Final Reflections: Outgoing NACCHO President Kevin Sumner Reflects on His Term and Hopes for the Future

Interview by Taylarr Lopez, Communications Specialist, NACCHO

Let me preface this conversation by mentioning how hard it was to gather these reflections. It’s not that this past year has been so difficult—quite the contrary because it has been so rewarding, and busy— but because the end of the year is bittersweet. In many ways, the energy and passion of NACCHO, its members, its staff, its Chief Executive Officer Lori Tremmel Freeman, and the public health workforce in general, has provided a source of fuel to keep me engaged with and motivated about public health.

Firstly, I want to thank the NACCHO staff that are so dedicated and talented and keep the NACCHO operation in motion. The staff has worked hard to support my efforts over the past year. I am grateful to the Board of Directors whose visions and thoughts guide the NACCHO operation and assure that we are working for all the local health departments across the country. Finally, I’d like to thank the Officers: Dr. Umair Shah, Past-President, Jennifer Kertanis, President-Elect; and George Roberts, NACCHO’s incoming President. Continue reading

Local Health Departments and Communities Will Benefit from the Recently Passed FY2020 LHHS Spending Bill

Appropriations Bill Includes Strong Spending Levels for Many Local Health Department Priorities

NACCHO thanks the House of Representatives for passing a FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) funding bill that includes strong spending levels for many local health department priorities. They include a total of $8.3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and strong top-line funding levels for other federal agencies that help support public health activities through local health departments. Continue reading

Homelessness Among Individuals with Disabilities: Influential Factors and Scalable Solutions

By Erin Vinoski Thomas, MPH, CHES, Health and Disability Fellow, NACCHO; and Chloe Vercruysse, MBA

This post originally ran in NACCHO Essential Elements blog.

People experiencing homelessness lack sustainable access to housing and instead turn to emergency shelters, transitional housing, or places not meant for overnight residence. In the Unites States on a single night in January 2018, 552,830 people experienced homelessness; between 2.5 and 3.5 million people experience homelessness over the course of any given year. Housing is an important determinant of health, and those who experience homelessness are at greater risk for health challenges. Continue reading

Member Spotlight Interview: Health Director Emily Brown Discusses the Importance of Rural Health Representation

NACCHO’s Member Spotlight series features interviews with local health department leaders and staff about their careers in public health. This interview features Emily Brown, MPH, CPH, Health Director for the Rio Grande County Public Health in Colorado. Below she highlights the importance of rural health being represented in all levels of government and shares how her health department is addressing inequities in health as they relate to poverty.

Tell us about your career path into public health.

I received my undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Colorado in Boulder. During my last semester, I took a Communications and Health elective, which I sometimes credit for leading me to a career in public health or at least making me think about how important communications are in the health field. Continue reading

Minneapolis Environmental Health Awarded 2019 Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for Excellence in Food Protection

NACCHO recently announced Minneapolis Environmental Health as the recipient of the 2019 Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for Excellence in Food Protection at the Local Level. This award is given annually to local environmental health jurisdictions that demonstrate unsurpassed achievement in providing outstanding food protection services to their communities. Continue reading

NACCHO Announces 2019 Model Practice Award Winners

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) named its 2019 Model Practice Award Winners, an annual recognition of programs demonstrating exemplary and replicable qualities in response to a critical local public health need. This year, 53 outstanding local health department programs have received this recognition, addressing a broad range of public health issues, including immunization, infectious diseases, environmental health, and emergency preparedness. Continue reading

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