State Associations of County and City Health Officials (SACCHO)

State Associations of County and City Health Officials (SACCHOs) are organizations that represent local health departments or officials at the state level. Some SACCHOs are an office in the state’s department of health; many are informal organizations run by volunteers.

NACCHO collaborates with SACCHOs on many projects, including joint meetings, membership initiatives, education and training, and national advocacy for local public health. SACCHOs also work with state departments of health and other state and national public health organizations.

SACCHO membership complements NACCHO membership and provides a vital link between local and national public health. With 38 SACCHOs affiliated with NACCHO, public health professionals can become visibly engaged members of a local SACCHO while developing new contacts and increasing knowledge. Learn more by contacting NACCHO’s membership department at membership@naccho.org.

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Michelle Gibbons is the Executive Director of the County Health Executives Association of California (CHEAC). Prior to her role at CHEAC, Ms. Gibbons served as the health and human services legislative analyst with the California State Association of Counties. Ms. Gibbons also served in various capacities within the California Department of Health Care Services, working on Section 1115 Waiver financing and Realignment activities. CHEAC is a statewide organization of local Health Department and Agency Directors, who are responsible for the administration, oversight and delivery of a broad range of local public health and indigent health care services.

Theresa (Tracy) Anselmo joined the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials (CALPHO) in July 2017. She has worked in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, and she has served as a board member and on several advisory bodies. Prior to coming to CALPHO Tracy was the Executive Director for Partnership for the Children of San Luis Obispo County, the Oral Health Program Manager for the County of San Luis Obispo, and the Dental Director for the State of Colorado. Her experience includes 26 years in dentistry, and over 15 years in public health. She obtained her bachelor of science in dental hygiene at the University of Colorado School of Dentistry and her MPH at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health.

Michelle Ponce is the executive director of the Kansas Association of Local Health Departments and has served in this role since August 2011. Previously, Ponce held a variety of positions with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, including director of communications and special assistant for the Integrated Services Delivery division. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Emporia State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Wichita State University. She is a 2014 Kansas Sunflower Foundation Advocacy Fellow and a 2017 Oral Health Kansas Dental Champion. She lives in Emporia, Kansas with her husband, Tony, and their four sons.

Ruth Maiorana is the Executive Director for the Maryland Association of County Health Officers (MACHO) in the Public Health Practice & Training Office at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In this capacity, Ruth has oversight of all aspects of MACHO operations, management, budget, assessment and evaluation, and policy implementation. Ruth provides administrative support to MACHO, the current President, and all association Standing and Ad Hoc Committees. As primary legislative staff, she monitors and tracks state and federal legislative sessions on public health issues of interest to MACHO, drafts position papers, and is responsible for coordinating testimony on public health issues supported by MACHO.

Diane L. Weber is currently the Executive Director of the Missouri Association of Local Public Health Agencies (MoALPHA). She brings over 30 years’ experience in public health and health education. She served as the Wellness Coordinator for the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis for three years. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Executive Director for the Heartland Centers for Public Health and Community Capacity Development at Saint Louis University. Ms. Weber has facilitated the strategic planning process for local public health agencies and has coordinated the Public Health Leadership Institute. She has developed and implemented curricula for workshops, conferences, and community based health education projects. As MoALPHA’s Executive Director, she advocates for local public health agencies across the state on training, education, legislative, and resource needs.

Susan Brockrath is the Executive Director of the Nebraska Association of Local Health Directors (NALHD) where she applies her experience in public health, education, project management, evaluation, and health literacy to amplifying local health departments’ efforts to make “the good life” a healthy one for all Nebraskans. Since being hired in 2013, Susan has overseen a ten-fold growth in NALHD’s scope of work and budget. NALHDs’ work today includes broad efforts to 1) support health departments in their roles as regional health strategist, 2) advocate for local public health, and 3) promote whole community wellbeing. Susan holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health (1998) and is a Certified Public Health Education Specialist.

Sarah Ravenhall, MHA, CHES assumed the role of Executive Director at New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) in December 2017. With over ten years of experience working in the field of public health, she most recently worked for the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, a hospital membership association, to manage and implement its population health improvement program. This work entailed optimizing program processes, setting strategic program vision, oversight of fiscal management, leading workgroup projects, measuring program impact and increasing program visibility at the national and state level.

Mary Korsmo has served as the Executive Director for the ND State Association of City and County Health Officials (SACCHO) since 2014 when ND SACCHO signed an agreement for Executive Director services with the ND Association of Counties (NDACo). Mary has extensive government relations experience at national, state and local levels as well as association management, public relations, conference planning/logistics and communications expertise. In addition to overseeing the efficient day-to-day operations of ND SACCHO, Mary is part of the NDACo legislative team.Mary has a BBS with a French minor from the University of North Dakota. She is the mother of four and spends her free time with her husband attending band concerts, chauffeuring and cheering for her kids at various sporting events.

Jennifer Smith currently serves as the Executive Director of TACCHO. She has over 34 years of public health experience. Prior to her service in public health, she started her career as a private practice dental hygienist for over 5 years. Realizing that prevention was the key to a person’s health and well-being, Jennifer joined the Texas Department of Health (now the Texas Department of State Health Services) in 1982 with the goal of educating on preventive health practices to the public at large. During her 27 years there she worked as a dental hygienist, as one of the first Regional HIV Prevention Specialists, and managing worksite wellness and chronic disease prevention and control programs, including ten years as the first Executive Director for the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke. After retiring from the state health department in 2009, she was the first Chief Public Health Officer for the Texas Association of Local Health Officials (TALHO) until August 2013. From that time until she was honored to become TACCHO’s ED, she provided consulting services for state and national organizations to provide training, technical assistance and consultation in the development of evidence-based and best practice public health programs and policies. She has been a 35 year member of the Texas Public Health Association, serving as a President of TPHA, as well as receiving the TPHA Honorary Life Member award. Membership in national associations included serving in leadership roles such as a Board Member of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, member of the Public Health Accreditation Board Evaluation and Research Committee and participation in creating the first 2003: A Public Health Action Plan to Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke and serving as a Board member of the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention.

Jamie Bodden has been the Managing Director for Washington State Association of Local Public Health Officials (WSALPHO) since 2017. Before working for WSALPHO, Jaime was the Director for a small health department in rural Wisconsin. Jaime earned a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and Women’s Studies from Marquette University and her Masters of Public Health and Masters of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. She brings experience in community engagement, global health, health policy, and program evaluation to her work. Jaime is also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Senegal and enjoys exploring the diverse outdoors Washington offers, walking her dogs, and gardening.

Jamie Michael is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), with almost five years of association management experience. Her previous work was managing a multi-jurisdictional tobacco coalition in Northeast Wisconsin. She currently serves as the Association Director for the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards at Badger Bay Management Company. She manages various aspects of membership, communications, governance, and education not only for WALHDAB, but for other public health related clients as well.Jamie received her Bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education and a Minor in Nutrition from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, and resides in Appleton, WI. She is also a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC). She enjoys spending her spare time with her husband, Andy, and her twin boys, Alex and Ayden.

Dr. Marcy Flanagan is the Director of the Pima County Health Department in Tucson, Arizona. Through her more than 16 years of public health work, Flanagan has been a champion for the thousands of Pima County residents this agency serves. She is a current member of the Arizona Public Health Association and American Public Health Association, and serves on the Metropolitan Education Commission and National Association of City and County Health Officials. She is also a member of the Arizona Association of Local Health Officers, where she serves as the current president. Director Flanagan has served as a collaborator for a number of community-based agencies and nongovernmental organizations and is active in the training and mentoring of students and professionals in her field. Director Flanagan earned her bachelor’s degree from University of Arizona and a master’s from Northern Arizona University. Additionally, she received her doctorate in business administration from Walden University.

Kari Oldfield, JD, is the Executive Director for the Local Public Health Association (LPHA) of Minnesota, working with more than 230 from health departments across the state. In her role, Kari advocates for public health related policy, arranges professional development opportunities and creates resources for the use of members. Prior to her role at LPHA, Kari worked four years in tobacco control. She was involved in the passage of policies increasing the price of cigars, regulating sales of flavored tobacco products, increasing the tobacco sale age to 21, and restricting the use of electronic cigarettes in indoor public spaces. Kari received her JD from Hamline University School of Law where she focused on health law and health care compliance and her BA from Coe College focusing on communications and political science.

SACCHOs Represent the Grassroots of Local Public Health

Do you want to get to know other professionals in your area and contribute to developing an active, vibrant local public health community? Then consider whether joining a state association of county and city health officials (SACCHO) or forming one in your state would be right for you.SACCHO membership complements NACCHO membership and provides a vital link between local and national public health. The leadership structure of SACCHOs varies widely and allows for numerous involvement options. SACCHO membership may be purchased directly through a local SACCHO. With 38 SACCHOs affiliated with NACCHO, public health professionals can become visibly engaged members of a local SACCHO while developing new contacts and increasing knowledge. Ways to get involved include the following:

  1. Expanding the circle of colleagues and contacts.
  2. Networking at local meetings, luncheons, receptions, and programs.
  3. Exchanging knowledge with local experts.
  4. Stepping into leadership roles.
  5. Advocating for the public health profession.
  6. Learning about professional development and job opportunities in the community.

Is there someone at the decision-making table with local health departments' best interests in mind? Is there a place where local health officials in your state can meet and share ideas or current events? If the answer to these questions is no, then consider forming a SACCHO. SACCHOs are important because (1) local health departments and their staff can work together and organize more effectively to impact public health in the places where they live; (2) local health departments need a voice in decisions that affect the services they provide, and often the best place to maximize opportunities for participation is at the local or state level; and (3) NACCHO needs a strong local base of members to change policies at the state and national levels.