Category Archives: preparedness

A Message from NACCHO on Our COVID-19 Response

These are extraordinary times for public health. Not only are we at heightened concern for the communities we serve, but we’re also extending that concern to our families, friends, and neighbors, to local businesses and restaurants, and our hospitals and clinics. As we redouble our efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our work, expertise, and actions are needed more than ever. Our roles will be expanding in ways that will rapidly unfold, and NACCHO wants to emphasize that we’re here for our colleagues throughout the country, ready to respond to the best of our abilities.

NACCHO’s activation in this pandemic has been elevated to a Level 3 (highest) and a full Incident Command Structure (ICS) has been activated. At a Level 3, moderate to significant alteration of staff schedules should be expected; ICS staff may be prioritizing and spending significant amounts of time on COVID-19 related response activities.

We recognize that state and local public health agencies may be receiving COVID-19 updates at different times through other communication channels. Please know that we are collaborating with ASTHO, APHL, CSTE, and CDC to disseminate relevant and accurate information as quickly as possible to our members.

NACCHO has deployed a liaison to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Secretary Operations Center (SOC) and is in constant contact with the CDC. If you issues that you need elevated, send an email to preparedness@naccho.org.

We have also set up a dedicated COVID-19 Virtual Community, where best practices can be shared and LHDs can learn from each other about ways to respond. All LHO and Preparedness Coordinators have been sent log-in information, please contact them for access.

We need to hear from you. If you’re with a local health department, please submit your stories on this short form about your COVID-19 response efforts:  https://www.naccho.org/programs/coronavirus. This feedback is critical to our work to advocate on your behalf. (And yes! please submit it again as the situation changes.)

Other ways to keep in touch with NACCHO as we all work to address the pandemic include the following:

If there’s anything we can do, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We truly are all in it together, and our work matters more than ever – not only for our communities, but for the nation, and the world. Thank you for all you do.

NACCHO Advocates for Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Preparedness

By Eli Briggs, Senior Director of Government Affairs

On November 14, NACCHO and a coalition of public health and healthcare partners met with staff from the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee in preparation for a hearing on Flu Preparedness and Response.

NACCHO government affairs staff highlighted the role of local health departments in monitoring, preventing, and controlling disease to reduce the health risks and financial burden of seasonal flu. We know that most local health departments provide direct immunization services (adult: 90% and childhood: 88%, according to NACCHO’s National Profile of Local Health Departments) and promote the importance of annual flu vaccination through education and policy. Continue reading

CDC Media Update: Lung Disease Associated with E-cigarette Use or Vaping

By Kim Rodgers, Communications Manager, NACCHO

This story originally ran in NACCHO’s Preparedness Brief

In response to the multistate outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarette product use (e.g., devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with other federal, state, and local partners are involved in an on-going investigation. CDC has released a media advisory concerning the situation, and the Lung Injury Response Website has various available resources to educate the publichealthcare providers, and state and local health departments on key facts and recommendations. Continue reading

Dialogue with Indigent Communities: How the Voice of Public Health Makes an Impact that Matters

Erika S. Corle, MPH, Executive Assistant, Providence St. Joseph Health/St. Mary Medical Center

While finishing this blog post, two major earthquakes struck the very area that I am writing about. These earthquakes were the largest to hit Southern California in the past 20 years, striking Kern and San Bernardino counties. Being a member of the affected community, I can attest to the fear, the unknowing, and the hope that the areas hardest hit would not be left behind or forgotten while larger, more able areas were addressed. Continue reading

NACCHO Statement on Gun Violence in Texas and Ohio

By Lori Tremmel Freeman, NACCCHO CEO

“Gun violence is a profound public health crisis in America. The horrific loss of life and injury in Texas and Ohio once again fill us with sadness, anger, and frustration at yet another senseless act of violence.  These tragedies have reached epidemic proportions and as with other epidemics, we must act to protect our communities’ public safety and well-being. Continue reading

2018 Preparedness Summit First Plenary Session—“Extraordinary Events of 2017: State, Local and Territorial Perspectives on Hurricane and Wildfire Response”

This story originally ran in Preparedness Brief blog.

At the 2018 Preparedness Summit, speakers representing the state, local and territorial perspectives on last year’s hurricane and wildfire events gave an overview of what happened, what went well, and what could have been done better.

Susan Fanelli, assistant director, California Department of Public Health, provided the state perspective on the California wildfires. California developed the Public Health & Medical Response System several years ago to share resources and situational awareness to increase coordination across counties. Between this resource and the GIS-based (geographic information system) dashboard that allowed the state to capture updates in real-time to disseminate out to stakeholders, local health departments were equipped with the most accurate information available. Continue reading

Taking Action to Address the Public Health Impact of Wildfire Smoke

By Alan Vette, Acting Director, Air and Energy National Research Program (ORD), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Erika Sasser, Director, Health and Environmental Impacts Division (OAQPS), EPA

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

During Air Quality Awareness Week (April 30 – May 4), a focus on wildfire smoke is timely for public health because the 2018 wildfire season is about to begin for most of the U.S., and it has already started in some areas.

Exposure to wildfire smoke is a community health issue that has gained the attention of public health professionals and organizations, especially in states where fires are becoming more frequent and intense. Wildfire smoke has significant health implications for those near the fire as well as for those living farther downwind. Continue reading