Category Archives: general

Call for Nominations: 2020–2021 NACCHO Vice President

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) announces its Call for Nominations for the position of Vice President. Every year, NACCHO holds elections for positions on its Board of Directors; for the year 2020-2021, the open position is Vice President. The Vice President will serve a four-year term beginning as Vice-President, then President-elect, followed by President of NACCHO, and ending as Immediate Past-President. The term begins on July 1, 2020 and ends on June 30, 2024. The NACCHO Nominations Committee will identify and present a slate of well-qualified, experienced public health professionals that is diverse and best represents NACCHO’s membership.

Recently, the Board of Directors adopted a policy that will help to ensure the best candidates by requiring that the nominee have current or prior board experience. We hope you will seriously consider helping to lead your national association into the future and serve your profession by nominating a colleague and/or yourself, who meets the above described qualifications for Vice President. Public health is clearly in the spotlight and NACCHO needs a dedicated, qualified individual to help lead our Board and association, so that the spotlight shines brightly and favorably on local health departments across the country.

For more information, please visit and direct any questions to The call for nominations closes on April 3, 2020. Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration.

Metropolitan Board of Health Selects Dr. Michael C. Caldwell as Nashville’s Next Director of Health

News release from Nashville Metropolitan Public Health Department

NASHVILLE, Tenn., February 24, 2020 –Members of the Metropolitan Board of Health of Nashville/Davidson County voted at a specially called meeting last Thursday to approve a contract with Michael C. Caldwell MD MPH as Nashville’s Director of Health.  Dr. Caldwell is a Nashville resident, licensed to practice medicine in Tennessee.

“I am honored to welcome Dr. Caldwell as the Director of the Metropolitan Public Health Department,” said Board Chair, Alex Jahangir MD. “After a comprehensive national search, I am confident that Dr. Caldwell has the experience, commitment and vision needed for him to lead the Department to face the ever-changing public health needs of all of the residents of our great city.”

“Dr. Caldwell has extensive public health experience that will be important as we build a healthier Nashville for everybody,” Mayor Cooper said. “I look forward to working closely with him as our new Director of Health as we focus on the health and well-being of all Nashvillians.”   “I have known Dr. Caldwell for years,” said Dr. Stephanie Bailey, Senior Associate Dean for Public Health Practice, Meharry Medical College and former Director of Health. “He knows how to connect, he cares, and he has a history of success in facilitating the health of a community. I am filled with joy at his being named the Director of Health for my city and the ladies and gentlemen who make up the Metro Public Health Department.”

“Dr. Caldwell’s background and skills are outstanding and in his new role he will no doubt be an excellent leader who continues to improve the health and well-being of our community,” said Dr. Tim Jones, Chief Medical Officer at the Tennessee Department of Health. “The Tennessee Department of Health looks forward to a strong and effective relationship with Dr. Caldwell and his team in addressing our shared mission and goals.”

Board of Health members, with direction and support from Metro Human Resources, conducted the national search for Nashville’s next Director of Public Health. The search included input from community stakeholders as well as Health Department staff. Dr. Caldwell’s contract will be presented to Metro Council for final approval.

Dr. Caldwell’s public health experience includes serving 19 years as the Commissioner of Health for Dutchess County, New York. The Dutchess County Health Department serves a population of 300,000 with a budget of $40 million and 200 employees. Dr. Caldwell has also served as the President of NACCHO. Dr. Caldwell brings expertise on a wide range of public health issues including infectious diseases, vaccines, tobacco control, emergency preparedness and health equity. He is a recognized researcher with a focus on the clinical research of vaccines as well as Public Health Systems & Services Research.

Dr. Caldwell received an undergraduate degree from Columbia University, a medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and a master’s degree from Harvard School of Public Health. He is a member of the Nashville Academy of Medicine, the Tennessee Medical Association, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the American Public Health Association, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

“I am well acquainted with Dr. Caldwell and delighted that he has been named as Nashville’s new Director of Health,” said Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Medical Director, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. “I look forward to working with him.”

“The Nashville Public Health Department is one of the finest Departments of Health in the country,” said Dr. Caldwell. “Our outstanding and innovative public health professionals work every day to improve the health of our entire community with a special focus on health equity.  I am honored to join their team.”

The Nashville Metro Public Health Department serves a population approaching 700,000 over 526 square miles with a staff of more than 500 employees and a budget of $69 million. The mission of the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) is to protect, improve and sustain health and well-being for all people in Metropolitan Nashville. Nashville’s local health department provides and connects people to essential public health services, enforces health regulations and leads and supports collaborative efforts to create healthy conditions for everyone in Nashville.

Learn more about the Nashville Metro Public Health Department.


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