Stories in Public Health
ASTHO’s “Have You Shared” initiative systematically collects and disseminates stories that highlight promising and useful practices and implementation strategies developed by state and territorial health agencies. ASTHO created the Have You Shared campaign to solicit state stories and is working with our members to capture stories from across all ASTHO content areas.
Stories collected by the Have You Shared initiative are archived below, but are also shared through other parts of the ASTHO website as well as through the State Public Health Weekly, other ASTHO newsletters, communications with affiliate organizations and partners, and ASTHO meetings.
If your state has a project or program that may be of interest to other states, let us know! Complete this brief web form describing the story you would like to share, and an ASTHO staff member will follow up with you for more information.
Use our map to view stories from a state or territory of your choosing.
Or, see the complete list of stories below.
Massachusetts Promotes Health Equity and Reduces Costs with the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund
Through policy and administrative means, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts established the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund, a significant component of a comprehensive healthcare cost containment bill. The fund supports community-based and clinical partners to address health disparities and reduce the rates of some of the most prevalent, expensive, and preventable health conditions.
Minnesota Department of Health Changes the Narrative on Health with the Healthy Minnesota Partnership
The Minnesota Department of Health worked with its Healthy Minnesota Partnership to change the narrative around health and develop a health in all policies approach for eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity.
Ohio Department of Health Collaborates with Partners to Address Health Disparities Using Meaningful Use Data
The Ohio Department of Health worked with the largest Medicaid health plan in Ohio and academic institution on a meaningful use initiative to combine datasets and expertise for the purpose of creating interventions to address the social determinants of health for high-user and high-cost communities.
Maryland Fights Health Disparities with Health Enterprise Zones Legislation
By using policy and administrative levers, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities supported the efforts of the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council’s Health Disparities Workgroup and the governor’s office to develop the innovative Health Enterprise Zone Initiative.
Utah Department of Health Promotes Healthy Eating Options at Catered Events
The Utah Department of Health incorporates HHS and USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans in its workplace through a healthy food policy for catered events.
Virginia and Walgreens Collaborate to Provide Free HIV Testing in the Commonwealth
After establishing that they share a commitment to addressing HIV, the Virginia Department of Health and Walgreens created a program that provides free, pharmacist-led HIV testing at select Walgreens sites.
Alaska Infant Safe Sleep Initiative Develops Toolkit for Birthing Hospitals
The Alaska Division of Public Health engaged providers, parents, and other key stakeholders to develop a toolkit about safe infant sleep that reaches across cultural barriers and sets a model for state standards.
Hawaii Restricts Youth E-Cigarette Sales
The Hawaii State Department of Health helps implement a new law banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.
Arkansas Implements a Healthy Employee Lifestyle Program
The Arkansas Department of Health launched a comprehensive worksite wellness program intervention supported by policy that rewards regular exercise, good nutrition, and other healthy lifestyle choices.
Hawaii Department of Health Applies the Principles of the National Prevention Strategy to Multi-Agency Worksite Wellness Programming
Hawaii develops a comprehensive worksite wellness initiative for all state agency employees.
Delaware Division of Public Health Applies the Principles of the National Prevention Strategy to Community-Based Multi-Sector Programming
Delaware builds faith-based and community relationships to increase opportunities for health promotion in public facilities.
Alaska Empowers Youth to Develop Healthy Relationships through the Fourth R Curriculum
Alaska takes a collaborative approach to address high rates of dating violence, substance abuse, and risky sexual behavior among youth.
Idaho: Using Quality Improvement Tools to Streamline Contracting Process
Through a quality improvement process, the Idaho Division of Public Health streamlined and accelerated its contracting process with local health departments.
Kansas’s Immunize and Win a Prize Project Offers Practical Prizes to Promote Child Vaccination
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment Immunization Program partners with Vaccines for Children providers to promote childhood vaccination, particularly in low-income areas.
Mississippi Applies National Prevention Strategy Principles to Community-Based Multisector Programming
The Mississippi State Department of Health uses Mayors’ Health Councils to create infrastructure supporting multisector collaboration to improve health and increase health equity.
Maryland’s Safe Sleep Program Bans Crib Bumpers and Fights Health Disparities
As the first state to ban crib bumpers, Maryland fights Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and infant mortality disparities with partnerships and legislation.
Minnesota Increases Tobacco Taxes to Reduce Smoking
Minnesota Department of Health and Raise It for Health Coalition collaborate to prevent tobacco use.
South Carolina Website for Teen Health Benefits from Stakeholder Collaboration
Website provides information to teens in a cost-effective, culturally relevant manner.
Oregon Project Trains Students to Vaccinate and Provides No-cost Vaccinations to At-risk and Underserved Populations
The Free, Local, and Underserved project increases the number of trained vaccinators in the state while connecting surplus vaccine supply to at-risk and underserved populations.
Minnesota’s FluSafe Program Recognizes Healthcare Facilities’ Healthcare Personnel Influenza Vaccination Coverage
The program aims to increase vaccination rates by recognizing facilities with a white, red, or blue ribbon.
New York Develops Clinical Pathways for Hypertension Control
Through the ASTHO Million Hearts State Learning Collaborative, one local clinic is working with the New York State Department of Health and other state and local partners to develop and implement a standardized clinical pathway to identify and manage patients with uncontrolled and undiagnosed hypertension.
DC Identifies Patients with Hypertension
Through the ASTHO Million Hearts State Learning Collaborative, the District of Columbia Department of Health and healthcare partner sites across DC are establishing baseline rates of undiagnosed and uncontrolled hypertension among patients from an at-risk population to target intervention efforts.
Guam Addresses Rising E-Cigarette Use with Leadership from Health Director
Facing high levels of e-cigarette use among middle and high school students, the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services is working with partners to address the issue on the island.
Maine Uses New Return on Investment Tool to Inform Decisionmaking
Looking for ways to reduce staff travel time and expenses, Maine applied ASTHO’s new ROI tool prospectively to build a business case for the proposal.
Use of Customer Surveys in Minnesota
Through a coordinated partnership between the state and local governments, Minnesota is measuring customer satisfaction at both levels.
Connecticut: Using ROI to Improve Health Equity
Connecticut standardizes sociodemographic measures across several public health databases to more efficiently monitor health trends among target populations and improve health equity outcomes.
Colorado Committee Convenes Stakeholders to Address Prenatal Substance Exposure
The Colorado Substance Exposed Newborns Steering Committee brought together key stakeholders to improve identification and treatment of substance use during pregnancy and the postnatal period.
Washington State Guidelines and Programs Reduce the Number of Alcohol and Drug-Exposed Babies
The Washington State Department of Health has developed policy, practice, and resource materials to promote early and consistent prenatal and postnatal substance abuse screening.
Stand-Up Insurance Coverage of Tobacco Cessation Programs Starts with Oregon
Oregon has provided 100 percent coverage and barrier-free tobacco cessation support for its state and university employees and their dependents since 2008.
Virginia Department of Health Creates a Shared Agenda to Advance the National Prevention Strategy
Thirty-five sites received funds for projects aimed at reducing the burden of chronic disease in Virginia.
Kansas BioSense 2.0 Onboarding Experience with Health Information Organization
The Kansas Health Information Network shares anonymous patient data with BioSense 2.0, allowing public health partners to assess potential health threats.
Iowa EAP Improves State Employees’ Emotional and Mental Health
The Iowa state government’s employee assistance program has promoted a positive, healthy work environment for 25 years.
North Dakota Health Department Embraces Healthy Maternity Policies in Workplace
Comprehensive maternity policies at the North Dakota Department of Health set high standards to promote wellness for mothers returning to the workplace.
Maine CDC Releases New Guidelines to Help Practitioners Care for Drug-Affected Babies
Snuggle ME is a practitioner’s comprehensive guide to caring for drug-affected babies and their families from the prenatal period through the first year of life.
Mississippi Trauma Care System
The Mississippi Trauma Care System enhances community health through an organized system of injury prevention, acute care, and rehabilitation services that is fully integrated within communities’ public health systems.
Texas Promotes Cessation by Increasing Smoking Footage Requirements Outside of Buildings
Texas’ state health agency expands on previous successes in reducing the use of tobacco products within its campuses.
Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) collaborated with a community health network, churches, and community organizations to increase breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnosis rates in the greater Chicago area.
Tennessee Launches Safe Sleep Campaign
Tennessee is using data from its Child Fatality Review Team to focus state agencies, hospitals, and parents on reducing sleep-related infant deaths.
Tennessee Forms Joint Collaborative to Reduce Early Elective Deliveries
Tennessee has been working to curb early elective deliveries through a public/private stakeholder partnership.
Washington Uses Quality Improvement Measures to Reduces Elective Deliveries
Washington has seen a dramatic decline in its elective delivery rates thanks to a quality improvement campaign launched by a public/private partnership of stakeholders and Medicaid quality incentive payments.
Wyoming Nurtures Collaboration Between Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Patient Care
The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) Public Health Division’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program (IDEpi) communicates and coordinates routinely with healthcare providers on recommended treatment, prophylaxis, and mitigation measures for conditions of public health interest.
Texas Department of State Health Services Responds to an Explosion in West
Plans and surge capacities are put to the test as responders provide medical and behavioral health support to the community.
Colorado Addresses Diabetes Disparities Through Partnerships and a New Reimbursement Program
Colorado addressed low socioeconomic and racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes outcomes by partnering with the American Association of Diabetes Educators and University of Colorado at Denver School of Pharmacy.
Kansas Develops Prenatal Classes through Public Health and Primary Care Collaborations
The Salina-Saline County Health Department in Kansas collaborated with the local March of Dimes (MOD), Salina’s Child Advocacy & Parenting Services (CAPS), and the Salina Family Healthcare Center (SFHC), along with local pediatricians, obstetricians, and neonatologists to improve infant mortality rates in Kansas.
New York Redesigns Maternal and Child Health Programs
New York state’s Department of Health restructured their community-based maternal and infant public health programs to maximize resources, support innovation, build the evidence base for public health interventions, and improve health outcomes and reduce disparities.
New Jersey Prioritizes Newborn Screening Program in the Face of Hurricane Sandy
In spite of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, New Jersey’s only designated newborn screening lab teamed up with state and local partners, as well as other stakeholder groups, to ensure that not a single newborn screen was missed in the days after the storm.
Quality Improvement in Kentucky: Streamlining the Grant Process
By using quality improvement tools to focus on the challenges agency staff faced when applying for grant funding, the Kentucky Department for Public Health was able to standardize and improve the process.
Putting on AIRS (Asthma Indoor Risk Strategies): An In-Home Asthma Education and Environmental Assessment Program in Connecticut
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (CDPH) collaborated with local health departments, multiple healthcare organizations, and health insurance providers to establish an evidence-based home visitation program focused on indoor asthma triggers and education about asthma as a chronic illness.
Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland Primary Care Project
Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland area health departments have successfully collaborated with primary care and state and local governments in an effort to improve the region’s primary care services and population health.
Delaware Healthy Weight Collaborative
The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) leveraged resources from a grant through the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) Collaborate for Healthy Weight project to partner with primary care organizations and community organizations to address obesity in select populations.