2017 Preparedness Summit: A Must for Public Health Preparedness Professionals

By Claude-Alix Jacob, MPH, NACCHO President and Chief Public Health Officer for the Cambridge Public Health Department (MA)

Our nation’s resilience—how we collectively adapt in the face of adversity—often depends on the strength of individual communities and their ability to respond to and recover from emergencies. Public health preparedness, one of NACCHO’s signature program areas, is a year-round priority. NACCHO’s Preparedness staff collectively provide local health departments (LHDs) and their emergency management partners with resources, tools, and support to ensure their jurisdictions are protected against any risk to community health or safety. 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

NACCHO Releases 2016 Annual Report

2016-annual-reportNACCHO has released its 2016 Annual Report, which summarizes the association’s significant accomplishments last year. In 2016, NACCHO advanced the work of local health officials and their staffs by building local health department (LHD) capacity, highlighting innovation, advocating for public health priorities, and connecting its members to improve public health practice. NACCHO awarded more than $1 million to 45 demonstration sites, gave $2.5 million to Medical Reserve Corps units through the MRC Challenge Awards, presented 64 workshops and webinars, produced 76 publications, provided more than 420 hours of on-on-one technical assistance, and hosted three major conferences attended by more than 4,000 total participants. The report also describes the ways in which the association’s values of leadership, excellence, health equity, participation, and innovation have guided NACCHO in advancing the work of LHDs in 2016. Read the full report on NACCHO’s Annual Reports webpage.

NACCHO Partners with the EPA to Advance Environmental Health at the Local Level

epa-mou-group-cropped-293x300By Anastasia Sonneman, NACCHO Communications Specialist

This story originally ran in NACCHO’s Health People, Health Places blog.

The first month of 2017 marked the beginning of a very exciting and timely collaboration, between NACCHO and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Dr. Thomas Burke, EPA Senior Advisor and Deputy Assistant Director for the Office of Research and Development, hosted NACCHO leadership at the agency’s Washington, D.C.-based headquarters to sign on to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU), committing to join EPA efforts to advance environmental health, particularly with a focus on local communities and public health. Continue reading

Commemorating American Heart Month: Resources and Strategies for LHDs

Claude JacobBy Claude-Alix Jacob, MPH, NACCHO President and Chief Public Health Officer for the Cambridge Public Health Department (MA)

The burden of cardiovascular disease poses significant risk to the health and well-being of our communities. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. According to the CDC, approximately 610,000 Americans die from heart disease—one in every four deaths. Someone dies from a heart disease-related event every minute in the United States.1 These statistics have dire consequences for the quality of life and vitality of our populations. Our nation also experiences these consequences economically: Heart disease costs the United States about $207 billion each year in healthcare services, medications, and lost productivity.1 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

The Disaster Divide: Opportunities for Rebuilding Communities

By Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, MD, MPH, Executive Director, NACCHO

Think back to the nightmare of Hurricane Katrina. Those tragic images of high waters and despair. Broken levees. Survivors desperately searching to find missing relatives while struggling to reach higher ground. Victims stranded on rooftops waiting to be airlifted to safety. The chaotic overcrowding of temporary shelters like the Superdome in Louisiana.

Now think about the more recent Ebola virus threat. Hospital workers donning protective spacesuits. Government-imposed travel restrictions and citizens forced into home quarantine. Lacking even basic information, nearly every community across the globe feared the deadly contagion. Worse yet was the situation at the epicenter of the epidemic in Central West Africa, where thousands of infected and dying people were overwhelming small hospitals ill-equipped to handle the surge. Continue reading