Featured Story

FeaturedStory

As we kick off 2017, here are a few items I predict will be key priorities and issues for ASTHO this year. While I do not have a crystal ball, several issues will certainly challenge us, presenting new opportunities for state and territorial public health agencies.Read More »

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New CDC Regulations for Domestic and Foreign Travel

February 16, 2017|3:57 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

On Feb. 21, CDC will implement newly revised rules for issuing federal public health orders (e.g., orders for quarantine, isolation, or conditional release) for both domestic and foreign travel. CDC revised the rules to improve and clarify its role in preventing the introduction, transmission, and spread of communicable diseases in the United States. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Virginia Pressler

February 16, 2017|2:27 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Virginia (Ginny) Pressler, MD, is the director of health for the Hawaii Department of Health. As director, Pressler oversees the department’s operations and sits on several key boards and committees. As part of her duties, she also oversees environmental health, behavioral health, and a number of health-related agencies within the health department. Read More »

Leading State Health: Joseph Miner

February 09, 2017|3:34 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Joseph K. Miner, MD, is executive director of the Utah Department of Health. In addition to his work at the department, Miner currently serves on ASTHO’s Infectious Disease Policy Committee, which has identified antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-associated infections as one of several key priorities for their work in 2017. Additionally, Miner represents the state health department perspective on the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists’ Antibiotic Resistance Surveillance Task Force, which seeks to improve surveillance practices for resistant organisms. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Monica Bharel

February 09, 2017|3:29 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Monica Bharel, MD, is commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. As commissioner, she is responsible for spearheading the state’s response to the opioid crisis, as well as leading the department’s implementation of healthcare cost containment legislation, Chapter 224, reducing health disparities, finding public health solutions for healthcare reform, finding innovative solutions using data and evidence-based practices, and other healthcare quality improvement initiatives. Read More »

State Legislatures Continue to Focus on Vaccinations in 2017

February 02, 2017|3:12 p.m.| KT Kramer

Vaccines remain a vital and cost-effective public health intervention to prevent and control diseases, and state legislatures play an active role in developing vaccination laws that balance public health benefits with individual autonomy. As a result, vaccine policies are perennially considered during legislative sessions. Only one month into 2017, and ASTHO is tracking 61 bills from 22 states. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Cara Christ

February 02, 2017|2:00 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Cara Christ, MD, is director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, which is responsible for leading Arizona’s public health system, including responding to disease outbreaks, licensing health and childcare facilities, operating the Arizona State Hospital, and improving the overall health and wellness of all Arizonans. Read More »

What Does MACRA Mean for Health Officials?

January 27, 2017|11:38 a.m.| Emily Moore

In 2015, Congress passed the Medicare Access and Summary CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), replacing the sustainable growth rate payment formula with a different approach to pay clinicians for the care they provide. This new legislation represents a significant shift to providers based on the quality and value of care they provide, rather than the quantity. MACRA went into effect at the beginning of January 2017. Read More »

Leading State Health: John Dreyzehner

January 26, 2017|2:34 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

ASTHO congratulates John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, FACOEM, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, on completing a two-year term as one of the tri-chairs of the National Homeland Security Consortium, a forum for public and private sector disciplines to coalesce efforts and perspectives about how best to protect America in the 21st century. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Nate Smith

January 26, 2017|11:36 a.m.| ASTHO Staff

Nate Smith, MD, MPH, is director and state health officer for the Arkansas Department of Health. The department protects and improves the health and well-being of all Arkansans by responding to outbreaks and other public health emergencies, implementing programs to educate and improve health outcomes, licensing and certifying professionals and facilities, and providing evidence-based preventive health services in communities throughout the state. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Esther Muña

January 19, 2017|12:56 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Esther Muña, MHA, CPC, is chief executive officer for the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, the health agency for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which is responsible for the territory’s sole hospital, dialysis center, community health center, as well as other public health services and programs. Muña has served on ASTHO’s Access Policy Committee for three years. Read More »

Medicaid and Social Determinants of Health: ASTHO and HHS Engage State and Local Leaders in Dialogue

January 17, 2017|5:08 p.m.| Karen DeSalvo and Michael Fraser

On January 6, 2017, ASTHO gathered state health officials, state Medicaid directors, and HHS and non-profit stakeholders from the New England and Empire regions to learn from one another and identify new ways to collaborate to achieve better health for their communities. Read More »

The State Role in Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act Implementation

January 13, 2017|1:36 p.m.| Anna Bartels

SAMHSA has reported that approximately one in five, or 43.6 million, American adults have experienced some form of mental illness in the past year, and eight percent, or 20.2 million had a substance use disorder. Yet nearly 60 percent of these adults with mental illness did not receive mental health services in 2014, and black and Hispanic Americans utilize mental health services at about half the rate of white Americans and a third the rate of Asian Americans. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Terry Cline

January 12, 2017|4:04 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Terry Cline, PhD, is commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, which is responsible for health departments in 68 counties across the state and provides oversight of more than 114,000 assorted business and occupational licenses annually, in addition to disease surveillance and intervention, emergency preparedness, maternal and child health, the WIC program, tobacco and obesity reduction programs, and many other services. In addition, Cline served on the ASTHO Board of Directors for seven years, in various capacities including regional representative and president. Read More »

Public Health Issues to Watch in 2017

January 12, 2017|3:35 p.m.| KT Kramer

As the 2017 state legislative sessions get under way, trends in proposed legislation are emerging. Responding to the opioid epidemic remains a major priority for lawmakers. Read More »

Leading State Health: Ed Ehlinger

January 05, 2017|12:46 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

In his latest blog post, Ed Ehlinger, MD, MSPH, Minnesota Commissioner of Health, delivers a thought-provoking essay about health, housing instability, and policy decisions through the eyes of characters from a classic fairy tale, The Three Little Pigs. Read More »

Member Spotlight: John Hellerstedt

January 04, 2017|4:27 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

John Hellerstedt, MD, is commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, one of the state’s largest agencies. As commissioner, Hellerstedt oversees disease prevention and disaster preparedness, community health services, environmental and consumer safety, state mental health facilities, and the state’s regulatory programs. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Jerome Adams

December 22, 2016|3:31 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Jerome Adams, MD, is commissioner of the Indiana State Department of Health. In this role he oversees the public health protection and laboratory services, health and human services, healthcare quality and regulatory, and tobacco prevention and cessation commissions. Read More »

States Implement Policy Measures in 2016 to Address Opioid Misuse

December 22, 2016|3:16 p.m.| KT Kramer

ASTHO tracked legislation across the 48 jurisdictions that held legislative sessions in 2016 to identify the actions policymakers are taking to protect public health. Read More »

Member Spotlight: Harry Chen

December 15, 2016|2:38 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

Harry Chen, MD, has been commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health since 2011. On Jan. 5, 2017, he will step down, having decided not to seek reappointment. Chen spoke with ASTHO about his tenure as a state health official and why he believes public health is so important. Read More »

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