Category Archives: advocacy

Local Health Departments Engage in Outreach with Members of Congress

By Eli Briggs, Senior Government Affairs Director, NACCHO 

Last month, during the annual Congressional summer recess, NACCHO members worked to educate Members of Congress about the work their health departments are doing to keep people healthy and safe.

Below one NACCHO member provides details of her experience:

On July 31, 2019, Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL) and Representative Joe Kennedy (D-MA) held a Mental Health Forum at the Kendall County Health Department in Yorkville, IL.  During the forum both Representatives Underwood and Kennedy expressed enthusiastic commitment to improving access to mental health care.  Representatives were met by a packed room of community members who were invited to provide narratives on both personal mental health and mental health systems challenges that they had faced.  Representatives Underwood and Kennedy both graciously received concerns and questions and provided responses to those participating in the forum and told participants that their future policy decisions would be informed by what they heard at the forum. The Kendall County Health Department was also pleased to have quality mental health best practices and treatment services posted for all to view at the forum.  We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to Representatives Underwood and Kennedy for their commitment to mental health. 

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NACCHO Honors Anthony L-T Chen as its 2019 Advocate of the Year

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) named Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH, Director of Health of Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, its Advocate of the Year. This award recognizes outstanding accomplishments related to advocacy and outreach to members of Congress to create better health policy outcomes. Dr. Chen received the award the organization’s 2019 Annual Conference in Orlando. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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