ASTHO Policy Committees

Policy committees are instrumental in developing ASTHO policy through a process established by our membership in 2018. Committee members are subject matter experts in their field and are integral to the success of these committees. In collaboration with subcommittees, other work groups and task forces, and ASTHO staff, policy committees are charged with developing policy statements that align with ASTHO’s work in support of our mission, strategic goals, and objectives. Policy committees meet and submit reports to the Board of Directors quarterly.

Each year, ASTHO conducts a policy committee appointment process to recruit members to serve for a one-year term. Committee appointments are made annually by the president. All individuals, other than current state/territorial health officials, interested in being considered for ASTHO policy committee service must apply by submitting a policy committee service application.

ASTHO's Policy Committees and Subcommittees

Community Health and Prevention Policy Committee

The Committee provides policy direction for ASTHO on broad-based health promotion and prevention initiatives. This includes oversight for the Chronic Disease Prevention, Tobacco Prevention and Control, and Injury Prevention cooperative agreements with the CDC. The Committee also has responsibility for nutrition, physical activity, injury, chronic disease risk reduction, and social environments that promote health.

Healthy Babies Subcommittee

The Healthy Babies Subcommittee guides ASTHO’s activities with multiple national efforts around lowering premature births and reducing infant mortality. As a subcommittee of the ASTHO Community Health and Prevention Policy Committee, this Subcommittee was created to guide this initiative to assure a sustainable organizational structure, identify needs, promising practices, experts and funding needs and opportunities. Subcommittee members are leaders representing various areas relevant to maternal and child health such as public health, clinical, hospital care, community support systems, communications, health equity, data, and payment mechanisms. The Subcommittee’s primary objectives are to 1) reduce preterm birth, 2) prevent unintended pregnancies, 3) increase health equity, and 4) celebrate accomplishments of the ASTHO Challenge.

Substance Misuse and Addiction Response Taskforce (SMART) Subcommittee

The Substance Misuse and Addiction Response Taskforce Subcommittee will function under the auspices of the ASTHO Community Health Prevention Policy Committee and will guide ASTHO to address the prevention, treatment, and overdose prevention of substances. The subcommittee is a mechanism to establish a platform to influence policy or system changes, peer sharing, identification of resources or technical assistance and capacity needs. This includes policy surrounding the decriminalization, legalization, and regulation of marijuana. The subcommittee is guided by the Substance Misuse and Addiction Framework focusing on primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.

Environmental Health Policy Committee

The Committee provides unique state and territorial-based expertise and leadership for environmental public health policy and practice in the areas of the built, natural, and synthetic environments. The Committee actively pursues strengthening the infrastructure and capacity and capabilities of state and territorial health agency-based environmental health programs, targeting surveillance strategies and developing the workforce in close collaboration with the State Environmental Health Directors Peer Group, among other issues.

Infectious Disease Policy Committee

The Committee assesses policy and programmatic issues and provides subject matter expertise and strategic direction related to the state and territorial role in infectious disease prevention, surveillance, and outbreak response. The Committee’s interests and responsibilities encompass a range of legacy and emerging infectious disease policy and tactical issues including bio-surveillance; antimicrobial resistance; immunization access and financing; prevention, care, and treatment of infectious diseases; healthcare-associated infections and patient safety; and pandemic preparedness.

Performance Improvement and Accreditation Policy Committee

The Committee provides leadership and recommendations in the areas of policy, practice, and research to strengthen the ability of ASTHO members and partners to deliver quality public health services and improve health outcomes. The committee provides strategic direction in performance management, quality improvement, accreditation, data to action, financing, return on investment, and workforce research.

Population Health and Informatics Policy Committee

The Committee provides guidance and direction on policy and programmatic priorities that drive population health improvement strategies. The Committee will suggest policy directions that improve state readiness and capacity to advance best practices in population health improvement and analysis regarding each of the three pillars of population health improvement: public health and healthcare partnerships to support clinical to community connections; strengthening collaboration and integration between payers, providers, and public health agencies in addressing the social determinants of health and health equity; enhancing state public health agency capacity for advancing technological solutions and systems as well as using health data and informatics to develop and analyze health status improvements.

Public Health Preparedness Policy Committee

The Committee provides a critical link with and represents ASTHO’s best interests to senior leadership of key federal agencies and programs in the preparedness, response, recovery, and community resilience space. The Committee analyzes and provides insightful information to guide the formulation of national policy and strategy, with specific focus on all-hazards public health infrastructure needs, strengthening state and territorial public health readiness capacity and capabilities, and in fulfilling the requirements of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act and the National Health Security Strategy, among other issues.

Questions about ASTHO’s policy committees or the annual recruitment/appointment process?