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The NACCHO Podcast Series

The NACCHO Podcast series provides public health professionals with in-depth interviews featuring some of the field's top officials. Listeners can also learn the latest news from Washington, DC with our monthly "Podcast From Washington."
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Now displaying: 2023
Dec 15, 2023

On this week’s podcast, the National Association of County and City Health Officials Victoria Van de Vate, Director of Government Affairs, and Lauren Mastroberardino, Government Affairs Senior Specialist, provided a Congressional update on upcoming government funding challenges. They also discussed recent letters that NACCHO sent to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion on Healthy People 2030 objectives and to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of STD Prevention about its proposed guidelines on the use of doxycycline as post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent STI transmission.   

Later in the program (4:50), Timothy McCall, NACCHO’s Director of Research, hosted a discussion with co-authors Rita Burke, Associate Professor of Clinical Population and Public Health Sciences and Pediatrics at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine; Larissa Chiari-Keith, Chief Executive Officer of Alala Advisors; and Emma Hunter, Health Emergency Preparedness Analyst at San Mateo County Health, to talk about their recently published qualitative analysis of California public health officials’ experiences of harassment during COVID-19.

NACCHO's Forces of Change survey found that 60% of local health departments reported their agency, leadership, and/or staff were targeted with harassment during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, one study found that 20% of Americans felt that harassing public health leaders was justified early in the pandemic; this rose to 25% in 2021. Even though this harassment crisis surfaced three years ago, the impacts on individuals, communities, and the public health system persist.

NACCHO is drawing attention to this urgent issue. The study aimed to collect qualitative data highlighting the harrowing stories from local health officials and to better understand their experiences of harassment. The pandemic not only exposed vulnerabilities in the public health and healthcare system, but it also subjected local health officials to psychological impacts, systemic backlash, and burnout. 

Nov 17, 2023

On this week's podcast, the National Association of County and City Health Officials' Victoria Van de Vate, Director of Government Affiars, and Lauren Mastroberardino, Government Affairs Senior Specialist, provided an update on the new "laddered" Continuing Resolution, which created two funding deadlines in early 2024 and avoided an end-of-year government shutdown. They gave an analysis on the House Labor-HHS bill. Also, Mastroberardino and Van de Vate discussed NACCHO's recent response to an RFI from Senator Bill Cassidy on modernizing the CDC as well as a letter that NACCHO sent to the White House Drug Shortage Task Force urging them to prioritize the Bicillin L-A shortage, which is the only treatement available to pregnant individuals with syphilis.

Later in the program (6:08), NACCHO Senior Program Analyst Bianca Lawrence spoke with Susan Tilgner, Executive Director at Ohio Public Health Partnership, and Belinda Leslie, an Administrator with the Portsmouth City Health Department in Portsmouth, Ohio, who are using performance improvement to build the ability of local health departments to improve the quality of their operations and programming and make sure that they meet national public health standards. Ohio Public Health Partnership has participated in the Statewide Association Performance Improvement Training and Technical Assistance Support Initiative to provide tailored accreditation support to local health departments in Ohio, such as Portsmouth City, through their Accreditation Learning Community. Accreditation, like many performance improvement programs, assist local governmental public health in improving their organizational infrastructure so that they can better support all people in their community to live their healthiest lives. Tilgner and Leslie discuss the unique opportunity provided by the Accreditation Learning Community to develop meaningful performance metrics and network with local health department peers in Ohio to learn best practices for accreditation and performance improvement.

Oct 27, 2023

On this week’s podcast, the National Association of County and City Health Officials Adriane Casalotti, Chief of Government and Public Affairs and Lauren Mastroberardino, Government Affairs Senior Specialist welcome Victoria Van de Vate, NACCHO’s new Director of Government Affairs. The team provided an update on government funding and the newly elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. They also discussed a letter that NACCHO and 110 other public health organizations sent to the Senate opposing a proposal to cut $980 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund, also known as the Prevention Fund, in order to provide funding for the Primary Care and Health Workforce Act.

Later in the program (9:17), NACCHO Senior Program Analyst Francis Higgins spoke with two representatives from local health departments that are doing overdose prevention work: Sixto Aguirre, a CPSW/Case Manager II, Peer Supported Probation at the Rio Arriba Department of Health and Human Services in New Mexico, and Seth Dewey, a Health Educator at the Reno County Health Department in Kansas. Both are NACCHO overdose prevention award recipients. Nearly 110,000 Americans died of overdose in 2022. Aguirre and Dewey discussed their lived experiences, how they got connected to their overdose prevention work, and what their local health departments are doing in response to the crisis. Local health departments are integrating people with lived and living experience into overdose prevention work to strengthen their activities and the communities they serve. Also, they are working with community partners to promote the health and safety of people who use drugs, to support folks who are interacting with the criminal legal system, and to prevent overdose.

Sep 15, 2023

On this week’s podcast, the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ Adriane Casalotti, Chief of Government and Public Affairs, and Lauren Mastroberardino, Government Affairs Senior Specialist, provided an outlook on government funding as August recess has ended and Congress is back in session. They spoke about the possibility of a government shutdown or continuing resolution as the fiscal year ends on September 30. Also, Casalotti and Mastroberardino discussed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsement of updated COVID-19 vaccine formulations that will be available as rates of respiratory infections increase this fall. 

Later in the program (8:13), NACCHO Communications Specialist Beth Hess spoke with Deb Kramer, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director of the Office of Preparedness within the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. During this, National Preparedness Month, they discussed the importance of preparedness both nationally and locally. Kramer also talked about the role of the Medical Reserve Corps in community response, its impact over the past 21 years, and her vision for the program moving forward.

Aug 11, 2023

On this week’s podcast, Adriane Casalotti, Chief of Government and Public Affairs, and Lauren Mastroberardino, Government Affairs Senior Specialist, provide an update on the appropriations process, as Congress has adjourned for August recess before making a lot of progress on crucial public health legislation. Casalotti covers House and Senate Labor-HHS appropriations, discussing major differences between both bills and the outlook for fall. Mastroberardino discusses the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) reauthorization, providing insight into political differences in the House and Senate versions of the legislation and potential roadblocks. 

Later in the program, NACCHO Communications Specialist Beth Hess spoke with Neil Brockway, Director of Disaster Risk Reduction at the American Red Cross. Brockway joined the 2023 Preparedness Summit in April as one of the plenary speakers on the topic of empowering resilient communities. They discussed the American Red Cross' Community Adaptation Program and how it works to build community resilience. The program concludes with an invitation to submit abstracts for the 2024 Preparedness Summit.

Jul 7, 2023

On this week’s Podcast from Washington, Adriane Casalotti, Chief of Government and Public Affairs and Lauren Mastroberardino, Government Affairs Senior Specialist, provide an update on the appropriations process. Casalotti covers House and Senate topline funding amounts and discusses implications for public health. Mastroberardino discusses the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) reauthorization and provides updates from Congress. She also talks about Dr. Rochelle Walensky’s departure from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and President Biden’s new appointee, Mandy Cohen. Casalotti provides detail about recent Capitol Hill testimony provided by NACCHO members, and finally, invites NACCHO members to attend Government Affairs’ NACCHO360 session, “Informing Public Health Policy in a Complex Political Climate,” on Wednesday, July 12 at the conference in Denver or over the livestream.  

Later in the program, NACCHO Communications Specialist Beth Hess spoke with Daniel Aldrich, PhD, Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University. Aldrich joined the 2023 Preparedness Summit in April as one of the plenary speakers on the topic of empowering resilient communities. They discussed the importance of social capital—the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society—and the role it plays in empowering communities to thrive.

Jun 9, 2023

In this week’s podcast, the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ Adriane Casalotti, Chief of Government and Public Affairs, and Lauren Mastroberardino, Government Affairs Senior Specialist, provided an update on the debt ceiling, which has been suspended until January 1, 2025, as well as detail on some of the spending limits and claw-backs of previously appropriated funds. They also discussed Dr. Rochelle Walensky’s announced departure from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provided updates on the reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), and examined the reestablishment of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic. 

Later in the program, NACCHO Communications Specialist Beth Hess spoke with Dr. Mary-Margaret Fill, Deputy State Epidemiologist for the Tennessee Department of Health. Dr. Fill joined the 2023 Preparedness Summit in April as one of the plenary speakers on the topic of One Health. One Health is a collaborative and transdisciplinary approach of achieving optimal health by recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. They discussed the importance of integrating One Health in ongoing prevention, detection, preparedness, and response initiatives and how local public health professionals can incorporate One Health in their planning and response activities.

May 5, 2023

In this week’s podcast, the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ Government Affairs team members Kerry Allen and Lauren Mastroberardino provided an update on the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations process in Congress, including how the debt ceiling negotiations may factor in, as well as ongoing congressional investigations into COVID-19 origins. They also talked about the Food and Drug Administration’s move to make opioid reversal medication naloxone available over the counter. Since the Public Health Emergency ends on May 11, Allen provided insight into emerging details from federal agencies about the new landscape of COVID-19 response. Mastroberardino spoke about her experience at the 2023 Preparedness Summit, organized by NACCHO, and discussed her key takeaways and reflections from the largest gathering of public health and preparedness leaders.

Later in the podcast, Ramona Poblete, a Program Analyst at NACCHO, spoke with Rear Admiral Paul Reed, Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and Glenda Redeemer, MSN, Chronic Disease Prevention Division Manager at Tarrant County Public Health Department in Texas, for a discussion on Healthy People 2030’s Leading Health Indicators.

The Healthy People Initiative serves as the nation’s plan for addressing our most critical public health priorities and challenges. Their discussion explored how local health officials can use the Leading Health Indicators in their work to achieve successful health outcomes in their communities. Learn more about Healthy People tools, features, and partnership initiatives such as the Healthy People 2030 Champion Program.

Apr 14, 2023

In this week’s podcast, the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ Government Affairs team members Kerry Allen and Lauren Mastroberardino provided highlights from this year’s Local Public Health on the Hill event. This NACCHO-organized event brought more than 100 public health leaders to meet with 120 members of Congress spanning 30 states. In the midst of these in-person and virtual Hill meetings, President Biden released his Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request, which contained requests for increased funding for programs at the Department of Health and Human Services. Allen and Mastroberardino also discussed proposed new programs to address pandemic preparedness and adult vaccine access; NACCHO’s recent advocacy actions, which will continue throughout the appropriations process; and NACCHO's work to inform legislative efforts underway in Congress to bolster the public health workforce and reauthorize the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA).

 

Later in the program, Nicholas Holmes of NACCHO’s Immunization Team spoke with Kate Guzman, the administrator of medical services for the Oakland County Health Division, in Pontiac, Michigan and Carolina Sisiruca, health educator with Centro Multicultural La Familia, about using radio to reach English and Spanish speakers about the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations and other immunizations. They are the developers and co-hosts of the Oakland County Health radio broadcast show – a public health segment that has caught the attention of NPR leaders and has captivated audiences with public health content that empowers listeners to make informed decisions to improve and protect their health and wellbeing.

Feb 10, 2023

On this month’s podcast, NACCHO Government Affairs team members Kerry Allen and Lauren Mastroberardino recap key provisions in the omnibus spending bill Congress passed at the end of 2022. Most exciting to NACCHO, the bill reauthorized the Public Health Workforce Loan Repayment Program, which once operationalized will offer loan repayment to public health professionals who agree to serve three years at a local, state, or Tribal health department. They also reflect on the beginning of the 118th Congress, highlighting recent committee hearings and votes in the House related to rolling back COVID-19 related policies. Kerry and Lauren also talk about NACCHO’s 2023 Federal Legislative and Policy Agenda and remind listeners about the upcoming virtual Public Health on the Hill event on March 6-10.

Later in the program, Victoria Freire, NACCHO’s Senior Program Analyst of Rural Health, spoke to Ron Sprong, the Community Health Manager, Mental Health First Aid instructor and Peer Recovery Specialist at Greene County Health Department in Carrolton, Illinois.

 NACCHO has just launched its Rural and Frontier Public Health section of the website, and in recognition of the unique challenges that rural and frontier health departments have, in today’s interview Sprong discusses rural health department’s activities in operations, community health and emergency preparedness. 

 

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