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Top Moments From Day Two at NACCHO 360

Jul 09, 2020 | Taylarr Lopez

Welcome to the final day of NACCHO 360! Yesterday NACCHO Chief Executive Officer, Lori T. Freeman opened up the day’s plenary, “The Power of Data,” and introduced new NACCHO President and Health Director of Farmington Valley Health Department (CT), Jennifer Kertanis.

Ms. Kertanis gave her presidential address and highlighted the need to focus on the root causes of heath inequity as communities protest the pervasive and ongoing injustices supported by long standing structural and institutional racism. She shared two main focuses of her upcoming term, which included advocacy for the investment in an adequately funded public health system and transforming public health practice that addresses the relationship between structural and institutional racism, and other forms of oppression and health inequity. She went on to challenge viewers to aim their sights further upstream and lend their public health voices to change.
Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and current President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, provided special remarks regarding COVID-19 response and the need to have a comprehensive approach for infection control. He highlighted the importance of risk communication by stating, “Info that’s easily understood will be more likely to be followed. Consistent, competent, and objective messaging, as well as, showing empathy, sincerity, and transparency are extraordinarily important.” Additionally, he called for sustained funding for global health security and a new approach to prevent, detect, and respond to health threats.

Jefferson E. McMillan-Wilhoit, Director for Health Informatics and Technology at Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center in Illinois was the first panelist to address viewers. He discussed how his department is reimagining data collected through community health assessments to diagnose his community. McMillan-Wilhoit emphasized the importance of sharing data with the community to build trust.

Paul Jarris, PhD, MBA, Chief Medical Advisor at MITRE Corporation talked about Sara Alert, a standards-based, open source tool, developed by MITRE in partnership with national public health organizations that automates the process of public health monitoring and reporting of individuals exposed to or infected with COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

Caroline Fichtenberg, PhD, Managing Director of the Social Interventions Research and Evaluation Network at the University of California, San Francisco spoke about the pandemic shining a light on health injustices across the country.

Fernando De Maio, PhD, Director of Research and Data Use at the American Medical Association’s Center for Health Equity shared the idea of health equity data as protest, and offered insight into the tradition of radical statistics and how that contributes to equity work.

Don’t miss the final day of the conference! Registration to NACCHO 360 is still open and the content will be available after the conference for up to a year.

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