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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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 »

A Look Back at ASTHO’s “75 Ways” Campaign Featuring State and Territorial Public Health Successes

October 12, 2017|12:17 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

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 »

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 »

Day Two: ASTHO Annual Meeting Recap

September 21, 2017|2:32 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

ASTHO Executive Director Mike Fraser opened the second day of ASTHO’s annual meeting by presenting Immediate Past President Jay C. Butler with an award recognizing his contributions, leadership, and dedication to ASTHO over the past year. Read More »

ASTHO Policy Summit & Anniversary Gala Recap

September 20, 2017|8:45 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Policy Summit – ASTHO kicked off with a policy summit featuring leader-to-leader executive roundtable sessions and a keynote luncheon address from Andrew Gurman, immediate past president of the American Medical Association (AMA) who spoke about AMA’s advocacy efforts on key public health issues such as reversing the opioid epidemic, healthcare reform, and greater transparency surrounding pharmaceutical pricing. ASTHO 75th Anniversary Gala – The evening honored public health leaders and celebrated the power of state and territorial public health. Nirav Shah, senior vice president and chief operations officer of clinical operations at Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, gave the keynote address on the importance of standardization, innovation, and transparency in healthcare and public health systems change. “We need to embrace bottom-up, community-directed solutioning, tied to evidence-based strategies supported by a transparency agenda,” Shah advised. An awards reception followed in which ASTHO recognized its 2017 leadership awardees. Read More »

ASTHO Announces Winners of First-Ever PH WINS Challenge

September 20, 2017|5:36 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Earlier this summer, ASTHO partnered with the de Beaumont Foundation to launch the first-ever national “Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS) Model Policies and Practices Challenge.” As part of the PH WINS Research to Action initiative, this challenge highlights workforce innovations that are changing the public health field and demonstrating a strategic investment in the future of the national public health workforce. ASTHO and the de Beaumont Foundation issued the PH WINS Challenge to a range of governmental health organizations, including local, state, and territorial health agencies. These organizations competed to have their most successful and transformative workforce development programs recognized as models in their fields and to win one of three $10,000 prizes—best state or territorial, best local, and best overall policy. Read More »

ASTHO Recognizes Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, and Virginia with 2017 Vision Awards

September 20, 2017|5:22 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

On Sept. 20, ASTHO presented four state health departments with 2017 Vision Awards during an Innovation and Leadership Awards Reception at the 2017 ASTHO Annual Meeting. Created in 1990, the awards honor outstanding state and territorial health department programs and initiatives that use creative approaches to address public health issues and challenges. The Vision Awards promote awareness and provide peer recognition to successful state and territorial health programs. Read More »

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 »

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