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President's Message - Welcome to 2015!

Thursday, January 22, 2015  
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Letter from the 2015 NALBOH President, Margaret A. Brink

It is my pleasure to take the reins as your NALBOH President. This will be an exciting year as we move forward with this great member-driven organization. I am honored to serve, and I pledge to use a positive approach and to see challenges as opportunities, remembering that NALBOH is the public health organization that is Board of Health membership driven.

We are Board of Health members for Board of Health members.

Using the theme for the 2015 Annual NALBOH conference, Leading the Race in Board Governance, we are off to the races as board of health members and partners. Please mark your calendar now for an energized and fast-paced conference August 5-7 in Louisville, Kentucky. Check the website regularly for the most current information concerning the conference.

Our focus for NALBOH 2015:

  • Mission driven: To strengthen and improve public health governance,
  • Relevance: To engage in events, programs, educational opportunities, technical support, and partnerships to enhance the functions and responsibilities of members of all boards of health, and
  • Sustainability: To increase membership, develop leaders and advocates, and to ensure financial stability.

My challenge to all of us is to evaluate ourselves as we do our important work as Board of Health members.

Are we assuming the ultimate responsibility for public health performance in the community by providing necessary leadership and guidance in order to support the public health agency in achieving measurable outcomes? 

The community mentioned may be our local health departments, state health departments, the tribal entities, and those at the federal level. We have many partners in the public health system and we are important contributors and leaders in the advocacy and oversight role.

Our important work as board of health members, at any level, includes policy development to protect, promote and improve public health. Our work includes stewardship of legal, financial, human, technological, and material resources so the agencies can perform essential public health services. Are we meeting those challenges? When the need arises, are we exercising and understanding our legal role and authority to benefit the public health work of the agency? As board of health members are we continually seeking to improve the agency and the work of our board of health so we are meeting our responsibilities?

Our role as board members is to build and strengthen the community partnerships. We need to help educate and engage our community by telling the public health stories. The importance we place on our role as board of health members and the collaboration of our community partners is part of the way we promote and protect the health of the community. Are we partnering?

As NALBOH, we will encourage Boards of ealth to see that this public health work is happening. The NALBOH Board of Directors wants to be available at your request to help you strengthen and improve public health governance. We want to encourage each member to see the challenges as opportunities for your agencies and communities. Please share your stories of your work, challenges and opportunities. This is what NALBOH can do for all of us. Isn’t this who we are as the National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH)?

Please join the Board of Directors in leading the work of board governance. Visit the NALBOH website and check the status of your board membership for 2015 renewal. We want your board and you to JOIN us today and become a public health advocate with NALBOH.

One way for members to take an active role in NALBOH is through the State Association of Local Boards of Health (SALBOH) Leadership Committee. Each state is encouraged to participate in the regularly scheduled calls to share information, ask questions, and learn about opportunities for Boards of Health from NALBOH. We want to meet the challenge of having every state represented in NALBOH. The local boards continue to be a strong part of the NALBOH organization, and we are willing to help in any way.

Thank you for your continued support and encouragement, your ideas and stories, and your willingness to share time and energy for the health of our communities and our nation. We share the mission to strengthen and improve public health governance. I am looking forward to serving as your President. See you in Louisville, Kentucky for the Annual Conference, August 5-7.

Most sincerely,

Margaret