Adriane Casalotti, MPH, MSW, Chief of Government and Public Affairs, and Eli Briggs, MA, Senior Government Affairs Director, NACCHO

As expected, Tuesday’s election results will bring great change to Congress in January 2019. But the impact of the changes in Washington have a ripple effect in local communities. Here is a rundown of what happened and what it means for public health. Continue reading

Public Health Advocacy: Informing Lawmakers about What Matters Most in Our Communities

By Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, NACCHO President and Executive Director of Harris County Public Health in Houston, Texas

The Journal of School Health defines health advocacy as “The processes by which the actions of individuals or groups attempt to bring about social and/or organization change on behalf of a particular health goal, program, interest, or population.” 1 It is also one of the main pillars of public health. Local health departments depend on policymakers to enact laws that make our communities safe and promote healthy living. Every day, federal, state, and local decision-makers discuss a myriad of issues, including those related to public health. Through the power of advocacy, we have seat belt, tobacco prevention, safe drinking water, and nutrition labeling laws, just to name a few. For the betterment of our communities, it is imperative that public health professionals who possess expertise and experience in the field, educate lawmakers through evidence-based research. Continue reading

Public Health Policy: What to Watch in 2018

NACCHO’s government affairs team has provided a forecast of what to expect in public health policy in 2018. The decisions made in Washington this year will have a major impact on local health departments and on the public’s health. As always, NACCHO members and staff will work together this year to be the voice of local health departments. Below is a short list of the top things to watch this year. For the full list, go to https://www.naccho.org/advocacy/news. Continue reading

The Opioid Epidemic in 2018: Where Do We Go from Here?

By Ian Goldstein, Government Affairs Specialist, NACCHO

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 91 people die daily due to an opioid overdose. The Trump Administration has declared curbing the opioid epidemic a major priority. In March 2017, the White House created the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Epidemic, headed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The President proclaimed a public health emergency in late October 2017, however, such a declaration does not allocate any additional funding towards efforts to control the epidemic. On November 1, 2017, the Commission sent a report to the President with 56 recommendations the Administration can take to combat the growing opioid crisis. Some of those recommendations include an expanded drug court system, educational requirements for prescribers, and a media blitz to spread the word about preventive services and treatment availability for substance use disorder. Moreover, the Administration’s Council of Economic Advisors now puts the cost of the epidemic at $504 billion. Continue reading