The 2017 NACCHO Annual Conference, to be held July 11–13 in Pittsburgh, PA is the only national conference that speaks directly to the daily challenges and opportunities that local health officials and their staff face. The conference provides a venue for local public health department staff, partners, funders, and others who are interested and invested in local public health to share the latest research, ideas, strategies in local public health. Attendees will gain practical and effective tools, strategies, and concepts to confront the ongoing public health challenges facing local health departments today.
The theme of this year’s conference, Public Health Revolution: Bridging Clinical Medicine and Population Health, highlights the unique opportunity local public health has to convene discussions and efforts around population health, clinical medicine, and the management of systems that measure health and healthcare outcomes. As the Chief Health Strategists in their communities, local health officials and their health departments are well positioned to bring together like-minded stakeholders to strengthen critical local partnerships with clinical medicine and other groups improve the health of their populations.
The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 marked the greatest revolution in U.S. health policy since the 1960s. The law established the first National Prevention Strategy, brought new funding and increased focus for prevention and public health programs, and promoted the use of clinical preventive services and other critical evaluation and management measures. The ACA has provided important impetus for greater collaboration between the healthcare and public health systems for improved coordination and shared responsibility for better health outcomes for the populations they serve. It has also necessitated that local public health learn new techniques and skills to work with different healthcare delivery systems and to hire and train staff to meet these new demands.
The ACA and its focus on improving individual and community health outcomes is changing how local public health departments operate. Local health departments must have strong, functional, and effective operational infrastructures that are also nimble and adaptable to be successful. As local health departments embrace their new role, they must also remain true to their traditional functions such as delivering and assuring public health programs and services, responding to public health threats and emergencies, and fulfilling public health duties mandated by their local public health authority. The new world of local public health is both challenging and inspiring.
Findings from the NACCHO 2015 Forces of Change survey show that more than half of local health departments (61%) encourage primary care providers to use evidence-based public health services such as interventions to reduce asthma triggers in children’s home environments. This year’s conference will call on local health officials to serve as the Chief Health Strategists in their communities and provide them with insights to help convene stakeholders, develop common frameworks, and implement and evaluate new systems of care to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. Local public health departments must explore new ways to collaborate with clinical providers and other key sectors to realize long-lasting improved health outcomes in their communities.
NACCHO is the only national organization that hosts annual conferences that specifically address the needs and concerns of local health officials. Come and connect with good-natured colleagues from near and far to share your challenges and opportunities and learn about best practices and success stories. Engage with federal and local partners and gain insights from public health experts. With an average of 1,300 attendees, NACCHO Annual is big enough to be powerful and small enough to be personal.
The abstract submission process will open on November 1.