On Wednesday, nearly 100 public health leaders from NACCHO’s Board of Directors, the National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH), numerous state associations of county and city health officials (SACCHOs), the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), as well as the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), went to Capitol Hill as a collective voice to advocate for the needs of governmental public health: a proposal to bolster the public health workforce through a student loan repayment program, increased funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the need for quick action on a robust emergency supplemental funding package to help health departments address coronavirus (COVID-19) (more on this below). In total, NACCHO, NALBOH, BCHC, and SACCHO members attended meetings with 120 Members of Congress and staff. Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) addressed participants at a joint breakfast briefing and emphasized the important work of public health to keep Americans healthy and safe at the state and local levels. You can check out our Twitter Moment rundown of the day!
NACCHO’s Board of Director’s continued to spread the word about the importance of local health departments to the health and safety of our communities through meetings with key officials in the White House and Administration. On Tuesday, they met with the White House to discuss critical preparedness and response needs for coronavirus. Yesterday, they held discussions with administration officials including the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response Dr. Robert Kadlec, Jose Montero, Director of the Center for State, Territorial, Local and Tribal Support at CDC, officials from the Health Resources and Services Administration, including Administrator Thomas Engels, and key officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Transportation, and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Discussions focused on areas of mutual concern, including coronavirus response, health in all policies approaches to different sectors, and how NACCHO and local health departments can strengthen collaborations with federal programs and leadership.