Maggie Nilz, ASTHO’s Senior Analyst of Preparedness and Disability Integration, says preparedness is important to public health; the annual Preparedness Summit is ongoing in Atlanta; Dr. Kandi Fredere, Upstate Regional Health Director for the South...
Maggie Nilz, ASTHO’s Senior Analyst of Preparedness and Disability Integration, says preparedness is important to public health; the annual Preparedness Summit is ongoing in Atlanta; Dr. Kandi Fredere, Upstate Regional Health Director for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, says diversity makes leadership teams better; ASTHO, with support from the CDC, conducted focus groups with people involved in overdose prevention; and ASTHO has new job positions listed online.
Advancing Inclusivity Through Local, Diverse Leadership
Overdose Data to Action: Public Health-Public Safety Partnerships
This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Wednesday, April 26, 2023. I'm Robert Johnson.
Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
I was primarily actually working on chainsaw operations to help homeowners get access back into their homes following the tornadoes of April 1.
Maggie Nilz is a senior analyst for preparedness and disability integration at ASTHO. She went to win Arkansas as a volunteer earlier this month after a tornado devastated the town.
One of the things that was so amazing to see out of my time in Arkansas was the number of nonprofits, community organizations, and volunteer organizations active in disasters that came out as a result of their relationships with the local and state jurisdictions who were able to fill in gaps in needs for the community, and really helped move that response process along and make sure that the community had everything they needed.
Nilz says public health has an important role in responding to disasters.
Preparedness is particularly important in public health. Because, you know, I think we're really finding these days that all disasters have a public health element to them, with communities and people, you know, really affected by disasters.
But is public health ready to answer the call?
I think we're better prepared than we used to be. I think public health is making really great strides towards becoming prepared and becoming ready for disasters. But that being said, there's definitely still a lot of work to do, especially with resiliency within the public health workforce as we still continue to recover from ongoing disasters like COVID-19.
ASTHO has a webpage with preparedness resources. There's a link in the show notes. Also, public health leaders are gathered in Atlanta through tomorrow discussing preparedness at the annual Preparedness Summit. You can read the agenda--just look for the link in the show notes.
Public health professionals enrolled in ASTHO's Diverse Executives Leading in Public Health program are learning the importance of diversity in leadership at the local level. This is Dr. Kandi Fredere from South Carolina.
I really do depend on a diverse leadership team to help me determine—help us determine—best practices for our diverse communities. And I tend to define diversity very broadly to include things like diverse experiences, neurodiversity and how we think, diversity in education, really so that we can gain a different understanding.
Fredere says diversity makes leadership teams better.
In my experience, having multiple people at the table with all different backgrounds and different perspectives makes our programming stronger. It makes our solutions much more about the community, and it really helps us be more successful.
She says a diverse team also is better able to coordinate a tailored approach to local needs.
My region serves one of the largest most populated counties in the in the state, as well as one of the most rural counties in the state. So I have to really take a look at the differences in those communities and take my programming and customize it to those communities. Shame on me if my services look exactly the same, because there are differences in those communities different needs different resources.
Fredere and several other programs scholars have written a blog article about leadership. Look for the link in the show notes.
Also today, partners in the CDC's overdose prevention work are talking. O'Keyla Cooper has more.
ASTHO, with support from CDC, conducted focus groups with public health and public safety partners involved in overdose prevention activities. The focus groups examined overdose related issues and harm reduction attitudes and concepts. They also identified potential engagement opportunities for public health and public safety around overdose prevention. Key takeaways from these studies were outlined in a new ASTHO brief, which can be downloaded using the link in the show notes.
Finally this morning, ASTHO is hiring. The organization has opened positions for director of its public health infrastructure program, a senior analyst of grants, and a director of workforce. You can 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.
Upstate Regional Health Director, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control