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Summer 2017 President's Message

Tuesday, June 20, 2017  
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Be sure to finish your PLANNING for your trip to Cleveland to attend our NALBOH Annual Conference, and go to the website and look at the printed lectures/papers that our colleagues have posted that will be available as we get closer to the Conference.  You will want to print these at your home or office as none will be printed when you check in at the NALBOH registration desk.  Be sure to ask your health director’s staff to assist if need be!

Plan to come the extra day and register to attend the PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP, WED. AUG. 2 FROM 2 – 4 PM.  One of the founders of NALBOH and faculty member of the Gilling’s School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Dr. Vaughn Upshaw, will be our facilitator for “How Can I be a Public Health Leader.” She has spent the past 15 years in the UNC-CH School of Government where she led workshops across NC for county commissioners and other county boards.

The 2017 PROGRAM provides an opportunity to perfect your own take on the Six Functions of Governance. There are opportunities to head to three different breakouts each round – you will not know which to choose from!  Breaks and meals are interspersed designed for us to move around and meet our bodily needs.  I encourage you to visit our exhibitors, who have an opportunity to exhibit their products, programs, and services for us to see and be interested in purchasing and using for our health departments.  You will meet new friends and discuss challenges.  

The 2017 ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING is in conjunction with the Annual Conference, scheduled from 12-1 p.m. on Thursday, August 3rd. If you are the only person from your Board in attendance, you will be the voting delegate. We will be able to announce the election of new officers: your incoming President-Elect, a Treasurer and 2 Directors at Large. 

Summer often means our General Assemblies or Legislatures are meeting.  We are advocating with them, I hope.  Some have met and gone home.  As of this writing, end of May, the National Congress is on another Recess.  For some, it is a good time to meet them in their home districts and please do talk with them about your knowledge of public health issues. Try becoming a friend to them to the extent they will ask your opinions about public health issues – get to know them.  They do not and cannot know everything about all the bills introduced.  You can become their expert by explaining reasons we need fluoridated water; maternal and child health home visits to new mothers; breastfeeding practices; antidotes to opioids; well inspections, needle exchanges, accreditation, child nutrition programs; redistricting…..  And the list could go on! You know your own issues. Please advocate.

Two of our Director at Large board members are being introduced later in this issue:  Diane Gerlach, DO, from WI and William Beeman, from OH. Thanks to Ken Johnson, PhD, past president, for chairing the nominating committee and working towards our next year of leaders. Be sure to vote for our new directors to be announced at the annual meeting.

As a member of the NC Board of Local Health Department Accreditation Board that met recently I had an “Ah-Ha” moment as each health department presented and the accreditation team was enumerating Site Visit Team Findings, met and unmet activities with documentation both lacking and recommendations for future requirements.  I asked some of the county health department leaders to write short articles about ”best practices identified”.  Some of their stories are in this issue – thank you to the North Carolina leaders for providing these stories –be sure to share yours with us as well!  I hope you will find these practices or services some you may wish to adopt. Accreditation – whether local or national, continues to be worth striving for – to continuously improve! Thank you to the Summer 2017 Newsbrief Sponsor – the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) for their generous support of this publication.

We are looking forward to seeing all of you very soon, to learn, connect, and celebrate the works of public health. Until then, stay healthy and enjoy the summer!

Barbara Ann Hughes