Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
2231 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202
Follow @ASTHO on twitter
Paul E. Jarris
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) is a national nonprofit organization that represents public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia, as well as the 120,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO’s mission is to transform public health within states and territories to help members dramatically improve health and wellness. ASTHO’s ultimate strategic goal is to strengthen state and territorial public health effectiveness in order to improve health outcomes.
Selected OSTLTS-funded projects
- Accreditation: ASTHO promotes and advances a voluntary, national accreditation program for state and territorial health agencies by developing, implementing, and evaluating technical assistance resources to support agencies in preparing for accreditation, including general performance improvement learning opportunities and the promotion of peer-to-peer learning. ASTHO developed the Accreditation and Performance Improvement Guide to support these activities.
- ASTHO core funding: The CDC core funds ASTHO to provide national leadership and continuity for health transformation efforts and to integrate these efforts with ongoing activities in states; promote health equity within state health agencies and within ASTHO; and strengthen the ability of state health agencies to improve health outcomes through public policy development. This funding also supports the ASTHO and National Association of County and City Health Officials Joint Council, senior deputies, state legislative liaisons, and ASTHO affiliates, as well as identification, dissemination, and adoption of state and territorial public health best and model practices.
- Birth defects: ASTHO projects focus on improving state programs that serve maternal and child health, disability, and other at-risk and vulnerable populations through informed development of national and state policy, interdisciplinary health agency collaboration, and multi-sector collaboration.
- Genomics: ASTHO developed the 2010 State Genomics Guide and works to improve state and territorial capacity to support and improve oversight of genomics and its integration with public health.
- Health marketing: ASTHO identifies and shares health transformation best practices and human impact stories and also enhances the communication skills of health leaders and communications systems to provide targeted on-time support to state and territorial health officials and their leadership teams. Key products include analyses of key public health provisions of the Affordable Care Act and a podcast and primer for new health officials on Health Reform Opportunities and Challenges.
- Health statistics: ASTHO activities aim to improve vital records at the state and national levels, improve the capability to transmit electronic records to other states and the National Center for Health Statistics, improve the quality of birth data, and increase the number of states planning to pass revised Model Law legislation.
- Leadership: ASTHO supports and promotes the National Public Health Leadership Development Network, Management Academy for Public Health, and the public health programs of the National Indian Health Board and Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board.
- Performance standards: ASTHO facilitates state and territorial public health system improvement by building capacity to use and apply results from the National Public Health Performance Standards Program (NPHPSP) state assessment instrument. ASTHO also promotes linkages among NPHPSP, the Public Health Accreditation Board, and other performance improvement programs and activities.
- Public health law: ASTHO works to strengthen public health effectiveness through more effective and strategic use of public health emergency preparedness law and legal practice and implementation. This is accomplished by identifying and analyzing legal barriers, identifying and sharing useful practices, developing and distributing timely and relevant tools and resources, and fostering increased communication and collaboration among partners.
- Strategic National Stockpile: This project focuses on enhancing the performance of state and territorial health agencies to receive, store, stage, and rapidly distribute assets from the CDC Strategic National Stockpile. The project is also designed to improve the ability of CDC’s Division of Strategic National Stockpile to deliver material, assets, and technical assistance to state and territorial partners for rapid deployment of medical countermeasures. Project goals include providing guidance and direction to state and territorial partners about program requirements.
- Surveillance: ASTHO compiles and disseminates the only source of core data on the structure and function of state health agencies. This is accomplished through the ASTHO Profile Survey of State Health Agencies [PDF-6.3MB]. This survey research data is used to inform practice and public health systems and services research.
Selected CDC-funded projects
- Environmental health: ASTHO works to improve state and federal policies related to asthma, climate change, the built and natural environment, and food safety, and to also increase dialogue on these policies and programs at the state and local level. ASTHO aims to improve the program capabilities of state and territorial health agencies within these public health areas and to strengthen the community of practice of the State Environmental Health Directors. Key products include the State Environmental Health Director Fact Sheet and Survey Results and the Health Impact Assessment Capacity Building Grant Summary of Results.
- Infectious disease: ASTHO activities aim to improve the performance of state and territorial health agencies in infectious disease prevention, control, and response. It aims to reduce the incidence of infectious disease and influence national discussions to ensure inclusion of public health principles in infectious disease-related recommendations and policies. Key products include the policy toolkit for Eliminating Healthcare-Associated Infections: State Policy Options, the Enhancing Partnerships in Refugee Health Conference, and the Operational Framework for Partnering with Pharmacies for Administration of 2009 H1N1 Vaccine.
- Injury prevention and control: ASTHO works to improve state and territorial capacity to support and improve state and territorial policy and programs in injury prevention and control. ASTHO developed the Injury and Violence Prevention Guide, resources to support implementation of the 2010 ASTHO President’s Challenge to Reduce Injury, and Preventing Injury and Death Due To Motor Vehicle Crashes: Strategies for the States.
- Preparedness: ASTHO works to help state and territorial health agencies and CDC develop a more prepared public health system through policy and professional development, delivery of technical assistance and tools, and dissemination of promising practices. One major focus is supporting and strengthening the community of practice of the Directors of Public Health Preparedness. ASTHO led an H1N1 interim progress review to provide insight and direction to CDC in assessing the H1N1 response, and after action reporting and improvement plans, developed the H1N1 Policy Barriers Report.
- Tobacco: ASTHO works to enhance the capacity of state health agency tobacco prevention programs to improve tobacco-related polices and practice; foster environmental, cultural, and system change; and serve as a resource to ASTHO members on tobacco–related initiatives.