Category Archives: Kevin Sumner

On the Front Lines of the Opioid Epidemic

By Kevin G. Sumner, MPH, NACCHO President and Health Officer and Director of the Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission in Green Brook, New Jersey

The opioid epidemic has claimed thousands of lives and engulfed entire communities, yet often feels too monumental to be seen as anything other than relentless and unending. But with as many harrowing stories that we have read and heard in regards to this profound public health crisis, there are also glimpses of hope: what’s working, the moderately sized successes that might work on a larger scale, and what adequately funded interventions look like. Continue reading

Using Data to Improve Local Public Health Practice

By Kevin G. Sumner, MPH, NACCHO President and Health Officer and Director of the Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission in Green Brook, New Jersey

Data and research help us to understand our world and make informed decisions. As local health officials, data allow us to measure progress over time, identify emerging trends, and understand how our jurisdictions compare to others in a variety of different ways. Data inform much of our community health improvement planning; they lend credibility to our policy positions and support our funding requests. They also provide a common language as we work with our partners across sectors to address the social determinants of health, helping us to communicate and form a shared understanding of the issues we face. Continue reading

NACCHO, ASTHO, and the Surgeon General: Partnering to Build Healthier, More Resilient Communities

By Kevin G. Sumner, MPH, NACCHO President and Health Officer and Director of the Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission in Green Brook, New Jersey

This year, NACCHO is collaborating with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General on the ASTHO President’s Challenge. ASTHO President Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, and I have united to call on state, territorial, local, and tribal health officials to build healthier, more resilient communities by supporting investments in community-led, place-based approaches. The challenge has two specific goals: (1) equipping health officials to mobilize community-led, place-based collectives focused on measurable outcomes to build stronger communities; and (2) connecting public health officials, and their communities, to business leaders and policymakers who want to invest in these community-led, place-based approaches and advance economic development by reaching across sectors. Continue reading

New NACCHO President Kevin Sumner Discusses His Priorities for NACCHO and Shares How He Uses Collaboration and Communication to Gain Support for Local Public Health

Interview by Lindsay Tiffany, Director of Publications, NACCHO

On July 1, Kevin G. Sumner, MPH, Health Officer and Director of the Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission in Green Brook, NJ, became NACCHO’s President. Sumner is a long-time, dedicated member of NACCHO and has served on a variety of advisory groups including the Membership Committee, the Performance Improvement Workgroup, the Finance Committee, and the Public Health Communications Workgroup. He has served on NACCHO’s Board of Directors since 2012. He recently spoke to NACCHO Voice about his career path, the challenges that keep him up at night, and how he helped to successfully advocate to get $10 million for local health department lead activities incorporated into the state budget. Continue reading