Presidents Challenge


2019 ASTHO President's Challenge

Building Healthy and Resilient Communities

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) President’s Challenge, aligned with the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the U.S. Surgeon General’s focus on community health and economic prosperity, calls on state, territorial, local, and tribal health officials to build healthier, more resilient communities by supporting investments in community-led, place-based approaches.

ASTHO President: Nicole E. Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH
NACCHO President: Kevin Sumner, MPH
U.S. Surgeon General: Jerome Adams, MD, MP


 Goal Illustration

ASTHO, NACCHO, and the Surgeon General’s office will help health officials achieve the goals of the 2019 President’s Challenge by:

  1. Equipping health officials to mobilize community-led, place-based collectives focused on measurable outcomes and the U.S. Surgeon General’s motto ("better health through better partnerships") to build stronger communities.
  2. Connecting public health officials to business leaders and policymakers who want to invest in these community-led,place-based approaches and advance economic development by reaching across sectors.


 Connect Illustration

Governmental public health has an important role to play in changing our mindset about how we should work with communities and who our partners should be. Together, we can implement both goals of the ASTHO President's Challenge by:

  • supporting community-led, place-based collectives that are outcome-driven.
  • attracting diverse investments from business leaders and policymakers who can help communities transform conditions for better living long-term.

Effective community-led, place-based collectives offer a ready-made investment opportunity for business leaders and policymakers, as diverse partners are calling for community development without community displacement.


 Call to Action Illustration

Health equity moved from talk to action: mobilizing strategic investments in community-led, place-based approaches that address the socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health. This community-driven initiative aims to transform systems and policies in ways that empower local communities and limit the harms of gentrification. It also structures efforts around measurable outcomes and cross-sector outreach, raising the voice of community collectives to drive positive, meaningful change over the long term. Example models include Rhode Island’s Health Equity Zones, the Fort Worth Blue Zones Project, and Live Well San Diego, among others.


 Community Illustration

Strengthen Community-led, Place-based Approaches through strategic investments that mobilize collective action to build healthy, resilient communities with better conditions for success in place.

Promote Positive Social Connectivity uniting community members together to build social capital as a public health strategy for help with combating issues like addiction, emotional suffering, and social isolation.

Improve Community Resilience so communities can resist, respond to, and recover from adversity and “bounce forward” to better socioeconomic and environmental conditions, like fewer adverse childhood events.

Your Input is Needed!

What activities this year will work best for you to sustain our focus on building healthy and resilient communities?

Contact Melissa Lewis or Mary Ann Cooney in the Center for Population Health Strategies with your ideas or questions. 

Click on the image below to view and download a Building Healthy and Resilient Communities one-pager and help spread the word about the challenge.

2019 President's Challenge Illustration