Day One: 2018 ASTHO Annual Meeting Recap

September 26, 2018|6:24 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Tues, Sept. 25 – ASTHO Policy Summit

2018 Policy Summit Presenter Larry SabatoPolicy Summit – ASTHO kicked off the day with a policy summit featuring leader-to-leader executive roundtable sessions with several federal partners and a keynote luncheon address from Larry Sabato, Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia and founder and director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. During the keynote, Sabato provided a historical review of previous midterm elections, the current political environment, and his forecast for the November midterm elections. ASTHO’s six policy committees met later in the day to discuss emerging policy issues.

Jennifer ClarkeASTHO President’s Welcome and Awards Reception – The evening honored public health leaders and celebrated state and territorial public health excellence. ASTHO President John Wiesman (SHO-WA) provided opening remarks and welcomed award winners to the stage. The awards reception honored recipients of the National Excellence in Public Health Award and State Excellence in Public Health Award, as well as recipients of the Vision Awards and 2018 PH WINS Model Policies and Practices Challenge Award. Check out #ASTHO18 for more!

Wed, Sept. 26 – ASTHO Annual Meeting

John Weisman and Jay ButlerThe 2018 ASTHO Annual Meeting kicked off with opening remarks from ASTHO President John Wiesman (SHO-WA), ASTHO CEO Michael Fraser, and Norman Oliver (SHO-VA), followed by a session wrapping up the 2018 President’s Challenge. Wiesman and ASTHO Immediate Past-President Jay Butler (SHO-AK) overviewed the 2017 and 2018 Presidents’ Challenge – Substance Misuse and Addictions, highlighting national accomplishments, CDC funding for response and treatment, increased media and advocacy engagement, as well as the road ahead for states and territories.

Nicole Alexander-Scott and 2019 President's Challenge2019 President’s Challenge Launch: Building Healthy and Resilient Communities – ASTHO President-Elect Nicole Alexander-Scott (SHO-RI) officially launched the 2019 President’s Challenge: Building Healthy and Resilient Communities. Alexander-Scott called on state, territorial, local, and tribal health officials to build healthier, more resilient communities by supporting investments in community-led, place-based approaches with a focus on supporting community public health revitalization. “Our major goal is to shift investment from primarily healthcare spending to prevention, primary care, and addressing the social determinants of health at the community level,” said Alexander-Scott.

Maurice Jones with Ana NovaisA conversation with Maurice Jones followed. Jones is president and CEO of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national community development financial institution. He previously served as secretary of commerce in the cabinet of former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Jones discussed work with LISC, highlighting ways to partner with businesses in order to improve health within the community.

Scaling Up Community-Led Place-Based Models for Public Health PresentersScaling Up Community-Led Place-Based Models for Public Health – ASTHO Immediate Past-President Jay Butler (SHO-AK) moderated a discussion with Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of the California Endowment, and Ana Novais, executive director of health of the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). Ross highlighted the California Endowments’ investments in place-based and community-led models, including their “theory of change,” which aims to help communities and health advocates assert power in economically challenged areas. Novais shared RIDOH’s efforts to reduce health disparities through Health Equity Zones in Rhode Island, highlighting the ways that health officials can work with communities at a local level to direct action. “We need to rely on the power of community and their residents to tell us what is important,” said Novais. “That is what we are trying to achieve with the RIDOH Health Equity Zones.”

Board members receiving awardsAwards Presentation and Luncheon – During lunch, ASTHO Past-President Karen McKeown (SHO-WI) recognized the ASTHO Board of Directors and presented awards, including the ASTHO Partner Award, ASTHO Alumni Award, Noble J. Swearingen Award, and Arthur T. McCormack Award. Check out #ASTHO18 for more!


Barbara Van DahlenPositive Social Connectedness: Public Health Approach to Mental Health – After the awards presentation, Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour, spoke about the Campaign to Change Direction, which works to change American culture to ensure that emotional well-being is as important as physical health. Van Dahlen shared the campaign’s efforts to increase positive social connectedness, with opportunities for application nationwide to help address issues such as addiction, emotional suffering, and social isolation. “If someone in your life is suffering, connect, reach out, inspire hope, and offer help,” Van Dahlen said.

Brett GiroirRemarks from the Assistant Secretary for Health – Nathaniel Smith (SHO-AR) introduced Brett P. Giroir, HHS assistant secretary for health. Giroir spoke about the mission, strategy, and priorities of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), as well as health challenges facing the United States, including suicide, e-cigarettes, infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and the ongoing opioid epidemic. “At OASH, we are dedicated to developing and coordinating the implementation of policies, investments, and frameworks to transform the current ‘sick-care system’ into a ‘health-promoting system,’” said Giroir. In order to accomplish this goal, Giroir emphasized the importance of health for all, health by all, and health in all approach.

Sandro GaleaWhat We Need to Talk About When We Talk About Health – Susan Moran (SHO-MI) introduced Sandro Galeo, Robert A. Knox Professor and dean at the Boston University School of Public Health and author of Healthier: Fifty Thoughts on the Foundations of Population Health. During his talk, Galeo highlighted ideas and approaches to building healthier communities through partnerships. To accomplish this, he suggested ten ideas for consideration: (1) health not healthcare, (2) health emerges over a life lived, (3) power, politics, and money are health, (4) there is no health for the many if we exclude the few, (5) we need wisdom and humility to understand health, (6) health needs to be understood as a public good, (7) compassion has to be at the heart of health, (8) health should be a means, not an end, (9) we need to value health and demand health, (10) we should be free to choose health.

Meet the Authors and Book SigningMeet the Authors and Book Signing – A book signing followed the day’s events, including a meet and greet with authors attending the conference. This includes:

  • Josh Sharfstein, Public Health Crisis Survival Guide
  • Sandro Galea, Healthier
  • Bill Foege, The Fears of the Rich, the Needs of the Poor: My Years at CDC
  • Michael Fine, Healthcare Revolt: How to Organize, Build a Health Care System, and Resuscitate Democracy All at the Same Time

Flu Symposium PresentersPandemic Influenza Symposium: Perspectives on Federal, State, and Local Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response – This symposium, hosted by ASTHO in partnership with the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, featured discussion with national leaders on emerging issues and trends, areas of continued challenges, and opportunities for success in regards to preparing for and responding to the possible emergence of a new influenza pandemic. The symposium began with opening remarks from Lynn Goldman, dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, ASTHO President John Wiesman (SHO-WA), and John Dreyzehner (SHO-TN). Stephen Redd, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, provided the keynote address. A moderated panel discussion followed, including discussion from Matthew Hepburn, medical corps, U.S. Army, program manager of the Biological Technologies Office at DARPA; Carlos Santos-Burgoa, professor in the department of global health at George Washington University; and Jacqueline M. Miller, vice president and head of clinical R&D and epidemiology at the U.S. Research and Development Center, GSK Vaccines.

We look forward to the second day of the 2018 ASTHO Annual Meeting! View the full agenda of events here.