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ASTHO President's Challenge Initiatives

A yearly initiative of ASTHO to improve population health through the work of state public health agencies.

My.ASTHO

Join your colleagues and participate in various discussion topics on my.ASTHO, ASTHO's collaboration and discussion platform. ASTHO members can access the platform here.

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StatePublicHealth.org

  • As Cottage Food Production Increases, States Balance Economic Benefits and Food Safety

    Over the past few years, local and small-scale food production has increased in the United States. As of August 2018, there were 8,720 farmers markets listed in USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory, a seven percent increase since 2013. With the recent growth in demand for local foods and the increased availability of venues to purchase these foods, individuals are producing and selling more food and beverages made in home kitchens, commonly referred to as cottage foods. State and local health agencies are often responsible for enforcing food safety laws and regulating food production. By licensing and monitoring food production, health agencies are in a position to prevent, reduce, and mitigate outbreaks of foodborne illness.

  • Approaches for Improving Oral Health Outcomes for Low Income Americans

    Poor oral health is considered a health disparity for low-income children and adults; it has significant impacts on the overall health and well-being especially for those who are vulnerable. Dental illnesses significantly increase the risk of chronic health conditions, may result in missed days of work and school, negatively affect employability, and increase use of expensive acute care. States can utilize a variety of approaches to mitigate this issue for low income Americans.

  • Beyond Quitting: The Great American Smokeout Amplifies Successes in Public Health Tobacco Control

    Today is the Great American Smokeout, an event that the American Cancer Society has hosted for over 40 years every third Thursday of November. It began in the 1970s when smoking and secondhand smoke were more common and has since helped dramatically change Americans’ attitudes about tobacco. In the wake of new data that shows cigarette smoking among adults is at an all-time low, this year’s observance is an opportunity to both reflect on a major public health success story and look ahead at new policy and systems change strategies to reduce the harmful health effects of all tobacco products on the market. E-cigarettes, for example, continue to pose a significant threat: e-cigarette use among U.S. high school students increased by 78 percent between 2017 and 2018.