Featured Story

FeaturedStory

ASTHO launched a social media campaign to showcase successful public health initiatives and outcomes from every state, U.S. territory, and freely associated state. Visit our website to view the full collection of successes featured in the campaign as part of ASTHO’s 75th anniversary.Read More »

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Opioid-related Overdoses as a Reportable Condition

November 16, 2017|4:03 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

While data shows a dramatic rise in the opioid-related overdose death rate, the rate of nonfatal opioid overdoses remains a mystery. Accurate and timely information about nonfatal opioid-related overdoses can be used to identify areas where health agencies can increase intervention measures. It can also be used by community outreach organizations to provide additional resources. . Read More »

The Power of Rural: Kim Malsam-Rysdon Discusses South Dakota Efforts to Improve Rural Health

November 13, 2017|5:39 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

On the third Thursday of November each year, the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health celebrates National Rural Health Day to highlight public health and healthcare successes in rural communities across the country and provide an opportunity to discuss the challenges these communities face. With this in mind, ASTHO spoke with Kim Malsam-Rysdon, secretary of health for the South Dakota State Department of Health, to discuss South Dakota’s efforts to improve rural health statewide. Read More »

How to Make an Impact in the Lives of Low-Income and Rural Tobacco Users

November 13, 2017|3:44 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

According to CDC, factors like income level and whether one lives in a metropolitan, urban, or rural area have a significant impact on one’s likelihood to smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products. To gain a better perspective on tobacco control initiatives designed for rural and low-income tobacco users, ASTHO spoke with Donald R. Reed Jr. – a tobacco treatment specialist and faculty member with the West Virginia University Extension Service in McDowell County – after he participated in a Truth Initiative Warner Series panel discussion on eliminating tobacco use disparities. Reed’s insights on and experiences with reaching out to rural and low-income West Virginians can inform state and territorial health department efforts to deliver tobacco-free messaging and resources to populations that disproportionately shoulder the health burdens of tobacco use. Read More »

Economic Research, Policy, and Infant Health

November 09, 2017|4:48 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Recent research is expanding our understanding of how social and economic factors impact child health. Through research such as this, public health leaders are better positioned to serve as chief health strategists and partner across sectors to improve outcomes surrounding infant mortality and low birthweight. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Lillian Shirley

November 09, 2017|1:48 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Lillian Shirley is director for the Oregon Public Health Division. Before coming to Oregon, Shirley served as director of public health for the city of Boston and executive director of the Boston Health Commission, where she led the agency through the establishment, design, and organization of the new public health authority in Boston. A local and a national leader in advancing public health, Shirley has served on the boards of the Public Health Foundation, the Oregon Public Health Institute, and the Portland Sustainable Development Commission. In addition, Shirley was president of the National Association of City and County Health Officials. She received the National Public Health Institute’s Balderson Award and has been recognized by Research America as a public health hero. Read More »

Opioid Commission Recommendations and the Three-Day Rule

November 02, 2017|11:52 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

This week, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis released its final report setting out 55 recommendations for addressing the national opioid crisis. The recommendations address issues such as federal funding and programs, opioid addiction prevention, and research and development. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Ed Ehlinger

November 02, 2017|10:36 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

Ed Ehlinger, MD, is commissioner of health for the Minnesota Department of Health. As commissioner, Ehlinger is responsible for directing the work of the Minnesota Department of Health, which is dedicated to protecting, maintaining, and improving the health of all Minnesotans. A past-president of ASTHO, Ehlinger previously served as director and chief health officer at Boynton Health Service at the University of Minnesota, as well as director of Personal Health Services for the Minneapolis Health Department. Read More »

Jim Blumenstock Leads ASTHO Public Health Preparedness Efforts

October 26, 2017|2:01 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Jim Blumenstock is chief program officer for health security at ASTHO. His portfolio includes emergency preparedness and response, infectious and emerging diseases, immunization services, and environmental health. As an expert in public health preparedness, Blumenstock leads ASTHO’s state and territorial preparedness efforts, helping to ensure our nation’s health security. Read More »

States Using Coverage and Reimbursement Policy to Address the Opioid Epidemic

October 26, 2017|12:55 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved West Virginia’s demonstration waiver to create a continuum of care for individuals with substance use disorders (SUD). CMS has promoted the use of such waivers to address the opioid epidemic by implementing state-level delivery system reforms that ensure access to high-quality, evidence-based treatment and recovery services. Read More »

Using Environmental Public Health Tracking to Improve Health in Colorado: An Interview with Martha Rudolph

October 25, 2017|11:56 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

ASTHO recently spoke with Martha Rudolph, director of environmental programs at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), about how environmental public health tracking program has helped protect Colorado communities. Read More »

What a Federal Emergency Declaration for Opioids Might Look Like for States

October 19, 2017|4:40 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Earlier this week, President Trump stated that a “major announcement” about the opioid crisis would be coming shortly, probably by next week. There are a few ways the federal government could go about in declaring the opioid crisis an emergency. Below is a brief summary of the measures that could be taken at the federal level and some of the potential impacts on states. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Christopher Pezzullo

October 19, 2017|3:47 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Christopher Pezzullo, DO, is state health officer for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). A graduate of the University of New England College Of Osteopathic Medicine, Pezzullo has practiced medicine for more than 20 years as a pediatrician. Pezzullo previously served as the medical director of the division of population health at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and chief medical officer for University Health Care. Pezzullo’s clinical interests include developmental, behavioral, and integrative pediatrics. He and his family reside in Cape Elizabeth. Read More »

Public Health Leaders On Past Achievements and Future Challenges

October 12, 2017|3:52 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

With ASTHO’s 75th anniversary drawing to a close, it is important to look back and reflect on the most important public health achievements from the past 75 years, as well as anticipate issues and challenges the public health community might need to address in the coming years. With this in mind, ASTHO reached out to several public health leaders and keynote speakers from this year’s annual meeting to help answer these questions. Read More »

State Legislation Encouraging Access to Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

October 05, 2017|3:59 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Recognizing the important need for state and territorial public health to be a leading voice during the current opioid epidemic, ASTHO will continue to highlight public health policy approaches for the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Mark Levine

October 05, 2017|12:00 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Mark Levine, MD, is commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health. Levine comes to the position from a background as a clinician-educator, practicing and teaching internal medicine, as well as a variety of administrative roles in graduate medical education at the University of Vermont and UVM Medical Center. Before being appointed commissioner, Levine served as a longstanding member of the Vermont Department of Health’s primary care-public health integration workgroup. Read More »

ASTHO’s Caregivers Learning Community Discusses Public Health Collaboration to Support Caregivers

September 29, 2017|9:33 a.m.| Tequam Tiruneh, MPH, Analyst, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, ASTHO

Eighty seven percent of U.S. adults aged 65 and above want to stay in their homes and communities as they age, according to AARP. A study titled “The Meaning of Aging in Place to Older People” found that one of the key reasons older adults prefer to age in their homes is their perception that it would allow them to maintain their independence and autonomy. As a result of this, studies have found that about 34.2 million Americans provided unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older in the last 12 months. Over the past decade, there has been a steady increase in the estimated value of services provided by informal caregivers. These include help with personal care and activities such as providing transportation and paying medical bills. The economic value of caregivers was $470 billion in 2013, which showed an increase from its estimated value of $370 billion in 2007. Informal caregivers are individuals who provide daily care to permanently or temporarily disabled family members or friends. Read More »

Member Spotlight: John J. Dreyzehner

September 28, 2017|4:17 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

John Dreyzehner, MD, is commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health. A physician with more than 25 years of service in clinical and public health leadership at the federal, state, and local levels, Dreyzehner also practiced in the field of addiction medicine for several years while working to bring attention to the public health aspects of the now well-recognized epidemic. As commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, Dreyzehner leads an agency with more than 3,500 full-time employees and more than 120 physical locations in all 95 counties in Tennessee. . Read More »

State Legislation Surrounding Medical Marijuana

September 28, 2017|1:06 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

With 29 states, two territories, and Washington, D.C. now allowing marijuana to be grown, processed, and sold for medical purposes, it is likely that more states will consider the issue during next year’s legislative sessions or through ballot initiatives next fall. ASTHO will continue to explore the ways states are responding to medical marijuana and will assist state health agencies as they consider and implement programs. Read More »

National Preparedness Month: Arizona Department of Health Services Shares Lessons Learned

September 28, 2017|12:51 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Public health preparedness aims to prevent adverse health outcomes through planning, training, and exercising for emergencies, and increasing the public’s awareness of the need for individual preparedness. Since it launched in 2003, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Campaign has sponsored National Preparedness Month, which occurs every September and shares public messaging on how individuals and communities can prepare for, respond to, and mitigate emergencies. Read More »

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