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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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 »

Dr. 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 »

Resources and Partnerships: State Examples of Tobacco Cessation Programs that Advance Health Equity

July 27, 2017|3:41 a.m.| Claire Rudolph, MPH, MCHES Director, Health Equity and Joshua Berry, MPH, Analyst, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Public health officials and the medical community agree that tobacco use leads to a variety of poor health outcomes including cancer, heart disease, and death. Read More »

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Legislation Update

July 20, 2017|3:30 p.m.| ASTHO State Health Policy Staff

Missouri recently became the final state to create a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). While Missouri’s PDMP is just getting started, several states spent time this year making changes to laws surrounding their programs. As PDMPs evolve from a law enforcement tool to an instrument used by state health departments to tackle the opioid crisis, ASTHO will continue to monitor the changes state legislatures make to enhance them. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Mylynn Tufte

July 19, 2017|10:33 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

In February 2017, Mylynn Tufte was appointed state health officer of The North Dakota Department of Health by Gov. Doug Burgum. Read More »

States Explore Approaches to Reduce Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

July 13, 2017|12:10 p.m.| KT Kramer and Andy Baker-White

States Explore Approaches to Reduce Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Randall Williams

July 12, 2017|3:12 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

In February 2017, Randall Williams, MD, was appointed director of The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services by Gov. Eric Greitens. He previously served as deputy secretary for health and state health director of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. . Read More »

Actionable Data Sharing: John Auerbach Discusses the Importance of Data-Driven Policies and Programs

July 10, 2017|12:27 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

The health landscape is shifting, and partnerships are rapidly forming between public health, clinical partners, human services, and other sectors. State public health leaders can guide and support these partnerships with several strategies, including the use of data that displays patterns and trends within and across communities and informs decisionmaking to improve population health. Improved access to and analysis of cross sector data has the potential to generate new information and help partners most effectively allocate scarce resources through targeted interventions. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Wendy Braund

July 06, 2017|3:50 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

Wendy Braund, MD, MPH, has been state health officer and senior administrator of the public health division at the Wyoming Department of Health since 2011. Read More »

New Mexico Updates Critical Public Health Legal Infrastructure

June 29, 2017|3:17 p.m.| Dawn Hunter, New Mexico Department of Health

On April 6, 2017, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed SB 223, updating the state’s public health laws to “reflect current best public health practices, support the provision of services and infrastructure necessary to address emerging public health threats, and improve health outcomes for all New Mexicans.”. Read More »

Five Things to Know About the Prevention and Public Health Fund

June 29, 2017|1:48 p.m.| Michael Fraser

The Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) is a critical source of funding for programs authorized under the Public Health Services Act for prevention, wellness, and public health activities. ASTHO continues to partner with the public health community to warn Congress of the dire consequences of repealing PPHF without a corresponding increase in the allocation for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriation bills. . Read More »

Member Spotlight: Karen Murphy

June 29, 2017|4:00 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

Karen Murphy, PhD, RN, has been secretary of health of the Pennsylvania Department of Health since 2015. On June 30, she will leave the post to return to the private sector. Read More »

Experts Discuss Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Adverse Childhood Experiences in Home Environments

June 27, 2017|2:21 p.m.| Talyah Sands

Secondhand smoke exposure is not safe in any amount. In the United States, smoke exposure is most common among children ages 3 to 11 years, African Americans, people living below the federal poverty level, and those who rent housing. In multi-unit housing (MUH), smoke travels anywhere air can be exchanged, leading to involuntary secondhand smoke exposure. To address this unequal exposure, tobacco control advocates promote smoke-free MUH policies to eliminate secondhand smoke in one of the last indoor places where smoking is still allowed—the home. Read More »

States Adopt Legislation Prohibiting Smoking in Cars with Children

June 22, 2017|12:37 p.m.| KT Kramer

Exposure to second-hand smoke is harmful to all individuals, and it poses particular risks for children. Read More »

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