Category Archives: Local government
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today joins the ranks of Nelson Mandela, the National Association of Community Health Centers, the National WIC Association and families of public health workers everywhere as recipients of the prestigious APHA Presidential Citation.
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, President and CEO of RWJF, accepted the award today in a keynote speech in the Opening Session of the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting. This represents the first time that a philanthropy has received the citation.
“To improve Americans’ health, we need to look at where people live, learn, work and play to get at the factors that shape health even more profoundly than the health care we get when we’re sick,” said Lavizzo-Mourey in a Q&A with the APHA blog, Public Health Newswire. “Improving America’s health requires leadership and action from every sector, including public health, health care, education, transportation, community planning, private business and other areas.”
In her acceptance speech, Lavizzo-Mourey congratulated everyone in the hall and beyond for their hard work in advancing public health, even through a tough economic period.
“After all the hard work, after all the progress – the most imminent threat to public health turns out to be something beyond our own control. It’s called the new age of austerity,” said Lavizzo-Mourey. “The resources simply are not there. Basic public health services are in question.”
In her speech, speaking on behalf of the Foundation's grantees, partners and staff, and the public health community, Lavizzo-Mourey emphasized that now more than ever it’s important to make the case for public health. The future of public health – the “new” public health – will depend on collaboration and tearing down silos. The new public health, she said, will be accredited and accountable to communities, it will engage in political process, and it will rely on hard evidence to determine the course of action.
“Your time is ripe. Your time is now. It only seems impossible – until it is done.”
>>Read the full transcript of Risa Lavizzo-Mourey’s speech here.
>>Follow NewPublicHealth coverage of the APHA Annual Meeting here.
Last week, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) released the latest iteration of the Profile of State Public Health, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, at their Annual Meeting. The meeting also offered a chance to recognize public health heroes from the field.
The Profile of State Public Health provides a snapshot of state public health agencies and the contributions they make to the health of the nation.
Some of the key findings include:
- State health agencies continue to connect people with access to personal health services. For example, 84 percent of agencies support health disparities or minority health initiatives and about 75 percent provide direct support for primary care providers.
- State health agencies are prioritizing prevention. The vast majority offer tobacco prevention and control services (88 percent), HIV prevention programs (84 percent) and injury prevention programs (80 percent).
- Almost three-quarters of state health agencies (72 percent) plan to pursue public health accreditation.
- The state and territorial health agency workforce includes over 100,000 full-time employees.
- The average number of vacant positions at state health agencies is 288. Presumably due to budget cuts and hiring freezes, state health agencies are only recruiting for 15 percent of these positions.
The report is designed to enable public officials and policy-makers to make well-informed decisions to strengthen America’s public health system.
In addition to shining a spotlight on the contributions of state and territorial health agencies as a whole, state projects and individuals that have helped improve the lives and health of Americans were also highlighted and recognized for their efforts with awards at the ASTHO Annual Meeting.