In this week’s podcast, Kerry Allen welcomes a new member to the NACCHO Government Affairs team, Lauren Mastroberardino. Kerry and Lauren provide an update on mid-term election outcomes and implications for the upcoming year, which will see divided government in Washington. Congress is back for a lame-duck session, and Kerry and Lauren cover ongoing Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations considerations. They also discuss NACCHO’s advocacy to pass the Public Health Loan Repayment Program in end-of-year legislation, including how members can take action to urge their members of Congress to support the program. They celebrate the CDC’s recent announcement of over $3 billion in first-of-its-kind funding directly to local, state, and territorial jurisdictions to support public health workforce and infrastructure. Finally, the team encourages listeners to save the date for NACCHO’s Virtual Hill Week, which will be held March 6-10.
Later in the program, Hassanatu Blake, NACCHO’s Director of Health Equity and Social Justice, speaks with Dr. Simbo Ige, Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Health Equity and Capacity Building at the New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene about the continued need to push health equity in practice despite the wind down of federal funding for COVID programming. As our country continues to reflect on the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hassanatu and Dr. Ige discuss how local health departments are rethinking how health inequities are addressed in public health practice. They also talk about the $2.25 billion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, Including Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities monumental grant and how it has supported New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s systematic approaches to addressing health inequities. Lastly, Dr. Ige shares with listeners crucial information to follow and support New York City Department of Health’s equity work.