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  • Member Spotlight: John Wiesman

    John Wiesman is president of ASTHO and secretary of health for the Washington State Department of Health. The department of health in Washington is a cabinet-level agency in a decentralized state, with 35 local, independent health departments governed by their own boards of health and more than 1,700 employees overseeing public health areas such as: disease control and epidemiology, health promotion, vital statistics, environmental public health, state public health laboratories, health professions and facility licensing, rural health, and emergency preparedness and response.

  • Emergency Declarations in Eight States to Address the Opioid Epidemic

    South Carolina and Pennsylvania recently joined Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Alaska, Virginia, and Massachusetts in issuing statewide emergency declarations to address the opioid epidemic. (A review of the earlier declarations can be found here). While emergency declarations typically address natural disasters or infectious disease outbreaks, the growing trend of invoking emergency powers for opioids highlights the actions states are willing to take in response to an increasing number of overdose deaths. As more states leverage their emergency authorities to address opioids, the sophistication and creativity of using such powers is emerging.

  • ASTHO’s New CMO Brings Clinical Perspective to Public Health

    Marcus Plescia is chief medical officer of ASTHO. For the past fifteen years, Plescia has served in public health leadership roles at the state, local, and federal levels, including director of chronic disease for the North Carolina Division of Public Heath, director of national cancer control programs at CDC, and county public health director in Charlotte, NC. Prior to this, Plescia spent ten years in academic family medicine, teaching medical students and family medicine residents and providing patient care. In addition, Plescia has remained active in public health research, publishing in medical and public health literature and serving as principle investigator of REACH 2010, a large, CDC-funded health disparities intervention project.