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NACCHO's Podcast From Washington: Update on H5N1 and Local Health Department Pilot Program Addresses Substance Use Disorders in Pregnancy

May 17, 2024

Washington, DC, May 17, 2024 — On this month’s podcast, the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ (NACCHO) Adriane Casalotti, Chief of Government and Public Affairs, and Victoria Van de Vate, Director of Government Affairs discussed the current status of the H5N1 avian “bird” flu outbreak in dairy cattle and the situation on coordinating a federal-level response, from making personal protective equipment (PPE) readily available to testing livestock and farmworkers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that local health departments connect individuals to testing if they observe an increase in sick animals and farmworkers, utilize CDC communication resources, and ensure that farms and farmworkers have access to PPE.

Later in the program (13:24), Elana Filipos, Program Analyst on the Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health team at NACCHO, and Mary “Maret” Wachira, Health Educator Consultant and IBCLC at the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County (DOH-Citrus), discussed how DOH-Citrus initiated a pilot program to provide prenatal care and treatment for pregnant people with substance use disorders (SUDs). Drug overdose deaths in pregnant and postpartum women increased significantly between early 2018 to late 2021, according to a recent study by researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. However, pregnant people seeking support for an SUD during the perinatal period may face stigmatizing barriers to care that prevent them from accessing medical treatment and behavioral interventions. To address this growing public health concern, DOH-Citrus implemented a holistic prenatal care service model that incorporates Medication for Opioid Use Disorder services and mental health counseling during routine prenatal care appointments to improve outcomes for pregnant people and infants in their community.

Learn more about the Citrus County program via a journal article published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal, titled “Addressing Perinatal Opioid Use at a Local Health Department in Florida.”

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About NACCHO

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the over 3,300 local governmental health departments across the country. 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, visit www.naccho.org.


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