Featured Story

FeaturedStory

As part of its 75th anniversary celebrations, ASTHO organized a symposium discussion focused on building consensus on difficult issues, such as climate change, firearm safety, and reproductive health. A distinguished panel of public health leaders explored effective ways to promote health and prevent disease while also addressing controversy, conflict, and disagreement.Read More »

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State Legislation Surrounding Disaster Relief and Preparedness

September 14, 2017|3:45 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

As Texas, Louisiana, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other areas impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma recover, other states may wonder about their own emergency recovery abilities. ASTHO’s legislative tracking has identified a few recent examples of state legislation related to recovering from disasters and ensuring community resiliency. Read More »

New York State Leads The Way In Sepsis Regulation

September 12, 2017|3:46 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

In May 2013, New York State became the first state to issue sepsis regulations, also known as “Rory’s Regulations,” mandating that all New York hospitals adopt, develop, and implement best practices for the early detection and timely treatment of sepsis. The regulations aim to equip hospitals with the systems and knowledge necessary to prevent harm or death to patients who are at risk of suffering from sepsis. ASTHO spoke with Howard Zucker, MD, JD, commissioner of health of New York State Department of Health, to learn more about statewide efforts to regulate sepsis. . Read More »

State Sepsis Policies

September 07, 2017|3:58 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Sepsis occurs when a body’s immune system overwhelmingly responds to an infection and triggers widespread inflammation. In 2017, ASTHO tracked state legislation addressing sepsis and will continue to monitor these bills as state policymakers and state and federal health agencies take critical steps to detect and treat sepsis. Read More »

The Role of State Public Health in Combatting Syphilis: A Conversation with CDC’s Gail Bolan

September 07, 2017|1:49 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Once on the brink of elimination, rates of syphilis are now on the rise in the United States. CDC data shows that in 2015, cases of primary and secondary syphilis—the earliest and most infectious stages of the disease—are higher than they have been in 20 years. To combat the resurgence of syphilis, CDC is working with federal agencies and key partners to raise awareness. In April, CDC released a call to action, which outlines specific steps that state and local health departments, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders can take to reverse this emerging public health threat. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Howard Zucker

September 07, 2017|12:47 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Howard Zucker, MD, JD, is commissioner of health of the New York State Department of Health. The mission of the New York State Department of Health is to protect, improve, and promote the health, productivity, and well-being of all New Yorkers. The department provides services for individuals and families, providers and professionals, and health facilities regarding public health issues statewide. Read More »

Legislation Surrounding Disaster Relief

August 31, 2017|3:01 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

As Texas and Louisiana continue to respond to the devastation wrought by Harvey, other states may wonder about their own emergency preparedness and response abilities. ASTHO’s legislative tracking has identified a few states that considered changes to their laws for responding to emergencies. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Kim Malsam-Rysdon

August 31, 2017|1:41 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Kim Malsam-Rysdon is cabinet secretary of the South Dakota Department of Health. The mission of the South Dakota Department of Health is to promote, protect, and improve the health of every South Dakotan. The department provides maternal and child health services, disease prevention and intervention, regulation of healthcare and other entities, correctional healthcare services, and public health preparedness and response services across the state. . Read More »

Understanding Community Needs to Advance Health Equity

August 30, 2017|12:24 p.m.| Claire Rudolph, MPH, MCHES, Director, Health Equity, ASTHO

State health agencies are uniquely positioned to advance the health and well-being of individuals in their state. While the national healthcare landscape remains in flux, ensuring that all people have the opportunity to achieve optimal health remains an essential aspect of state health agencies efforts. By engaging with communities, attempting to truly understand community health issues, and focusing on priority populations such as racial minorities, state health agencies can continue to advance health equity. ASTHO spoke with Leandris Liburd, PhD, director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity at CDC to discuss how her office supports state health agencies in advancing health equity and what state health agencies can do to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to achieve their best health. Read More »

State Laws Surrounding Medical Marijuana Reciprocity

August 24, 2017|4:50 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

As more states legalize medical marijuana, questions may arise about whether dispensaries can provide marijuana to patients who are registered in other states. Maine and Nevada appear to be the only two states that allow visiting qualifying patients to purchase medical marijuana products from in-state dispensaries. As other states consider the reciprocity issue, lessons can be learned from Maine and Nevada’s experience. Read More »

The Minnesota Department of Health Responds to Measles Outbreak: An Interview with Kristen Ehresmann

August 24, 2017|4:20 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Measles is a highly contagious disease that can be prevented with two major vaccinations: the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and the measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine. The rate of measles in Minnesota began to rise in April 2017. As of July 13, 2017, there have been 79 confirmed cases of Measles in the state of Minnesota, 71 of which linked to unvaccinated populations. In response to this outbreak, Kristen Ehresmann, director of the infectious disease epidemiology, prevention, and control division at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), worked closely with Ed Ehlinger, commissioner of health, to lead statewide efforts to increase vaccination rates and awareness. Read More »

The Minnesota Department of Health Responds to Measles Outbreak: An Interview with Ed Ehlinger

August 24, 2017|4:10 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Measles is a highly contagious disease that can be prevented with two major vaccinations: the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and the measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine. The rate of measles in Minnesota began to rise in April 2017. As of July 13, 2017, there have been 79 confirmed cases of Measles in the state of Minnesota, 71 of which linked to unvaccinated populations. In response to this outbreak, The Minnesota Department of Health worked closely with community leaders and state health organizations to increase vaccination rates and awareness. . Read More »

How to Maximize Limited Resources through Cross-Sector Partnerships

August 22, 2017|12:01 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Addressing the social determinants of health and supporting coordinated and integrated service delivery can lead to reduced healthcare spending and improved health outcomes. In recognition of this potential, new partnerships are rapidly developing between healthcare, community-based organizations, health and human service agencies, and other sectors and groups including those concerned with transportation, housing, food security, and public safety. As momentum grows, public health leaders can help shape the work already happening on the ground and effectively coordinate public and private resources. Read More »

Massachusetts Uses Data Sharing to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

August 17, 2017|4:43 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Substance misuse and abuse is becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States. In response to a growing opioid overdose rate in Massachusetts, Monica Bharel, MD, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Health, has made it a priority to utilize data sharing and assessment to combat the epidemic. Read More »

State Legislation Surrounding Tobacco At 21 Laws

August 17, 2017|3:23 p.m.| ASTHO State Health Policy Staff

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. In 2015, a report from the Institute of Medicine estimated that there would be 249,000 fewer premature deaths if 21 became the nationwide minimum age of sale for tobacco products. The article discusses the various tobacco at 21 regulations and laws in states and territories. Read More »

Renée Joskow Discusses the Importance of Oral Health to Overall Health

August 16, 2017|10:49 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

Oral health is fundamentally linked to the overall health and well-being of both the individual and the community. Improved population health will require integration between many sectors, including oral health, primary medical care, public health, human services, social services, and behavioral health services. ASTHO spoke with Renée Joskow, DDS, MPH, chief dental officer for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), about federal efforts to support this work, emphasizing the importance of oral health integration with other public health and clinical care activities. Read More »

State Legislation Exploring the Use of Community Health Workers

August 10, 2017|3:07 p.m.| Crystal El-Khatib, Intern, State Health Policy

ASTHO is currently tracking over 30 bills from 14 states and Washington, D.C. that address the role of community health workers. This year, bills have successfully passed legislatures in Connecticut, Minnesota, and Missouri. ASTHO will continue to monitor and share these and other innovative ways states are leveraging community health workers to improve health and wellbeing. Read More »

State Legislation Surrounding Breastfeeding Accommodations for Parenting Students

August 03, 2017|2:58 p.m.| ASTHO State Health Policy Staff

Public health practitioners and advocates celebrate National Breastfeeding Month in August. This year the theme is “Charting the Course Together,” which aims to “build and reinforce the connections between breastfeeding and a broad spectrum of other health topics and initiatives.” One connection that has drawn the attention of state lawmakers is expanding breastfeeding accommodations for parenting students. Read More »

Texas Leads in the Fight for Zika Prevention

August 03, 2017|12:41 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

With the summer and mosquito season in full swing, ASTHO spoke with John Hellerstedt, MD, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Read More »

Member Spotlight – Rahul Gupta

July 27, 2017|3:06 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Rahul Gupta, MD, is state health officer and commissioner of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health. Read More »

Oregon Expands Pharmacists’ Authority to Dispense Contraceptives

July 27, 2017|2:25 p.m.| ASTHO State Health Policy Staff

Leveraging the role of pharmacists is one approach that states have been exploring to address barriers to contraceptive access. In 2015, Oregon enacted a bill that allowed pharmacists to dispense self-administered oral contraceptives and hormonal contraceptive patches. During the 2017 legislative session, Oregon lawmakers expanded on this policy. Read More »

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