“Even before a single case of the virus was detected on American soil, we at local health departments began to mobilize and engage our community health care partners.”
Washington, DC, February 19, 2021 – Today, Philip Huang, MD, MPH, Director and Health Authority of the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services testified before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in a hearing titled “The Science of Covid-19 Vaccines and Encouraging Vaccine Uptake.” Dr. Huang is a member of the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ (NACCHO), Board of Directors. NACCHO represents our country’s nearly 3,000 local health departments which have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 response since the beginning.
Dr. Huang brings experience at the federal, state, and local public health levels, beginning his career as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, then 15 years with the Texas Department of State Health Services, and 11 years as Medical Director and Health Authority with the Austin Public Health Department.
In his testimony Dr. Huang discussed the role of local health departments in responding to the pandemic, as well as the steps his health department has taken to build relationships with his community members to help improve vaccine confidence and registration. “Even before a single case of the virus was detected on American soil, we at local health departments began to mobilize and engage our community health care partners. We have also worked closely with the entirety of the federal-state-local governmental public health partnership working to bring the local perspective to our national plans. This continues to be critical as we embark on the largest mass vaccination campaign in our nation’s history.”
“As communities continue to have questions as they form decisions about getting vaccinated against COVID-19, particularly those who have been historically marginalized by discrimination in the health care sector, engaging with them on an ongoing basis is an important approach to providing the information they need and building the trust that is crucial to their confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and the system that provide them.”
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local 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.