Voices of Public Health: Round-up of Comments on NewPublicHealth

Jul 26, 2011, 2:06 PM, Posted by NewPublicHealth

From unexpected partnerships to new uses of technology, local health departments and community-based organizations are finding new ways to make a difference in the health of their communities every day. Everyone in public health has a story to tell and a different take on the news of the day, and the best way to learn from each other is by sharing these stories and swapping opinions. We’ve rounded up some great comments from our readers below. Keep the comments coming!

Stories from NACCHO 2011

At NACCHO Annual 2011, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and NACCHO teamed up to collect anecdotes from the front lines about health departments’ successes. Here are some of the stories we heard. To see the full comments, take a look here.

  • The Spokane Regional Health District is now using decision support software to help make sure their funding decisions are grounded in a consistent, value-ranked set of criteria across the agency. The department found that in a time of limited resources, a system for making funding decisions was needed more than ever.
  • Directors of the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Agency spearheaded the formation of HealthWorks! TV, health-focused programming for public access television. The programming reached a regular viewing audience of more than 10,000 households across California’s central coast. An advisory board developed priorities for programming topics based on a community needs assessment. Founders said HealthWorks! could serve as a replicable model for other communities trying to expand educational outreach around community-driven health issues.
  • Dave Berry, Editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph, wrote of the unique partnership between public health, community leaders and the news media that went into creating the Fit City Challenge in Tyler Texas. Read more about this initiative, and what can be learned from partnering with the media, in the full follow-up post here.
  • The County Health Officer of Henry County Indiana told a common story of shrinking budgets and staff, but offered a creative way to make the most of limited resources by tapping into existing community resources, from local businesses to volunteers for a diverse, wide-reaching Wellness Council.

Comments from Across NewPublicHealth.org

Other comments have ranged from expounding on the challenges of public health in rural settings, lack of lactation support despite federal guidelines, and a plea to involve the family unit as a resource for public health intervention. We thank you all for your comments, and for helping to keep the conversation going on NewPublicHealth.org.

NewPublicHealth is designed to spark an ongoing conversation about public health challenges, opportunities, evidence, solutions and innovations. We invite and encourage your active participation. We want to hear more from you – what’s working, what’s not, and what can we do about it – both in public health in general, and on NewPublicHealth.org itself. What do you want to hear more of? What have you heard more than enough about? Leave your comments below.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.