231: Monkeypox Response

Chris Taylor, Director of Infectious Disease Outbreak Response & Recovery at ASTHO, reflects on the Monkeypox outbreak now in its third month here in the United States; Robert Jennings, Executive Director of the National Public Health Information...


Chris Taylor, Director of Infectious Disease Outbreak Response & Recovery at ASTHO, reflects on the Monkeypox outbreak now in its third month here in the United States; Robert Jennings, Executive Director of the National Public Health Information Coalition, discusses an upcoming meeting of public health communicators in Atlanta later this month; ASTHO posts a blog article that makes the case for having a personal brand; and Dr. Nirav Shah, ASTHO President, takes questions about ego, waffles, and political ambitions in an article published in Down East.

NPHIC Webpage: 2022 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media

ASTHO Blog Article: Taking Time to Develop Professional Branding as a Public Health Leader

Down East Magazine Article: Nirav Shah Is Ambivalent About His Celebrity (and Uncommonly Curious and Deliberate About Everything Else)

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Transcript

ROBERT JOHNSON:

This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Monday, August 1st, 2022. I'm Robert Johnson.

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

 

CHRIS TAYLOR:

I think everybody wishes that it would not be spreading as fast as it appears to have been. That, coupled with some supply issues related to vaccine, has been challenging.

JOHNSON:

That's Chris Taylor with ASTHO reflecting on the monkeypox outbreak, now in its third month here in the United States. Like other public health interventions, he says communication is key.

TAYLOR:

It's important to provide accurate and timely information to the public so that individuals can make informed decisions about their own risk. There's been concerns about stigmatizing populations or behaviors, and those concerns are valid. So, it's important that we're all using non-judgmental language that we're providing factual information and where communities can turn for additional information.

JOHNSON:

Taylor says equity is important as well, adding data can help direct the right response.

TAYLOR:

What we're seeing, and what we always want to see in public health, is that epi-data should be driving where our prevention efforts are focused, so understanding who and where infections are occurring provides an important roadmap for public health to focus their response.

JOHNSON:

As with any outbreak response, Taylor reminds us that partnerships make the work more effective.

TAYLOR:

So, thinking about what communities or sub-populations within communities are being most impacted right now, and developing or strengthening relationships with organizations and partners who are trusted by those communities or sub-populations within communities to be additional trusted messengers around prevention, transmission, treatment.

JOHNSON:

Taylor says ASTHO members are looking forward to the arrival of additional vaccine doses as they engage people weary of outbreaks and public health advice.

TAYLOR:

Response and interventions for public health are sometimes as complicated as the communities that we all live in—we all have different understandings of our own risk, we all have additional health issues that we are thinking about. And again, two years into a pandemic, many of us are thinking, "I want to get back to my life." And to hear about something else that we need to be thoughtful of or concerned about can feel really overwhelming.

 

JOHNSON:

Public health communicators will meet in Atlanta later this month to discuss the impact the pandemic has had on messaging and their audiences. The National Public Health Information Coalition and the CDC coordinate the event.

Robert Jennings is the Coalition's executive director.

ROBERT JENNINGS:

We're coming out of a pandemic, so there's a lot of lessons learned and information to be shared among our participants that we probably wouldn't have discussed several years ago.

And, for example, we're having a number of panels on trusted messengers, and one of those is can celebrity influencers drive results for my public health campaign. And then, we'll also get into the traditional things like health equity issues, behavioral health. We have one session on lessons in effective harm reduction messaging for teens and adults.

And so, a full slate of programming, special sessions, spotlight sessions, fantastic speakers. So, we're all excited.

JOHNSON:

The hybrid event is set for August 16–18. Read more about the conference using the link in the show notes.

 

Also this morning, public health leaders likely are the last to think about their personal brand given how much work they've had to do the last few years. But two graduates of ASTHO's Diverse Executives Leading in Public Health program say it's still important. Sandy Noel and James Bell III make the argument for having a personal brand in a new ASTHO blog article, now online. There's a link in the show notes.

 

Finally today, ASTHO president Dr. Nirav Shah takes questions about ego, waffles, and political ambitions in an article published in Down East, a magazine in Maine. Read what he has to say about these and other topics using the link in the show notes.

 

That'll do it for today's newscast. We're back tomorrow morning with more ASTHO news and information.

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

Robert Jennings

Executive Director, National Public Health Information Coalition

Chris Taylor

Director, Infectious Disease Outbreak Response and Recovery, ASTHO