Category Archives: injury and violence prevention

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

NACCHO Annual 2017 Sharing Session Recap: Community Partnerships Help Tri-County Health Department Curb Prescription Drug Misuse

This entry features an interview with NACCHO Annual 2017 presenter and Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator for the Tri-County Health Department in Colorado, Steven A. Martinez, MA. His session, “Tri-County Overdose Prevention Partnership: A Community-Led, Local Health Department-Facilitated, Collaborative Effort,” described the importance of partnerships to address prescription drug misuse in local communities. Below he shares his health department’s process for convening partnerships and assessing, planning, and implementing collaborative strategies. Continue reading

Local Approaches to Preventing Teen Dating Violence

By Blaire Bryant, MPH, NACCHO and Melanie Ruhe, MPH, NACCHO

This story originally ran in NACCHO’s Essential Elements blog.

Teen Dating Violence (TDV) – the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship – is a serious matter that affects many teenagers. According to a 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey, 23% of females and 14% of males who experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between the ages of 11 and 17 years. The 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) survey found that approximately 10% of high school students reported physical victimization and 10% reported sexual victimization from a dating partner in the 12 months before they were surveyed. As teens (individuals aging from 13 to 19 years old) mature into adulthood, initial relationships are formative and shape expectations that persist throughout life. Unhealthy experiences can result in negative long- and short-term consequences, therefore it is essential to emphasize teen dating violence prevention early on. Continue reading

Curbing Opioid Overdose Using Programmatic and Geospatial Data

By Kate Lena, MPH, Linkages to Care Coordinator, AHOPE Needle Exchange Program, Boston Public Health Commission

This is an excerpt from the 2017 NACCHO Exchange Winter Issue on opioids.

Opioid misuse is highly stigmatized and criminalized, making people who inject opioids an especially hard-to-reach, high-risk population and hampering public health surveillance efforts to understand the timing, circumstances, and proximate causes of overdose events. Boston Public Health Commission’s needle exchange program, AHOPE, has spent more than a decade working to overcome those obstacles. Launched in 2006, AHOPE—Massachusetts’s first community Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) pilot program—distributes harm reduction supplies to people who inject drugs.1 Continue reading

NACCHO Highlights Need to Address Tobacco and Opioids

From left: Dr. Shelley Hearne, NACCHO; Laura Hanen, NACCHO; Fred Wells Brason II, Project Lazarus; Susan McKnight, Lake County (IL) Health Department; and Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Department.

From left: Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA); Laura Hanen, NACCHO; Fred Wells Brason II, Project Lazarus; Susan McKnight, Lake County (IL) Health Department; and Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Department

By Aliyah Ali, Government Affairs Intern, NACCHO

During the second full week of April, NACCHO hosted two briefings for Members of Congress, Congressional staff, and public health advocates: “Tobacco 21: Raise the Age to Save Lives” and “Opioid Overdose and Naloxone: Lessons Learned in Saving Lives.” Public health experts on both issues convened to explain the benefits of raising the age for purchase of tobacco to 21 years and discuss the life-saving abilities of naloxone.

Tobacco 21: Raise the Age to Save Lives
On April 14, NACCHO, Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), Trinity Health, and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids joined forces to highlight the Tobacco to 21 Act (S.2100/HR 3656), a bill introduced by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) that would make 21 the minimum age to buy tobacco. Continue reading

When Professional Advocacy Work Becomes Personal

rx-overdose-ian-alexia

Photo courtesy of Ian Goldstein

By Ian Goldstein, Government Affairs & Senior Web and Digital Media Specialist, NACCHO

As a member of NACCHO’s Government Affairs team for over two years, I have been to Capitol Hill to advocate for policies and funding that support local health departments. I take great pride in helping voice the concerns of NACCHO’s members and educate Congressional staff about everything local health departments do to keep their communities healthy and safe. Many public health issues I advocate for are grounded in professional morals and ethics, but on March 1, my professional role became personal. I lost my 17-year-old cousin, Alexia Springer, to a prescription drug overdose. Continue reading