Emerging Topics in Public Health Accreditation: Aligning Accreditation and Opioid Response Activities

October 30, 2018|10:34 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

Accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) serves as a framework to help health agencies respond to emerging public health issues by systematically examining their infrastructure, policies, and processes. With the opioid epidemic continuing to impact communities across the United States, preparation, coordination, and efficiency are crucial to a health agency’s ability to prepare for and respond to this public health crisis. Read More »

Expecting the Unexpected - An Interview with CDC's Anne Schuchat

October 25, 2018|12:27 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Rear Admiral Anne Schuchat, MD, is CDC’s principal deputy director. Schuchat has worked at CDC since 1988 in the areas of immunization, respiratory, and infectious disease. During her career, she has also worked on the frontlines of disease emergency responses, including the SARS outbreak in China, the prevention of infectious streptococcal disease in children, the 2009 H1N1 response, and most recently last year’s flu season, the worst in nearly a decade. At ASTHO’s annual meeting in September, Schuchat received the Ed Thompson Lifetime Achievement Medal. Following the ceremony, ASTHO reached out to Schuchat, who reflected on her career in public health, her advocacy work around vaccination, and future public health priorities. Read More »

Larry Cohen Reflects on a Career in Public Health and the Future of Prevention

October 11, 2018|12:48 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Larry Cohen is founder and executive director of the Prevention Institute, a national nonprofit that works to shape the way the country thinks about health and prevention. This October, the Prevention Institute celebrates its 21-year anniversary and Cohen plans to retire. ASTHO recently spoke to Cohen about his leadership, how to maximize the value of prevention work to breakdown silos and better support communities, what excites him most about the current generation of public health leaders, and strategies to advance public health prevention and innovation. Read More »

More States Authorizing the Use of Overdose Fatality Review Teams

August 23, 2018|3:27 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Overdose fatality reviews allow states to examine and understand the circumstances surrounding fatal drug overdoses. Review teams can uncover the individual and population factors and characteristics of potential overdose victims. Knowing the who, what, when, where, and how of fatal overdoses provides a better sense of the strategies and coordination needed to prevent future overdoses and results in the better allocation of overdose prevention resources and services. Read More »

Innovative Approaches to Treating Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

July 31, 2018|11:43 p.m.| Community Health and Prevention Team

The incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) has increased dramatically over the past decade, placing a significant burden on the healthcare system in terms of the costs associated with extended hospital stays required to care for these newborns. In 2012, annual costs related to NAS admissions in the United States totaled $316 million. Many types of drugs or substances contribute to the severity of an infant’s withdrawal symptoms, but in-utero exposure to opioids is often considered the primary cause of NAS, also referred to as neonatal opioid withdrawal symptom (NOWS). Providing active neonatal care through nonpharmacologic interventions allows for parental bonding, promotes consistent breastfeeding, and results in improved outcomes, such as decreased length of stay, and reduced hospital costs. Read More »

2018 Sepsis Legislative Update

July 26, 2018|11:49 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

Sepsis occurs when a body’s immune system overwhelmingly responds to an infection and triggers widespread inflammation. The inflammation leads to blood clots and leaky vessels which can result in organ damage and death. Sepsis can be caused by a wide range of infections, but those most commonly linked to sepsis are infections found in the lungs, kidneys, skin, and gut. Sepsis can also result from a range of pathogens. Most commonly, however, the specific pathogen is not identified in 30 to 70 percent of patients with sepsis. In addition, sepsis occurs in patients across the lifespan, most commonly in those over 65 and under the age of one. Sepsis is a dangerous and often lethal condition, claiming a quarter million American lives annually, as well as a significant driver of healthcare costs. It is the most expensive hospital condition to treat, accounting for more than $23 billion dollars in healthcare costs annually. In addition, with a growing chronic disease burden that places patients at a greater risk of infections that can lead to sepsis, effective and comprehensive strategies to address sepsis are critical. Read More »

Evidence-Based Home Visiting Models Promote Early Brain Development in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

July 26, 2018|11:35 a.m.| Community Health and Prevention Team

A child’s earliest experiences influence the brain’s developing architecture. Exposure to adversity during the early years can lead to long-term, negative outcomes later in life. Nurturing environments and strong caregiver-child relationships can buffer the consequences of poor early brain development stemming from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress. Home visiting programs promote early childhood health and development by fostering these positive, interactive relationships which can go a long way toward both preventing child abuse and neglect and supporting early learning and school readiness. Although genetics and the environment are factors in determining a child’s health and developmental outcomes, strengthening the capacity of parents and caregivers to provide appropriate care and support is fundamental to helping children thrive and achieve lifelong health and wellness. Read More »

Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center Tackles Childhood Obesity

May 14, 2018|12:32 p.m.| Community Health and Prevention Team

State health leadership can play a key role in the prevention of childhood obesity by partnering with educational systems, community stakeholders, and the private sector to implement cross-cutting programs. The Yale University Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center (PRC) is tackling this issue through Community Health Opportunities Organized with Schools at the Epicenter (CHOOSE), a multi-partner and multi-level intervention for communities in Connecticut. CHOOSE is a five-year Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) intervention, funded by CDC, designed to improve nutrition, physical activity, cooking skills, academic performance, and body measurements in school-aged children and ultimately all members of target Lower Naugatuck Valley communities. Read More »

Keys to Addressing Maternal Mortality at the State Level: Consistency, Collaboration, and Data

December 12, 2017|5:25 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Despite an overall worldwide decline of 44 percent since 1990, pregnancy-related deaths have increased steadily in the United States. CDC estimates that over 700 women die each year due to pregnancy or delivery complications. The rate of severe maternal morbidity (SMM), an unexpected outcome to labor and delivery that results in significant short or long term consequences to a woman’s health, increased nearly 200 percent from 1994 to 2014. To address the increase in maternal mortality, states are focusing efforts on increasing consistency in care, fostering coordination and collaboration, and improving data systems. Fourteen states and CNMI are implementing maternal safety bundles through enrollment in the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM). Thirty-three states have established maternal mortality review processes and several states have developed policies and practices intended to reduce to maternal morbidity and mortality. ASTHO affirms that reducing preventable maternal morbidity and mortality will improve both maternal and infant health outcomes and is crucial for the promotion of health. Read More »

ASTHO Leads in Public Health Prevention

April 05, 2017|11:44 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

ASTHO’s community health and prevention team supports a variety of policies and programs related to chronic disease prevention and heart promotion, healthy aging, injury prevention, and behavioral health, as well as tobacco prevention and control. Additionally, ASTHO assists state and territorial public health agencies in the development, coordination, and implementation of comprehensive, evidence-based approaches to wellness, with the goal of addressing America’s major health problems and leading causes of death and disability. Read More »

ASTHO President Rallies Health Officials to Prevent Substance Misuse and Addictions

November 15, 2016|1:16 p.m.| Leslie Erdelack

Substance misuse remains a serious and multifaceted public health problem in the United States, one that ASTHO President Jay Butler will confront as part of the 2017 President’s Challenge. Read More »

FDA Releases Rule That Regulates E-Cigarettes, Other Tobacco Products

May 05, 2016|4:21 p.m.| Scott Briscoe

In bid to stem growing nicotine use among teenagers, FDA restricts sale of e-cigarettes, hookah and pipe tobacco, and cigars to those 18-years or older among other regulations on these products. Read More »

Hitting Utah’s Opioid Epidemic from Multiple Angles

April 25, 2016|10:25 a.m.| KT Kramer

During the 2016 legislative session, Utah enacted nine bills to provide more tools and flexibility to respond to the state's epidemic of deaths from opioid overdose. Read More »

Why Blood Alcohol Concentration Testing and Reporting Is So Important

January 28, 2016|4:51 p.m.| Jane Esworthy

BAC testing and reporting has become very important in helping states, NHTSA, and safety partners understand the underlying factors of fatalities related to alcohol-impaired driving crashes and design solutions on local, state, and federal levels. Read More »

HHS and USDA Release New Dietary Guidelines for Americans

January 08, 2016|11:12 a.m.| Jane Esworthy

The guidelines recognize the importance of focusing on healthy eating patterns and recommend limiting added sugars, sodium, and saturated and trans fats in diets. Read More »

Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Talks Healthy Aging

October 01, 2015|11:08 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

In her address during the Healthy Aging session at the 2015 ASTHO Annual Meeting, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Director Ursula E. Bauer, PhD, MPH, said improving the health of older Americans spans all four NCCDPHP domains. Read More »

CDC: Most U.S. Middle and High Schools Start Earlier Than Recommended

August 11, 2015|3:48 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

According to a recent study, most U.S. middle and high school students begin classes earlier than current nationwide recommendations. Read More »

States Highlight Importance of Breastfeeding During World Breastfeeding Week

August 07, 2015|4:12 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, health departments across the nation are raising awareness about breastfeeding and have developed policies that promote breastfeeding-friendly work environments. Read More »

Heroin Use in the United States On the Rise

July 08, 2015|6:57 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Heroin use in the United States rose 63 percent between 2002 and 2013, and over that same time period, heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled. Read More »

New Mexico Implements Efforts to Improve Mental Illness

July 02, 2015|11:58 a.m.| Jane Esworthy

Of New Mexico’s more than 2 million residents, close to 72,000 adults live with serious mental illness and approximately 22,000 children live with serious mental health conditions. Read More »

Louisiana Continues to Grow Its Well-Ahead Program

June 24, 2015|9:10 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

The state's wellness program encourages businesses, schools, hospitals, and other organizations to create spaces that promote the health and wellness of Louisianans. Read More »

Melanoma Cancer Rates on the Rise

June 05, 2015|1:51 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Rates of new melanomas – deadly skin cancers – have doubled over the last three decades. Read More »

Emergency Rooms Crack Down on Opioid Abusers

June 03, 2015|4:17 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Emergency rooms across the country are cracking down on patients who show up several times a month requesting pain pills. Read More »

Survey Describes Public's Perception of Prescription Drug Abuse Problem

May 19, 2015|2:31 p.m.| Scott Briscoe

Nearly 40 percent of Americans report knowing someone who has abused prescription painkillers in the previous five years. Read More »

U.S. Lowers Recommended Fluoride Levels in Drinking Water

April 28, 2015|4:28 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

HHS has issued new recommendations for fluoride levels in drinking water to prevent tooth decay. Read More »

Vivek Murthy Sworn in as 19th United States Surgeon General

April 24, 2015|2:48 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

During his four-year term, Murthy aims to focus on prevention-based national public health measures that promote healthy living, raise awareness of mental illness, increase childhood vaccination rates, and prevent and reduce drug abuse. Read More »

State Health Departments Reach Out to Young and Old in Celebration of National Public Health Week

April 07, 2015|4:51 p.m.| Virgie Townsend

It’s National Public Health Week, which runs from April 6 to April 12, and state health departments are celebrating by connecting with their constituents to promote this year’s theme "Healthiest Nation 2030.". Read More »

California Department of Health Launches Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

March 24, 2015|11:34 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

Using a series of television, digital, and outdoor ads, the “Wake Up” campaign is an educational effort to inform the public of the health risks and highly addictive properties of e-cigarettes. Read More »

Mortality Rate Associated with Heroin Soars

January 15, 2015|5:15 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

CDC’s 2013 drug overdose mortality data show that drug deaths related to prescription opioids have remained stable since 2012, but that the mortality rate associated with heroin has increased. Read More »

LARC Now Considered a Top Method to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy

December 19, 2014|3:30 p.m.| Kristen Lewandowski

Long-acting reversible contraception is a highly regarded birth control method due to its efficacy, low long-term cost, and potential to improve health outcomes for women and children. Read More »

More Evidence Supports Both Potential Benefits and Dangers of E-Cigarettes

December 17, 2014|1:59 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Are e-cigarettes a good way to quit smoking or are they just the latest way to get people hooked on nicotine? Two recently published research papers provide evidence that e-cigarettes may be both. Read More »

Washington State Develops Statewide Plan to Reduce HIV Diagnoses

December 03, 2014|2:30 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Washington state launched the End AIDS Washington campaign as an effort to reduce the rate of new HIV diagnoses by 50 percent by 2020. Since 1981, more than 19,000 people in Washington have been diagnosed with HIV, with approximately 518 new cases each year, and more than 6,000 have died. Read More »

FDA Announces New Menu and Vending Machines Labeling Requirements

November 25, 2014|4:48 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

The FDA announced today that they have finalized two rules requiring that calorie information be listed on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments, entertainment venue chains, and vending machines. Read More »

New Hampshire Celebrates This Year’s Great American Smokeout with Higher-Education Partners

November 20, 2014|12:23 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Today is the Great American Smokeout, and health departments are encouraging smokers to quit and publicizing their cessation resources. This year, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services is celebrating the smokeout through its tobacco-prevention partnership with the state’s universities and colleges. Read More »

Tobacco Reduction: Where Do We Go From Here

November 14, 2014|12:07 p.m.| Scott Briscoe

According to an article in The Atlantic, there are three approaches to a further reduction in tobacco use in the United States: the traditional approach, the harm reduction approach, and the endgame approach. And then there's the fourth approach: the right one. Read More »

Oklahoma Health Commissioner Describes Efforts of States to Curb Prescription Drug Abuse

October 27, 2014|1:34 p.m.| John Skendall

This year, under the leadership of Oklahoma Commissioner of Health Terry Cline, ASTHO challenged the health agencies of each U.S. state and territory to stem the rampant rate of abuse and deaths associated with prescription drugs. Read More »

Hawaii Wellness Standards Promote Health in Schools

October 23, 2014|11:33 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

To improve the health of young people, Hawaii has made a commitment to strongly support healthy environments in its public schools. Read More »