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.