Ten local health departments across the nation will participate
Washington, DC, April 22, 2022 — The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the voice of the country’s nearly 3,000 local health departments, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developed the Health Equity and Overdose Prevention and Response Mentorship Program to continue supporting local health departments (LHDs) in their efforts to address drug overdose in their communities. This program allows peer LHDs to learn from their peers, share experiences, and exchange strategies for integrating health equity into drug overdose prevention and response work. Participants supported under the program will receive individualized peer-to-peer assistance and technical support in order to increase their capacity to integrate health equity into their drug overdose prevention and response efforts.
In response to the ever-evolving opioid epidemic, public health officials and advocates have been successful in garnering greater attention to substance use, reframing the public’s understanding of it as a disease, and improving access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and services. However, the health inequities among populations experiencing drug overdose have not been adequately addressed. In order to do so, this requires shifting drug overdose prevention and response efforts to identify and address the upstream, or “root cause” factors, that are driving ongoing gaps amid those experiencing drug overdose and its associated harms.
The mentorship program focuses on five key strategy areas: using and communicating data equitably, community engagement, communications, policy advocacy, and organizational equity. The program is designed to:
- Pair LHDs that have experience in advancing health equity in their overdose prevention or response programs in key strategy areas with peer LHDs interested in receiving assistance, guidance, tools, and resources to start planning or expanding their jurisdiction’s approach to health equity in drug overdose prevention and response;
- Provide spaces for strategy and tool sharing around health equity practices that can be integrated into opioid prevention and response;
- Establish a network of LHDs from across the country to be a resource for learning and connection around health equity and drug overdose response; and
- Improve NACCHO and CDC’s understanding of how current health equity actions and strategies are being applied in local public health contexts.
Mentor: Columbus Public Health (Columbus, OH)
- Mentee: Tri-County Health Department (Greenwood Village, Colorado)
Mentor: Ledge Light Health District (New London, CT)
- Mentee: Jefferson County Department of Health (Birmingham, AL)
- Mentee: Public Health Madison & Dane County (Madison, WI)
Mentor: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (New York, NY)
- Mentee: Pueblo Department of Public Health & Environment (Pueblo, CO)
Mentor: Public Health-Seattle & King County (King County, WA)
- Mentee: Missoula County Health Department (Missoula, MT)
- Mentee: Winnebago County Health Department (Oshkosh, WI)
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the country’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.