The Public Health Review
Podcast Series

ASTHO’s new podcast series, Public Health Review, features health officials and public health leaders who are on the front lines of state and territorial public health. The series capitalizes on current public health issues and delivers timely, thoughtful perspectives on the value of public health through the lens of state and territorial health officials and other subject matter experts.


Medicaid and the Social Determinants of Health

Date: July 26, 2018

Overview: Medicaid is a publicly-funded health insurance program that currently covers 74 million people in the United States. Medicaid covers low-income people who are children, expectant mothers, people with disabilities, senior citizens, and some adults.

Opportunities exist through Medicaid to address the social determinants of health. ASTHO’s senior director for clinical to community connections in the Center for Population Health Strategies—and a former Medicaid Director—discusses approaches to address the social determinants of health and improve health outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries.


  • Deborah Fournier, Senior Director, Clinical to Community Connections, ASTHO


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Policy Approaches to Containing Antimicrobial Resistance

Date: June 21, 2018 

Overview: Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat in the United States and containing its spread through action when even a single case of an antimicrobial resistant bacteria is identified is a priority public health strategy. In this episode, we will hear national and state perspectives on the prevention and containment of unusually resistant bacteria. The co-author of the April 2018 CDC Vital Signs report on containing unusual resistance provides an overview of the CDC strategy and Nebraska state health leadership discusses policy approaches to preventing and containing antimicrobial resistance.


  • Arjun Srinivasan, Associate Director, Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention Program, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC
  • Thomas Williams, Chief Medical Officer and Director, Office of Public Health, Nebraska Department of Public Health
  • Maureen Tierney, Director, Healthcare Associated Infections/Antimicrobial Resistance Program, Nebraska Department of Public Health




Making the Case for Early Childhood Brain Development

Date: May 31, 2018 

Overview: Healthy brain development in early childhood is the foundation for lifelong learning and optimal physical and behavioral health. This podcast traces early brain development science and practice, from cutting-edge research to implications for population health and implementation at the state level. In this episode, Ami Klin discusses early detection of developmental disabilities as a strategy to improve access to early care and treatment. John Wiesman shares Washington state’s success story in supporting healthy early brain development through collective impact and cross-sector collaboration.


  • Ami Klin, PhD, Director, Marcus Autism Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar Professor and Chief, Division of Autism and Related Disorders, Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine
  • John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH, Secretary of Health, Washington State Department of Health, President, ASTHO


Telehealth Expands to Frontier Country

Date: May 10, 2018 

Overview: Telehealth plays a unique role in addressing access to care issues in rural and remote areas. This podcast explores successful programs developed by the Eastern Aleutian Tribes and Alaska Department of Health and Human Services that serve both residents and migrant workers out of eight remote access clinics. In this episode, Marcus Plescia discusses how to apply telehealth strategies to existing health department activities to improve health outcomes, and Susan Highley Bailey, Janice Gray, and Tara Ferguson-Gould share success stories and models for implementing telehealth programs.


  • Marcus Plescia, MD, Chief Medical Officer, ASTHO
  • Susan Highley Bailey, RN Case Manager, Eastern Aleutian Tribes
  • Janice Gray, Nurse Consultant II, the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services
  • Tara Ferguson-Gould, Quality Improvement Coordinator, the Alaska Primary Care Association


Chief Health Strategists: How Public Health Leaders Can Be Successful Working Across the Health Landscape, Part 2

Date: April 26, 2018

Overview: This podcast, the second in a two-part series, continues to explore the concept of "Chief Health Strategist" as a way to address the most pressing public health issues and advance population health activities. This discussion continues the conversation on moving from concept into practice, as well as how to apply ASTHO's three pillars for population health improvement to support clinical to community connections, improve health equity and the social determinants of health, and utilize public health informatics. Mary Ann Cooney offers examples of this model already at work and tells you where you can get help if you want to move forward in your state.


  • Mary Ann Cooney, Chief, Center for Population Health Strategies, ASTHO




Chief Health Strategists: How Public Health Leaders Can Be Successful Working Across the Health Landscape, Part 1

Date: April 26, 2018

Overview: The concept of "Chief Health Strategist" allows public health leaders to serve as a chief architect across their jurisdiction and align health systems transformation and population health activities. Chief health strategists ensure that population health activities are targeting community health needs and build effective working relationships with healthcare partners and other sectors that affect the social determinants of health. This podcast is the first in a two-part series, and it will explore how the concept is defined, how it works, and how public health leaders can rethink their approach to be effective in their communities.


  • John Auerbach, President and CEO, Trust for America’s Health




The State of STDs

Date: April 12, 2018

Overview: Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are at a record high in the United States, and while they can impact anyone, vulnerable groups—including young people, pregnant women, and men who have sex with men—are hit hardest. In this episode, we hear state and national perspectives from leaders in the fight against STDs, discussing the resurgence and health impacts of STDs, proven prevention strategies, and the critical role of disease intervention specialists.


  • Gail Bolan, Director, CDC’s Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention
  • Nathaniel Smith, Director and State Health Officer, Arkansas Department of Health
  • Jeff Stover, Operations Director for Population Health, Virginia Department of Health




The Epidemic of Epidemics: Opioids, Part II

Date: March 22, 2018

Overview: The opioid epidemic has been called the worst public health crisis in America, affecting people from all walks of life, even our youngest. The second half of our story on the opioid epidemic explores how coalitions in Kentucky are driving prevention efforts, what public health practitioners in West Virginia are doing to identify and care for newborns who have been exposed prenatally to addictive drugs, and how one federal agency is working to ensure that rural communities get access substance abuse and mental health services.


  • Greg Corby-Lee, HIV/AIDS continuing education director, Kentucky Department for Public Health
  • Aaron Lopata, chief medical officer, HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau
  • Joe Markiewicz, program coordinator for the statewide prescription drug overdose reduction initiative, Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center
  • Christina Mullins, director of the office of maternal, child and family health, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources


The Epidemic of Epidemics: Opioids, Part I

Date: Feb. 28, 2018

Overview: As the opioid epidemic continues to plague communities across the nation, health officials face growing concern over a number of related threats to our health, such as increasing rates of HIV, hepatitis C, and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). In this episode, public health leaders from Alaska, Kentucky, and West Virginia discuss the evolution of the opioid epidemic and explain why health departments are so integral to the response.