Category Archives: interview

Member Spotlight: Health Department Director Jeff Kuhr Provides His Insights on Changes in Public Health and Shares the Value of NACCHO’s Advocacy Work

Interview by Taylarr Lopez, Communications Specialist, NACCHO

NACCHO’s Member Spotlight series features interviews with local health department leaders and staff about their careers in public health. This interview features Jeff Kuhr, PhD, Director of the Mesa County Health Department in Grand Junction, CO. He has served on many boards and committees, including the current NACCHO Board of Directors and previously on the Accreditation Preparation and Quality Improvement Committee. He has been a member of NACCHO for 12 years. Below, he explains how his career in public health began, shares the highlights of his career, and discusses the challenges facing his department. Continue reading

Embracing the Community Chief Health Strategist Framework: A Q&A with NACCHO President Claude-Alix Jacob

Interview by Lindsay Tiffany, Lead of Publications, NACCHO

Claude-Alix Jacob, MPH, is Chief Public Health Officer for the Cambridge Public Health Department (MA) and the 2016–2017 NACCHO President. Jacob is a long-standing and dedicated member of NACCHO and has served on a variety of different advisory groups including the Annual Conference Workgroup, the Health Equity and Social Justice Committee, the Survive and Thrive Workgroup, and the Finance Committee. He has served on NACCHO’s Board of Directors since 2010. He recently spoke to NACCHO Voice about his perspective on the Community Chief Health Strategist framework.

  • What does the concept of the Community Chief Health Strategist mean to you and how do you and your colleagues serve in this role in your community? How can other local health departments operationalize this framework?

Building a culture of health in Cambridge has been part of a major health improvement initiative led by the Cambridge Public Health Department. The concept of the community chief health strategist has been actualized through the development of the city’s health agenda. In 2014, our department completed a comprehensive health assessment and engaged city and community partners in developing the city’s first-ever community health improvement plan. What we learned through the process is that we have convening power—the ability (and the space in which) to bring partners to the table to look at our community’s health needs. We conducted a citywide survey, held focus groups with various demographic groups, and interviewed key stakeholders and representatives of the city’s leadership. Then, by consensus we agreed on the priority areas for the city through 2020, which include mental health and substance abuse, violence, housing, and healthy eating/active living. Continue reading

Member Spotlight: Local Health Official Doug Mathis Discusses Why Building Relationships Has Been the Highlight of His Career

doug-mathisBy Taylarr Lopez, Communications Specialist, NACCHO

NACCHO’s Member Spotlight series features interviews with local health department leaders and staff about their careers in public health. This entry features Doug Mathis, MA, Administrator of the Henry County Health Department in New Castle, IN. Mr. Mathis has served on NACCHO committees including the Profile Workgroup, the Ebola Virtual Situation Room, and the Media Champions Network. Mr. Mathis shares his story below. Continue reading

Member Spotlight: Local Health Official Melanie Hutton Shares Her Path in Public Health and Highlights Successes and Challenges Facing Her Department

melanie-huttonBy Taylarr Lopez, Communications Specialist, NACCHO

NACCHO’s Member Spotlight series features interviews with local health department leaders and staff about their careers in public health. This inaugural installment features Melanie J. Hutton, BSN, RN, Administrator of the Cooper County Public Health Center in Boonville, MO. She has been a NACCHO member for 17 years. She has served on several NACCHO committees, including the Media Champions Network and the 2017 Winter Leadership Meeting. She joined NACCHO’s Board of Directors in 2011. Below, she shares her story. Continue reading

LHD of the Year Award Winner Harris County Public Health Focuses on Closing the Gap on Health Inequity in its Community

lhdaward-fornaccho-lowresBy Taylarr Lopez, Communications Specialist, NACCHO

NACCHO is pleased to recognize Harris County Public Health (HCPH) as a recipient of the 2016 Local Health Department of the Year Award. This award recognizes and honors outstanding accomplishments of local health departments (LHDs) across the country for their innovation, creativity, and impact on communities.

HCPH provides comprehensive public health services to Harris County, Texas—the third most populous county in the United States. It has an annual budget of over $80 million and a workforce of more than 700 employees.

HCPH’s serves approximately 2.2 million people within the county’s unincorporated areas and 33 independent municipalities (excluding the city of Houston). For certain public health services such as mosquito control, Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part A, and refugee health, HCPH’s jurisdiction encompasses the entirety of the county, including the city of Houston, for a total population of more than 4 million. Continue reading

LHD of the Year Award Winner, the Kansas City Missouri Health Department, Works Toward Health Equity and Social Justice

lhdaward-fornaccho-lowresBy Taylarr Lopez, Communications Specialist, NACCHO

NACCHO is pleased to recognize the Kansas City (MO) Health Department as a recipient of the 2016 Local Health Department of the Year Award. This award recognizes and honors outstanding accomplishments of local health departments (LHDs) across the country for their innovation, creativity, and impact on communities.

Kansas City, MO, is a diverse urban community in the heart of the Midwest with a population of 459,787 people. The Kansas City Missouri Health Department (KCMOHD) has protected the population’s health for 150 years and operates with a mission to promote, preserve, and protect the health of Kansas City residents and visitors. KCMOHD employs 200 staff through various programs, some which are active in both Missouri and Kansas. Programs and services strive to prevent illness and injuries, improve health services, enforce public health laws, and support policy development to build a healthier community. Continue reading

2016 Maurice “Mo” Mullet Lifetime of Service Award Recipient Patrick Libbey Reflects on His Career Path into Public Health and Shares Advice on Starting a Career in LHDs

Maurice "Mo" Mullet Lifetime of Service Award Recipient Patrick Libbey

Maurice “Mo” Mullet Lifetime of Service Award Recipient Patrick Libbey

By Taylarr Lopez, Communications Specialist, NACCHO

NACCHO is pleased to recognize Patrick M. Libbey as the recipient of the 2016 Maurice “Mo” Mullet Lifetime of Service Award. This award honors current or former local health officials for noteworthy service to NACCHO that has reflected the commitment, vigor, and leadership exemplified by Mo’s distinguished career. Throughout Libbey’s more than 35 years in public health, he has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to advocating for and strengthening the work of local health departments (LHDs). He has also served NACCHO in a number of important capacities, amplifying the voice of local health departments at the national and federal levels.

Libbey served as NACCHO’s executive director from 2002 to 2008. During his tenure, NACCHO was increasingly recognized and engaged by a range of federal agencies and national organizations as a critical resource and partner, ensuring the perspective of local public health was considered in policy and program implementation and development. Libbey initiated the NACCHO Operational Definition, the organization’s effort to create a uniform, nationally shared definition and standards for a functional local health department. The Definition gained national recognition and acceptance and served as a key base for the emerging national voluntary public health accreditation effort. He served as NACCHO President in 2001–2002. He was a member of the NACCHO Board of Directors from 1992 to 2002; a member of the Executive Committee from 1994 to 2002; chair of the Education Committee; and chair of the County Forum. Continue reading