NNPHI Annual Conference Highlights

May 21, 2012, 5:10 PM, Posted by NewPublicHealth

The National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI) Annual Conference kicks off today in New Orleans, La. Public health institutes are nonprofit entities that serve as partners and conveners to improve population-level health outcomes and help to foster innovations in the public health system. They serve as hubs of innovation, provide technical assistance, and offer a neutral point of convening to governmental public health agencies as well as other critical stakeholders.

This year's conference theme, "Leveraging Public Health Institutes for Systems Change," will share examples of public health institutes working in close collaboration with state and local health departments and a broad range of other partners to support opportunities for systems change. There are some new and interesting developments at this year's Annual Conference, which has seen an uptick in registration from around 120 attendees in previous years to more than 200 attendees this year (impressive in an era when travel budgets are scarce).

NNPHI also recently released a new call for proposals, with funding support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to enhance the performance of the public health system by supporting additional states to use the public health institute model to help address their pressing health challenges. The project will fund up to two states to advance efforts to establish a public health institute that meets NNPHI’s definition, with an ultimate goal of improving these states’ public health systems.

NewPublicHealth spoke with Christopher Kinabrew, MPH, MSW, Director of Government and External Affairs for NNPHI, for some highlights of this year’s conference:

  • David Erickson, PhD, Manager of the Center for Community Development Investments at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, will be a keynote speaker and continued NNPHI collaborator in discussing the potential around keeping the relationship between public health and community development alive.
  • Work is underway to determine the feasibility of developing a national tribal public health institute that addresses the needs and concerns of the 565 federally recognized American Indian tribes in the United States. The group spearheading this effort will be at the NNPHI conference for the first time this year.
  • A Community Health Assessment Town Hall with representatives from the Hilltop Institute, United Way Worldwide and several public health institutes, will explore opportunities for collaboration around assessments, such as between public health and hospitals around new community benefit requirements.

>>Continue to follow NewPublicHealth coverage of the NNPHI Annual Conference this week.

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