NACCHO Honors Jonathan Hanft of Hennepin County Minnesota as the 2023 National Advocate of the Year

Jul 13, 2023 | NacchoVoice

Washington, DC, July 13, 2023 — Today the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), representing the nation’s nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments, named Jonathan Hanft, Ryan White Program Manager for the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department, it’s 2023 Advocate of the Year. This award recognizes outstanding accomplishments related to advocacy and outreach to Members of Congress to create better health policy outcomes. The award was presented during the 2023 NACCHO360 Annual Conference in Denver on July 12, 2023.

“Recognizing the tireless public health warriors who reach out, advocate, and build connections with Members of Congress on behalf of local public health is of paramount importance to NACCHO, which is why we’re so proud to highlight the work of Jonathan Hanft with this prestigious award,” said NACCHO’s Chief Executive Officer Lori Tremmel Freeman. “Local public health needs trusted messengers to develop meaningful, impactful relationships with members of Congress and their staff and serve as a resource on public health matters. Jonathan has been an outstanding ambassador at the federal level for local public health, and he has increased local public health’s ability to keep people safe and healthy.”

Hanft has dedicated his career of 20+ years to serving the public and ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Hennepin County Public Health is the largest health department in the State of Minnesota, and the 33rd largest county by population in the United States. The county’s Ryan White Program provides critical HIV services to 4,000 people living with HIV, with a focus on reaching populations disproportionately impacted. Program leaders coordinate the Minnesota Council for HIV/AIDS Care and Prevention, set service priorities, and allocate federal funds to priority services. Hanft also oversees “Positively Hennepin,” which is the county’s strategy to end the HIV epidemic.

“I am thrilled, humbled, and honored to be named NACCHO’s 2023 Advocate of the Year,” said Hanft. “I would like to dedicate this award to the staff that I work with in Minnesota who have battled for the last two and a half years against not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but against other public health challenges as well.”

In addition to being deeply involved in advocacy and policy work related to the Ryan White Program and local public health departments, where he tracks bills and provides information and updates to his constituents during the Minnesota Legislative Session, Hanft is very active nationally advocating and providing education with members of the United States Congress that represent the districts in the state of Minnesota. Over the years, he has worked to develop and nurture relationships with Congress members to become a trusted resource for information related to local public health departments.

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About NACCHO

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.


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