ED Share Week of May 29, 2017

Executive Director Share

Week of May 29, 2017


I hope everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend last week (it sure feels like a long time ago!) and got to spend some time with family and friends. While we had a short week at ASTHO, it felt like we were compressing five days into four with a lot going on. Here are some highlights:


The Week in Review

  • Share Your Successes!
  • PHWINS is Coming!
  • All S/THO Call Summary
  • ASTHO Board Meeting Announcement
  • ASTHO Executive Committee Call
  • ASTHO Non-Dues Revenue Working Group
  • Presentation to Virginia’s Board of Health
  • ASTHO Shares Testimony with Senate “Labor-H” Approps Committee
  • Chronic Disease Partners Meeting
  • March of Dimes’ Zika Coalition Meeting
  • ASTHO Attends CDC Budget Briefing
  • ASTHO Participates in PPHF Meeting with Sen. McCaskill 
  • ASTHO Briefs Rhode Island Department of Health on Federal Budget Process
  • ASTHO Developing a National Opioid Strategy
  • ASTHO National Town Hall on Opioid Crisis with Harvard School of Public Health
  • NASHP and de Beaumont Foundation Project on Funding Strategies
  • HHS Regional Health Administrators Call
  • ASTHO Integration Forum Meeting
  • ASTHO at Practical Playbook Meeting
  • ASTHO Infectious Disease Policy Committee Meeting
  • Rapid Query on Zika
  • Directors of Public Health Preparedness Executive Committee Meeting
  • ASTHO Staff Lunch and Learn on Maternal Mortality
  • ASTHO All Staff Meeting
  • ASTHO Executive Management Team Meeting
  • ASTHO Year 5 CDC Bundle Application Approved for Funding
  • Org Performance & Staff Development Team Planning Development Activities
  • Staff Kudos
  • The Week Ahead


Share Your Successes!

Today, ASTHO will launch a campaign to highlight successful public health initiatives and outcomes from all state and territorial health departments. The campaign will run for 75 days leading up to ASTHO’s annual meeting and 75th anniversary gala. Each day, we will share a digital postcard image on ASTHO’s Twitter and Facebook featuring a “snapshot” of success stories from states and territories—think in terms of 20 words or less! What is a digital postcard? See examples in this video and learn how to participate! PLEASE share a success using this online form or email We welcome participation from all state and territorial health departments, ASTHO affiliates, senior deputies, alumni, peer networks, and policy committees! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to highlight the important work of public health. If you have any questions, please contact or visit for more information.


PHWINS is Coming!
ASTHO is planning to field the Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS) in September 2017 for the second time. This survey is the only nationally representative data source of the governmental public health workforce. After the survey in 2014, ASTHO shared customized reports for each participating state that achieved a minimum response rate. Many states have found this data very useful for guiding their own workforce development efforts and priorities. Elizabeth Harper, senior director for research and evaluation, will be reaching out individually to SHOs to discuss participating in PH WINS 2017 in the next several weeks. She will be able to speak to any specific questions that you may have about your agency’s participation. For more information, contact Elizabeth Harper at, or visit


All S/THO Call Summary

ASTHO hosted our All S/THO call on Friday afternoon. Discussion items included review of current activities related to the ASTHO 2016-2017 President’s Challenge and a presentation by Terrence Boos on the DEA 360 program. Boos is chief of the Drug and Chemical Evaluation Section, Diversion Control Divisions, at DEA. Karl Ensign, Elizabeth Harper, and Wendy Braund (SHO-WY) shared information PHWINS. Carolyn Mullen provided an update on ASTHO’s advocacy work here in the Capital. Thanks to everyone for dialing in and participating in the call.


ASTHO Board Meeting Announcement

The ASTHO board of directors will meet in Atlanta for a convening that will include a full day at CDC beginning with a strategy session, hosted by ASTHO with futurist Clement Bezold, PhD, chairman of the Institute for Alternative Futures, followed by meetings with CDC Leadership, including Acting Director Anne Schuchat, MD. Strategic discussions with CDC leadership will include how we can effectively work together on public health funding, surveillance systems, prevention of opioid misuse and abuse, strengthening the public health workforce, and new and emerging pathogens, including Zika and H7N9.


ASTHO, Georgia Healthcare Foundation, and the CDC Foundation will host a reception honoring “Georgia’s Giants in Public Health” at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health from 5-7 p.m. on June 15. Honorees include President and Mrs. Carter, and the 16th Surgeon General of the United States David Satcher. On Friday, June 16, the ASTHO board will meet. The board’s agenda was shared in last Wednesday’s Pulse. If you have specific items or concerns to share with the ASTHO board about policy or program issues in your state, be sure to contact your ASTHO Regional Director – we will be having an open discussion on regional issues in June and welcome SHO feedback. As a follow-up, a summary of the board meeting and discussion items will be shared with all SHOs shortly after the meeting. For a list of regional directors, click here. Please contact Melissa Ferguson at if you have questions about the June Board Meeting events.


ASTHO Executive Committee Call

The ASTHO Executive Committee will meet via teleconference on Wednesday, June 7 to prepare for the CDC and board meetings next week.


ASTHO Non-Dues Revenue Working Group

The ASTHO Non-Dues Revenue Working Group met on Friday morning to discuss ideas for generating additional non-dues revenue for ASTHO. The task force will report its progress to the board in June with a more extensive discussion of non-due strategy in September.


Presentation to Virginia’s Board of Health
On Thursday, I traveled to Richmond, VA, to present to the Virginia Board of Health on current federal issues related to the ACA and AHCA. Thanks to Marissa Levine (SHO-VA) for the kind invite to participate. While there, I listened to Marissa’s Commissioner’s Report, which included items such as opioid addiction, vector borne disease, perfluorinated chemicals on the Eastern Shore, and key personnel changes. Sound familiar? It is always so interesting to hear local challenges and updates, but also compare them to similar meetings in other states. You all have so much in common!


ASTHO Shares Testimony with Senate “Labor-H” Approps Committee

Jay Butler (SHO-AK), ASTHO president and director of public health for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, submitted testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. Butler’s testimony highlighted the importance of several programs that support core public health work, including the current crisis surrounding substance misuse, addiction, and overdoses, Zika, public health preparedness, immunization, chronic disease prevention, the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant. ASTHO continues to work hard to spread the word on the importance of federal funding for state, local, and tribal health departments.


Chronic Disease Partners Meeting
Carolyn Mullen, Christi Mackie, and Carolyn McCoy represented ASTHO at a meeting with chronic disease partners. Attendees included CDC and advocates for the Chronic Disease Center, and the conversation largely focused on the proposed cuts and the new America’s Health Block Grant. ASTHO leadership will be discussing the proposed block grant at the June board meeting.


March of Dimes’ Zika Coalition Meeting

Last week, ASTHO advocacy team members met with staff of the March of Dimes to discuss Zika funding and next steps with the Zika coalition (the coalition is led by the March of Dimes). 


ASTHO Attends CDC Budget Briefing

Also last week, our ASTHO advocacy team met with several partner groups at APHA’s offices to learn more about the FY18 president’s budget and its impact on CDC. Appropriations lead Allison Kelly presented to the group.


ASTHO Participates in PPHF Meeting with Sen. McCaskill 

Carolyn McCoy attended a Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) meeting with Sen. McCaskill (D-MO) staff Janelle McClure. The meeting was a chance to learn more about potential senate action on AHCA and the PPHF.


ASTHO Briefs Rhode Island Department of Health on Federal Budget Process
Carolyn Mullen was invited to present to ASTHO members at the Rhode Island Department of Health last week and brief them on the federal budget process and current action around the AHCA. We are always happy to brief members on activities here in Washington, D.C. If you would like to learn more about ways we can share information with your team, just let me know (


ASTHO Developing a National Opioid Strategy

Over the past few weeks, several ASTHO staff have been collecting a comprehensive list of state strategies to address the opioid epidemic. We are now in the process of organizing these strategies and looking for examples of each across the country. This work will form our “National Opioid Strategy,” a resource for state health leaders to use in working across government to address the opioid epidemic at several levels. As the work develops we will be sure to share it with you to make sure it is a useful/helpful document for your state or territory. If you have any questions, please contact Zarnaaz Bashir (


ASTHO National Town Hall on Opioid Crisis with Harvard School of Public Health
We are currently working on a national “town hall” meeting for state health leaders to share state progress on addressing the opioid crisis and discuss future needs. The Harvard University School of Public Health has graciously donated video technology that will allow all states and territories to participate virtually. We are currently in the scheduling phase but planning for the first few weeks in September so that town hall feedback can be incorporated in our annual conference sessions in Washington, D.C. (Sept. 19-21).


NASHP and de Beaumont Foundation Project on Funding Strategies
ASTHO and the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) are currently working with the de Beaumont Foundation to develop a project that would examine the pros and cons of various funding strategies including blending, braiding, and blocking (block grants) federal dollars to address state needs. We hope the project will inform future discussion of the president’s budget, debates on the Hill over public health funding, and allow states more flexibility in how the ultimately can program federal dollars to address local priorities.


HHS Regional Health Administrators Call

On Tuesday, I participated in a call with the ten HHS Regional Administrators to present ASTHO’s new “Executive Liaison” program. The program assigns a member of the ASTHO Executive Management Team to each of the ten HHS regions to facilitate communication between ASTHO, our regional board directors, and SHOs in the region.


ASTHO Integration Forum Meeting
On Wednesday, ASTHO hosted a workshop on behalf of the Integration Forum to explore data integration to support public health and healthcare collaboration and targeted cross-sector interventions to improve population health. Sue Moran (SHO-MI), Monica Bharel (SHO-MA), and Mylynn Tufte (SHO-ND) participated in this meeting, as well as a number of ASTHO alumni (John Auerbach, Jose Montero, Ted Winslow, and Bill Kassler). Thanks to our staff team planning and hosting a very productive meeting!


ASTHO at Practical Playbook Meeting

On Thursday and Friday last week, ASTHO participated in the Practical Playbook meeting here in Washington, D.C. in several ways. On Thursday, I moderated a panel on leveraging state policies to improve health outcomes that included ASTHO member Mylynn Tufte (SHO-ND). Karl Ensign presented at a session on ROI and evaluation methods. Anna Bartels presented a poster at the Practical Playbook National Meeting on maximizing public health partnerships with Medicaid to improve population health and lower healthcare costs. Other SHOs at the meeting including John Dreyzehner, who participated in a session on improving population health outcomes in Tennessee, and Sue Moran (SHO-MI).


ASTHO Infectious Disease Policy Committee Meeting
The ASTHO Infectious Disease Policy Committee (IDPC) had its regularly scheduled meeting on May 30. John Hellerstedt (SHO-TX) provided an update on the Zika Response in Texas. Additionally, Nirav Shah (SHO-IL) has agreed to co-chair the IDPC with Nate Smith (SHO-AR).


Rapid Query on Zika
On May 31, ASTHO launched a quick query of S/THOs to assess state or territorial plans to provide increased state, territorial, and/or local general funds to augment federal funding for Zika response activities for the upcoming mosquito season and beyond.


Directors of Public Health Preparedness Executive Committee Meeting

On June 2, ASTHO hosted a special call of the directors of Public Health Preparedness Executive Committee to receive a briefing from CDC/Office of Preparedness and Response and ASPR/Hospital Preparedness Program on the President’s proposed budget for 2018 and its potential impact on federal preparedness programs. ASTHO preparedness and government relations staff continue to work with partner associations and stakeholders to assess the potential impacts of proposed cuts to preparedness programs in the president’s FY18 budget. ASTHO staff are also continuing to work with association partners to identify priorities for the reauthorization of Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act.


ASTHO Staff Lunch and Learn on Maternal Mortality

On Wednesday, ASTHO hosted an MCH and Health Equity Lunch and Learn that featured the video “Death by Delivery.” If you would like to watch the video again, you can find it at: Thanks to our MCH and health equity teams for their work to educate our staff!


ASTHO All Staff Meeting
The ASTHO All Staff Meeting will take place on Tuesday morning. Agenda items include: staffing updates and announcements, a draft communications responsiveness discussion, an update on the ASTHO Annual Meeting, member updates, and an overview of our new Higher Logic web-based communities system.


ASTHO Executive Management Team Meeting

The ASTHO EMT will meet on Thursday. Agenda items include: team share/updates, board meeting preparations, strategy planning and getting ready for the 2018-2020 plan, communications planning, staff development planning, and calendar share. If you have any questions about the EMT’s agenda or activities, please let me know.


ASTHO Year 5 CDC Bundle Application Approved for Funding

We received great news last week - our Year 5 CDC Bundle application has been approved for funding! Our scheduled budget period will be July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 and we should receive our Notice of Award no later than July 14, 2017. Even though we will not have our award in hand on July 1, 2017, we have been approved to incur costs that are allowable, allocable, and reasonable for activities related to our workplans as early as July 1, 2017.


Organizational Performance and Staff Development Team Planning Development Activities
Diane, Jan, and Andrea are hard at work both on-boarding new staff and working with the day-to-day employee items that arise at ASTHO and they are also working on several new initiatives to enhance employee performance. These include a management training for new/recently promoted supervisors currently in the planning process for October/November, a telework training for all staff with approved telework plans (hold July 10), and a writing/communications training (date TBD). The team is also working on ASTHO job competencies for updated position descriptions, job analysis to develop more accurate job descriptions and compensation banding, and updating our performance evaluation process. These activities will involve staff input and feedback and they are crucial to our further development. Stay tuned for more!


Staff Kudos

So many kudos to share this week!


First, thanks to our operations-focused teams that are doing so much to move ASTHO forward. This includes implementing the new telework policy, supporting new staff benefits/open enrollment processing, and our new office space assignments and “hoteling” processes. Thank you all!


Kudos to Karl Ensign! I received this feedback from an ASTHO partner on his presentation at the Practical Playbook meeting: “… Wanted to let you know that Karl’s presentation was the best presentation of the day. It was informative and he provided concrete examples to illustrate his points. Just terrific!” Way to go Karl!


Thanks also to Emily Petersen, Shani Banks, and Elizabeth Harper for their support to help finish our special 75th Anniversary Supplement to the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. Well done!


The Week Ahead


Monday, June 5 – Meeting with John Monahan (Georgetown University); Celeste Philip (SHO-FL), call with Johns Hopkins School of Public Health; meeting with Karl Moeller (STC); and internal meetings.


Tuesday, June 6 – June All-staff meeting; internal meetings; and travel to Atlanta for Prevent Block Grantee meeting.


Wednesday, June 7 – CDC meetings; Prevent Block Grantee Meeting (Atlanta). Return to Washington, D.C.


Thursday, June 8 – ASTHO EMT meeting; ASTHO Affiliate Advocacy meeting; and ASTHO Senior Deputies call.


Friday, June 9 – ASTHO Joint Audit and Finance Committee Meeting; and internal meetings.


Michael Fraser, PhD MSMSL CAE FCPP
Executive Director
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
2231 Crystal Drive, Suite 450, Arlington, VA 22202
Tel: (202) 371-9090 | Asst: (571) 527-3142
Office: (571) 527-3131 | Mobile: (202) 222-5166
Follow me on Twitter @mfraserdc1 | Facebook | Twitter | Blog