397: Nominate a PH Pro, Clean Drinking Water

Dr. Brian Castrucci, President and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation, says registration is open for the new "40 Under 40 in Public Health" cohort which recognizes creativity and innovation in public health leaders; Michael Abbott, Associate Director...

Dr. Brian Castrucci, President and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation, says registration is open for the new "40 Under 40 in Public Health" cohort which recognizes creativity and innovation in public health leaders; Michael Abbott, Associate Director of the Maine CDC Division of Environmental and Community Health, is encouraged by the EPA’s proposed PFAS drinking water standards; a new ASTHO blog article addresses reducing and preventing firearm violence; childhood food insecurity is a major public health issue in the United States; and ASTHO has new job openings.  

40 Under 40 In Public Health: Nominations

ASTHO Statement on U.S. EPA’s Proposed PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation

A Public Health Approach to Reducing and Preventing Firearm Violence

Integrating Breastfeeding Into Early Childhood Nutrition Security Programs

Careers at ASTHO


ASTHO logo



This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Wednesday, April 12, 2023. I'm Robert Johnson.

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



40 Under 40 is a recognition program for early career professionals in public health.


De Beaumont president and CEO, Dr. Brian Castrucci, on the organization's work to engage and encourage young public health professionals.


So we've had two previous cohorts, this is our third cohort. And it's not just a list that goes on to someone's website. This is a real professional development program: they work with the foundation, they have opportunities to get professional development opportunities, and more importantly, it begins to build our pipeline.


The goal is to retain people entering the field.


When I was in practice, early in my career, it kind of felt like, "Hey, if you get through these next 10 years, then we have a whole lot of ways we can help you. But you got to survive the next 10 years on your own." And it can be isolating. That's one of the challenges of public health is you're often singular, right--there's one state Title V director, there's one state injury prevention director. And so, you don't even have a cohort sometimes within your own state or in your own health department.


Castrucci says those who've gone through the program have grown from the experience,


I got a text message from one of our previous 40 Under 40s who just got into a DrPh program, and she said, "I would have never had the confidence to do this if not for 40 under 40." And for me, it was like, boom. Like, that's the mic drop moment. The ability of philanthropy to impact and change the direction of people's lives is when we are working at our best.


There are a lot of 40 Under 40 programs, but Castrucci says this one is a little different.


You want to be on the list because you want to work with a group of people who care about your advancement, you care about their advancement, and you want to tap into a network who only wants to see you advance, have success, and in doing so, meet our goal of helping the public achieve its best health.


You can nominate yourself or someone you know. The deadline is May 17. We have the link for you in the show notes.


The EPA's new proposed standards governing PFAS chemicals in drinking water are welcome news to many working in public health.

This is Michael Abbott, environmental health director for the state of Maine.


My initial reactions include relief and optimism--and also maybe a little bit of trepidation, or at least anticipation regarding all the work that lies ahead of us. Many like myself in the environmental health community have been advocating for EPA to establish federal PFAS regulations.


The proposed standards are the first ever for PFAS chemicals.


These compounds have been linked to complications with pregnancy and infant development, weakened immune systems, elevated cholesterol, liver and kidney damage, and also linked to some cancers. And we also know that a major route of exposure to PFAS can be through the drinking water.


Abbott hopes the federal government will support states as they align their policies with these new standards.


This will take tremendous staffing and financial resources in both the public and private sectors. So as we all roll up our sleeves to get this work done, there will be a need for strong federal support from EPA and other federal agencies to help the states negotiate these challenges.


ASTHO has issued a statement on the EPA's proposal. You can read it using the link in the show notes.


More firearm violence this week has public health leaders thinking again about how they can help prevent these tragedies. ASTHO has a new blog article about state policies and actions taken to address the root causes of gun violence. You can read it now using the link in the show notes.


Food insecurity is another concern on the public health priority list. O'Keyla Cooper has that story.


Childhood food insecurity is a major public health issue in the U.S. with disparities by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. To promote optimal health and nutrition, breastfeeding should be considered a major component of early childhood nutrition security.

Find out how ASTHO can assist state and territorial health agencies in integrating breastfeeding into nutrition security programs. Read the full blog using the link in the show notes.



Finally this morning, ASTHO is hiring. The organization is looking for a director of digital and social media, a manager of regional office meetings and events, and a director of certification programs. Learn more 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.

Michael Abbott MS

Associate Director, Division of Environmental and Community Health, Maine CDC

Brian Castrucci DrPh MA

President and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation