End of Year President's Message - John Rodwick
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
It has been a busy and exciting year for NALBOH – and it has been my honor and privilege to serve as your president during this time. While the year started with an uncertain future at hand, our work together led to a new NALBOH prepared to move ahead and provide leadership and service for boards of health throughout the country. As we end this transformative time, I want to share my final reflections of this past year and NALBOH’s future.
2014 brought change and opportunity. We re-organized our operations and management to address our financial challenges and assure NALBOH would be able to continue its unique role within public health. With significantly fewer resources available, we continued to provide service to members through development of a new website, monthly e-news, webinar services and annual conference. Most importantly we paid nearly all of our past debt, and are again financially solvent.
NALBOH will build on this past year’s work to increase value to our members through increased partnership, communication and education. This work will include:
- Partner with our SALBOHs to build membership and strengthen value;
- Continue to enhance the new website as a member resource;
- Increase communication by publishing the quarterly Newsbrief;
- Represent boards of health at a national level to advance the 6 Functions of Governance;
- Seek funding opportunities to advance new projects and initiatives;
- Continue to re-build the association’s governance; and
- Continue to operate in a financially responsible manner that protects NALBOH’s viability.
Grants and Projects
Your Board is committed to writing and accepting grants that directly support NALBOH’s mission to strengthen and improve public health governance. This means that grants will be used to seed the development and marketing of educational programs designed to help boards and their members become better informed about the nature, functions and operations of governance. This may include web designed programs that can be used for credentialing purposes or for board accreditation through PHAB.
NALBOH was created to serve the governing needs of local boards of health. Over the past 2+ decades our organization has enlarged its scope to include tribal, state and regional boards. We have estimated there are more than 2000 boards of health nationwide, representing board members with a variety of backgrounds. NALBOH serves a significant population with considerable diversity in membership, representation and governance style. And we see our purpose as providing resources to maximize the efforts of these various boards.
NALBOH deserves a place at every table public health governance is discussed. This includes PHAB, APHA, NACCO, CDC, RWJF, and many others. Our work over the next year will focus on establishing our work with these and other organizations, to represent boards of health.
Mentioned earlier, our 14 State Affiliates have proven to be the best avenue for maintaining contact with our members. Each State Affiliate has its own leader team and they have met monthly by conference call during the past year under the capable leadership of Margaret Brink. The Affiliates also meet face-to-face annually at the National Conference and have been very helpful in disseminating information to their state members and providing the Board with local viewpoints critical to solving some of our financial and operational problems. We will work over the next year to support our current Affiliates, and add new Affiliates as another way to bring NALBOH to as many boards of health throughout the country as possible.
And before I step down, let me acknowledge those whose dedicated support was critical to keeping NALBOH alive and prospering.
- To Judy Sartucci for her willingness to locate and decipher years of old Board minutes and turn them into readable, useful, documents. And for recording the minutes of all current Board and Executive Committee meetings along with preparing the agenda for these sessions—we thank you.
- To Jim Stecker for recommending Badger Bay to us, for his willingness to rejoin the Board, for serving as the Board’s direct liaison to Badger Bay—and for his keen, delightful wit—we thank you.
- To Margaret Brink for stepping up to the plate by chairing the SALBOH Committee, for working with Badger Bay in developing the 2104 National Conference, and for being willing to be nominated and then elected as our next president—we thank you.
- To Eric Ostermann for his unselfish contribution to managing NALBOH’s day-to-day operations, for his marvelous staff who handle member inquiries, update our website, and perform all needed accounting processes, and for his untiring ability to keep us on track with our financial and operational goals—we thank you.
- And of course all my other colleagues on the board who have worked with me this past year to bring NALBOH to where we are today: Barbara Ann Hughes, Bob Lutz, Christina Doktor and Ken Johnson.
And most importantly—you as NALBOH members and partners for without your support we would not be an organization. Thank you for staying with us, for supporting our mission, and for your generous contributions of time and effort.
May this holiday season bring you all the joy and peace intended.