Category Archives: general

Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong

By Emily Yox, MPH, Program Analyst, Global Health

Each month, NACCHO will bring you a new public health book, read and reviewed by NACCHO staff. We hope to provide a well-rounded reading list that you will find enjoyable as well as informative.

Paul Offit is one of my favorite health authors because he covers highly complex scientific topics in a way that is easily digestible. In Pandora’s Lab, he discusses seven different ideas that originally started with strong scientific claims, but were ultimately horrible ideas with lasting negative impacts. Offit covers opioids, trans fats, extracting nitrogen from air, eugenics, lobotomies, DEET, BPA and our all or nothing attitude toward chemicals, and nutritional supplements. While the individual stories are all fascinating in their own right, the main takeaway that is especially important for those of us in public health is to approach scientific claims by demanding data and evidence, not allowing a notable name to forego questioning, and recognizing the importance of the dose-response relationship. This is a great book that provides interesting facts and provides people like myself, with a more limited scientific background, with digestible scientific lessons that I can bring to my work.

Given my love of Paul Offit’s writing style, I’m sure this is not the last recommendation I will give for an Offit book, but especially given our placement in the era of “fake news,” I think this is an important read for all of us who rely on science and discovery.

Want to discuss this book and others? Head over to NACCHO’s Virtual Communities page and connect with peers.

 

NACCHO Announces 2019 Model Practice Award Winners

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) named its 2019 Model Practice Award Winners, an annual recognition of programs demonstrating exemplary and replicable qualities in response to a critical local public health need. This year, 53 outstanding local health department programs have received this recognition, addressing a broad range of public health issues, including immunization, infectious diseases, environmental health, and emergency preparedness. 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

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

A Note to Our Members on Public Health Thank You Day

Dear NACCHO members,

In honor of Public Health Thank You Day, I’d like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to you and your health departments for all that you do to protect and promote the health and resiliency of your communities every day.

The work of local public health is challenging; local health departments confront a range of multifaceted public health issues—everything from infectious disease outbreaks to natural disasters—while providing the indispensable foundational services that enable communities to thrive. This work is often underappreciated and underfunded. Continue reading

Fostering Agency Through Local Public Health

By Grenadier, Andrea, BA; Holtgrave, Peter, MPH, MA; Aldridge, Chris, MSW, NACCHO

This article originally ran in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.

When public health departments support all aspects of the public’s well-being—beginning with striking at the roots of health inequity—it can create transformational change. Part of this process is encouraging people in communities to determine their own futures, to express agency; something that is rooted in action and power. So, how does local public health get there? Continue reading

Using Disease Intervention Specialists to Improve Linkages and Access to Care

By Carolyn Campbell, Anne Arundel County (MD) Health Department

This story originally ran in NACCHO’s Stories from the Field.

Fifty-percent of people in the United States who are living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) reside in twelve of the nation’s cities. Frequently listed among the top six of these high-morbidity cities are Baltimore and Washington, DC. Anne Arundel County in Maryland is located immediately south of Baltimore, directly east of Washington, DC, and houses the state capital, Annapolis. Maryland ranked third in the United States for HIV diagnoses rates in 2013, and Anne Arundel County ranked fifth among Maryland jurisdictions for percentage of total newly diagnosed HIV cases. In addition, the county has the fourth highest rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis infections in Maryland. Anne Arundel is similar to many other counties in Maryland in its proximity to both Baltimore and Washington, DC and in its combination of residents– mixing rural, suburban, and urban populations and having a wide range of income levels. Continue reading