ASTHO’s podcast series, Public Health Review, features health officials and public health leaders who are on the front lines of state and territorial public health. The series capitalizes on current public health issues and delivers timely, thoughtful perspectives on the value of public health through the lens of state and territorial health officials and other subject matter experts. Listen to us on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Google Play Music, and Spotify.

Polarity Thinking: Leading During a Pandemic

July 02, 2020

Leading a governmental health department is a complex job during the best of times, but particularly so during a pandemic when leaders must navigate every step carefully. In this episode, our guests introduce and discuss a concept called "polarity thinking," which invites leaders to embrace situations or problems from the opposing perspectives, or "poles."Read More »

How COVID-19 Exposed the Gaps in Substance Use Care

June 15, 2020

State and territorial health leaders are thinking long-term about how policy changes made as a response to the pandemic might be continued to support vulnerable populations. During this episode, public health experts discuss how states and territories can better support communities by addressing barriers to pain management and substance use treatment services—along with establishing wraparound services to mitigate the societal and economic impacts of COVID-19.Read More »

The Next Surge: The Behavioral Health Crisis Following COVID-19

May 29, 2020

May is Mental Health Month, and this year, health officials are tasked with navigating the impact of COVID-19 on the behavioral health system. The rates of depression, suicide, and substance use are expected to surge as communities continue to struggle with COVID19 cases—along with the fear, isolation and unemployment that comes with the pandemic. It’s essential that policymakers ensure that communities have continued access to mental health and substance use disorder services not only during, but also in the aftermath of this pandemic.Read More »

Promoting Well-Being and Reducing Risk Post-COVID-19

May 14, 2020

The current COVID-19 pandemic serves as a case example that highlights the fundamental need to more aggressively use the Shared Risk and Protective Factors (SRPF) Framework to address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), suicide, and opioid misuse. This episode explains what the SRPF framework is, and how states and territories can collaborate with a broader range of partners to implement research-based programs, policies, practices, and strategies that will improve the existing fractured and unstable systems. This framework ultimately works to nurture the safe and stable communities that youth and families need to thrive.Read More »

One-on-One with CDC’s Anne Schuchat

April 29, 2020

If there’s anyone who has spent their career preparing for a global pandemic, it’s Anne Schuchat, MD. Currently, she serves as the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She served as acting CDC director from January-July 2017 and February-March 2018. Schuchat sat down with ASTHO for a 1-on-1 on her reaction to the COVID-19 response, what policymakers should be thinking about next, and what keeps her up at night.Read More »

Lessons from the Trenches: Leading During a Public Health Crisis

March 27, 2020

On this episode, we speak with two public health veterans who led state health departments during times of public health uncertainty—like H1N1 and Ebola. Our guests discuss the lessons they learned during trying times, the advice they’d give the public health workforce, and their thoughts on the situation surrounding COVID-19.Read More »

The Importance of Public Health Surveillance in Responding to Overdoses

March 12, 2020

States, territorial, and local governments continue to grapple with substance misuse and addictions. Today’s episode discusses why there needs to be a comprehensive response in public health surveillance, in particular around the opioid epidemic. After all, without thorough data, it’s tough for lawmakers to drive action that will reduce the prevalence and incidence of drug overdoses.Read More »

COVID-19 Highlights Urgent Need for Increased Public Health Funding

February 25, 2020

Every year, state and territorial health officials descend on the Nation’s capital to educate lawmakers on the importance of increased funding for public health. This year is no different, though there is a shadow hanging over the year’s events: COVID-19, an infectious disease that’s been spreading across the globe. On the first day of ASTHO’s ‘Washington Week,’ the organization formally requested emergency supplemental money with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), and Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) in order to adequately respond to COVID-19.Read More »

Tobacco 21 and Flavor Restrictions: What Actually Happened?

January 30, 2020

Blink and you might have missed it: In December, the federal government passed a bill that raises the legal age to buy tobacco to 21, now in effect. On top of that, the federal government also issued enforcement guidance that will remove some flavored e-cigarette products from the shelves. These laws are in response to the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use, with 27.5 percent of high schoolers reportedly using them. This podcast investigates what these federal policies might mean for youth e-cigarette use and discusses what states can do on their own to make tobacco products less available and attractive to youth and young adult consumers.Read More »

What You Need to Know: West Virginia’s Action to the Nationwide Hepatitis A Outbreaks

December 11, 2019

Since 2016, 30 states have experienced hepatitis A outbreaks, primarily among individuals experiencing homelessness and/or those struggling with substance abuse. State health departments, with support from the CDC, have mounted a robust public health response, with vaccination as a cornerstone for prevention. Hear from our experts about the national perspective and on-the-ground action to stop the spread of hepatitis A—as well as challenges that remain with these complex populations.Read More »

A Matter of Life and Death: How States Are Tackling Sepsis as Public Policy

November 25, 2019

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by the body’s extreme response to an infection and can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Sepsis can be caused by a wide range of infections but is most commonly linked to infections of the lungs, kidneys, skin, and gut. Based on CDC estimates, at least 1.7 million American adults developed sepsis in 2014 and nearly 270,000 died as a result of sepsis. CDC investigations showed that sepsis begins outside of the hospital for four out of every five patients. While preventing infections and illness is critical to reduce the risk of sepsis, early detection and immediate treatment is often the difference between life and death. Many opportunities exist to improve sepsis prevention, detection, and treatment and improve patient outcomes. Our experts discuss the national burden and epidemiology of sepsis, the importance of raising awareness among healthcare personnel and the community, and case examples of state efforts to promote policy changes relating to sepsis, including options for state-level policy to identify and/or prevent sepsis.Read More »

Ecosystem of Care: Providing Behavioral Health Services to Pregnant Women

November 06, 2019

Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to behavioral health issues, including depression and substance misuse. In this episode, leaders in Louisiana discuss how they’re providing more support for women across the span of their reproductive life, and the challenges they still face. The National Council for Behavioral Health also outlines how states can provide integrated systems of care for pregnant women.Read More »

Public Health on the Frontlines to Combat Flu

October 16, 2019

It’s that time of year again…flu season. Each year, the United States battles seasonal influenza, leaving thousands of people sick, hospitalized, or worse. Public health professionals across the nation are on the front lines, doing their best to prepare for and respond to seasonal flu in the hopes of reducing the likelihood of a pandemic event. This episode will focus on the burden of seasonal and pandemic flu, and highlight key planning activities and strategies that federal, state, and local public health agencies are doing to combat flu and keep communities healthy.Read More »

The Fungus Among Us

September 24, 2019

In the United States, three main types of fungi—coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis, and blastomycosis—can cause lung infections like pneumonia when people breathe in fungal spores from the air. Depending on where you live, you may be more likely to come in contact with one of these fungi. Some fungal diseases go undiagnosed and cause serious infections in people in the United States and around the world, leading to illness and death. Increased awareness about fungal diseases is one of the most important ways we can improve early recognition and reduce delays in diagnosis and treatment. In this episode, in honor of Fungal Disease Awareness Week, Tom Chiller from CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch, and Kristen Ehresmann, director at the Minnesota Department of Health’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology department, talk about the risks of endemic fungal diseases.Read More »

Operationalizing Tobacco Cessation Policy Efforts

September 05, 2019

In this episode, hear about the policy implications and implementation efforts from the Tobacco Control Network and state public health executive leadership.Read More »

The Aligning Roles of Medicaid and Public Health

August 14, 2019

Medicaid and public health partnerships play an important role in advancing a statewide approach to addressing chronic disease and population health. Collaboration and shared priorities between agencies play a significant role in addressing health conditions. In this episode, Deborah Fournier, senior director of Clinical to Community Connections at ASTHO, and Mark Larson, vice president of policy at the Center for Health Care Strategies, share some of the common misconceptions about each agency’s understanding of one another. They also discuss leveraging the respective roles and resources of Medicaid and public health through the CDC’s 6|18 Initiative. J.T. Lane (ASTHO Alumni-LA), director of value transformation at Navigant, also shares lessons learned on Medicaid and public health partnerships through the 6|18 Initiative and beyond in Louisiana.Read More »

Looking Upstream: The Impact of Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences

June 12, 2019

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful events, including child abuse and other household challenges, that can have a negative impact on early brain development and lifelong health. In this episode, Judy Cameron, a psychiatry professor at the University of Pittsburgh, discusses her research on how early life experiences shape brain development and brain plasticity. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services and a pediatrician by training, describes how his agency is taking action to address the challenges that ACEs pose to children and families across the state. Finally, David Lakey, chief medical officer at The University of Texas System, gives an overview of an integrated data system that maps infant maltreatment in Texas, as well as a predictive model that uses geomapping and hotspots to target prevention efforts.Read More »

Ending America's Maternal Mortality Crisis

May 30, 2019

Each year, nearly 700 women in the United States die from complications related to pregnancy or delivery, with Black women 3 to 4 times more likely than white women to die from a pregnancy-related cause. Three in five of these deaths can be prevented, but it involves a collaborative approach, including consistent care and cross-sector partnerships. In this episode, ASTHO’s president and leadership from CDC and HRSA discuss efforts to prevent maternal mortality and the role states and communities play to reduce racial disparities.Read More »

Game Changer: Pennsylvania’s Response to the Opioid Crisis

May 15, 2019

In this episode, we explore Pennsylvania’s multi-pronged approach to addressing the opioid epidemic in the state and efforts to expand access to MAT.Read More »

Seeing the Possible: A Conversation with CDC Director Robert Redfield

April 30, 2019

In March 2018, Robert R. Redfield became the 18th director of CDC, bringing to the role more than 30 years of experience as a public health leader engaged in the clinical research and care of viral infections and infectious diseases, especially HIV. Since then, HHS and President Trump have announced an ambitious plan to end HIV in America, a cause which Redfield considers a prominent part of his life’s work. But public health challenges remain, including the opioid epidemic and anti-vaccine movement. In this wide-ranging conversation, Redfield shares insights into how his own personal experiences have shaped his priorities as CDC director, the importance of improved communication around vaccine education, CDC’s strategy to end HIV transmission, and how the agency plans to support states and territories as they address the opioid epidemic and other public health challenges.Read More »

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