122: ASTHO’s New Resiliency Program

ASTHO announces a new resiliency program to support the strained public health workforce; Avia Mason, ASTHO’s Vice President of Learning Strategy, outlines the plan for the organization’s Washington Week gathering next week; and Cortney Lovell...

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ASTHO announces a new resiliency program to support the strained public health workforce; Avia Mason, ASTHO’s Vice President of Learning Strategy, outlines the plan for the organization’s Washington Week gathering next week; and Cortney Lovell describes a self-guided online training that teaches ASTHO members about recovery peer services for people battling substance use.

ASTHO News Release: ASTHO Launches Resiliency Program to Support Public Health Workforce

ASTHO Blog Article: A New Year, A New Plan

ASTHO: Recovery Peer Services Training Program

ASTHO logo



This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Friday, February 18th, 2022. I'm Robert Johnson.

Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.


ASTHO is building a resiliency program to support the public health workforce. The PH-HERO program will address workforce burnout, resiliency, and morale among professionals who've been pushed to their limits during the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan includes partnering with key national organizations and experts, and development of a comprehensive package of resources to help agency leaders help their employees. Read the news release announcing the PH-HERO program using the link in the show notes.


ASTHO members are coming together next week to discuss policy priorities and meet with members of Congress during their annual Washington Week event, February 22nd through 24th. Avia Mason is ASTHO's vice president of learning strategy. She offers a preview in today's morning conversation.

ASTHO's Washington Week is coming up next week. Tell us what's on the agenda.


We have a variety of sessions planned for Washington Week 2022 that range from opportunities for our newly appointed health officials to those that are most tenured.

Starting off next week is a COVID bootcamp for members to learn about how they can function as leaders during COVID, coming into an ongoing pandemic. They will meet with ASTHO alumni and some key federal partners that they will need to rely upon during the COVID pandemic.

There will be discussions around the current state of play, including congressional staff, and those speaking about getting back to the opioid crisis; it has reached historic highs during the pandemic, and we will want health officials to identify the real time issues that are most impacting public health.


This is a hybrid meeting, which means some people will be in the building next week. You must be excited about that.


Absolutely. We are also very excited about our 2022 ASTHO week hybrid meeting. This format allows for members to participate that wouldn't be able to if we were only gathering in person.

This year, we have participants representing 51 jurisdictions, with 14 health officials participating in-person. We know that this time of the year is normally difficult as many are still having legislative sessions in their own states; but this time is selected as the president's budget is being discussed, so we're thankful that this new format is accessible for more of our members who would not have normally been able to travel at this time.


What's the value of an agenda like this? How does it help ASTHO advance the goals of the organization?


By having our members come together, we're able to capitalize a focus on the core functions that ASTHO has set forward for advocacy, capacity building, and leadership. We put together these set of sessions with input from our leadership development and education committee that is made up of current health officials and chaired by our president elect.

These sessions allow for our annual Hill Day, which includes virtual meetings with our members and their congressional delegates so that they can discuss what's happening on the ground in their states, thank them for emergency funding that has been allocated for public health, and really discussed the asks that we have for FY 23 budget period. There will be even time for our territories and Freely Associated States to discuss important public health issues that are affecting their jurisdictions and meet with those from the administration.


Mason says ASTHO's board of directors also plans to meet next week. Leaders are expected to discuss the new strategic plan and other organizational topics.

Hear more about the strategic plan on episode 117 from February 11th, and read a blog article written by ASTHO's deputy CEO Zarnaaz Bashir using the link in the show notes.


Finally today, people fighting to recover from substance use can benefit from recovery peer services, what Cortney Lovell calls the future of person-centered care. Lovell is a partner and co-founder of Our Wellness Collective. Her training for public health professionals interested in learning more about this approach is available now.


So, it's an interactive training. It's a distance-learning platform, similar to what you would do from any work trainings or online college. There's videos involved, there's slides, there's discussion questions you can answer, there's little quizzes to take, and there's some stories—some anecdotal stories—to keep it a little more engaging.

You learn about what peer services are, what the core values and the core principles of peer services are, as well as how some states have been successful in implementing them; and hopefully will be able to walk away from that training with a better understanding of what peer services are and how you as an entity or an agency could support the implementation yourself.



The self-guided training is underway. Seats remain available, but they're limited. If you're interested in registering, do it now using the link in the show notes.


That'll do it for today's newscast. We're off Monday for President's Day, but back again Tuesday morning with more ASTHO news and information.

I'm Robert Johnson. You're listening to Public Health Review Morning Edition. Have a great holiday weekend.

Cortney Lovell

Co-Founder, Our Wellness Collective

Avia Mason

Vice President of Learning Strategy, ASTHO