Barriers to quality healthcare and health insurance are significant obstacles to the public’s wellbeing. Many Americans cannot afford the care they need, regardless of whether they have active health insurance coverage. Even more people cannot access the appropriate healthcare providers because they don’t have local providers and healthcare facilities or reliable transportation to travel for care. And, while telehealth has greatly increased healthcare access for some—especially during the pandemic—many rural and underserved communities lack the broadband connections necessary to receive care through telehealth.

Public health agencies can work at state and territorial levels to mitigate and eliminate these barriers through partnerships with legislators, healthcare providers, cross-sector partners, and community members. These partnerships can help build and fortify public health infrastructure, healthcare delivery systems, and address social determinants of health. ASTHO is committed to expanding access to healthcare services and supports public health professionals by facilitating these critical partnerships and providing tools and resources to design and operationalize sustainable strategies.


Initiating Cross-Sector Partnerships to Advance Population Health

Read about action steps that public health agencies can use to initiate and sustain a cross-sector partnership and see examples of successful public health collaborations with Medicaid, housing, and transportation agencies.

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Cross-Agency Partnerships for Health Equity: Understanding Opportunities Across Medicaid and Public Health Agencies

ASTHO and the Center for Health Care Strategies led a national scan to identify health equity priorities that state agencies can advance in the next two years.

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Using Lessons from the COVID-19 Response to Inform Telehealth Activities

This brief explores how state and territorial health agencies (S/THAs) are responding to COVID-19 through telehealth policy and operational changes, as well as how telehealth has quickly emerged as a tool to support health equity.

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Bridging the Digital Divide in Healthcare to Improve Access to Care

This brief shares information on how federal agencies and states are expanding digital access through funding investments, unique partnerships, and other innovative interventions to improve digital equity and access to care.

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Financing Strategies to Support Community Health Workers

These presentation slides provide an overview of different financing mechanisms to support CHW workforce, such as through Medicaid state plan amendments, 1115 demonstration waivers, managed care contracts, alternative payment models, and grant and provider funding.

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Latest Healthcare Access Resources

Illustration with many symbols related to accessible primary care, including a doctor on a tablet for a telehealth visit, a thermometer, a microscope, a heart, and medication

State Primary Care Offices Expand Access to Care and Improve Health Equity

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Braiding and Layering Funding to Address Housing and Food Insecurity

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Illustration of a line of people leaping over a wide ravine, in the middle is a large "helping hand" that supports them as they go.

A Grassroots Leader’s Vision for the Future Community Health Workforce

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A smiling expectant mother has a telehealth appointment at her kitchen table

Reproductive Health Services Expanded During Pandemic but Inequities Persist

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The Puerto Rico and USVI OT21-2103 teams with CDC, and ASTHO staff at the 2022 Atlantic Health Equity Action Institute in Puerto Rico.

Sharing Island Stories on Health Equity: Setting the Stage for Equity in the Island Areas

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Group of 5 combustible cigarettes with a single broken cigarette out in front

Using Medicaid Datasets to Measure Tobacco Use: A Review

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Cluster of suspended blue molecules, some of which are illuminated orange

Communicating Public Health Guidance to Cases and Contacts: Recommendations for COVID-19 Case Investigators and Contact Tracers

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Illustration of a large group of diverse people

Tailoring Messages for Cross-Cultural Communication: Recommendations for COVID-19 Case Investigators and Contact Tracers

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ASTHO manages online communities for state and territorial primary care office staff and telehealth program leads to share information, network, and engage in meaningful discussions between jurisdictions.

ASTHO regularly engages with key partners to advance state and territorial population health priorities. Key partners include:

  • Center for Connected Health Policy
  • Center for Health Care Strategies
  • CDC
  • Health Resources and Services Administration
  • National Association of Community Health Workers
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health