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Vermont public health association


  • 3 Jun 2020 3:01 PM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)


    Front. Public Health, 02 June 2020 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.00197

    Frameworks for Community Impact - Community Case Study

    Laural Ruggles*

    • Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, St. Johnbury, VT, United States

    The Affordable Care Act of 2008 placed specific community health needs assessment and community benefit reporting requirements on US not-for-profit hospitals. The requirements are straightforward, but come with no expectation for synergy between the needs assessment and the community benefit spending, no direction on how to design systems to improve community health, and with surprisingly little accountability for improving health outcomes. With the help of diverse community partners, one Critical Access hospital in rural Vermont has successfully linked the needs assessment with community benefit dollars to address upstream contributors of health. In 2014, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital lead the creation of NEK Prosper: Caledonia and Southern Essex Accountable Health Community with a mission to tackle poverty as the ultimate root cause of poor health in the region. This article outlines how a hospital community health needs assessment ignited a change in how community partners worked together, aligned organizational strategies, and overcame industry jargon barriers to create regional system change to improve health. And how that same hospital has used community benefit dollars to accelerate action at the community level.

    Read the full article here. 

  • 1 Jun 2020 3:37 PM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)

    Already-strained US public health workforce grapples with COVID-19: Despite resource gaps, workers fight on

    Kim Krisberg

    The Nation's Health June 2020, 50 (4) 1-12;

    For years, U.S. public health advocates sounded the alarm on funding declines, workforce shortages and health inequities, all in an attempt to prevent the stark consequences that unfolded this spring.

    Months into the nation’s COVID-19 response, health agencies struggled with gaps in response and testing, while at the same time preparing their already-strained systems for the weeks and months ahead.

    As local health agencies faced the worst public health emergency in a century, they were also bracing for serious workforce ramifications, both from the economic downturn and overwhelming response needs. Among those may be another round of recession-era staff losses, reported APHA member Lori Tremmel Freeman, MBA, CEO at the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

    Read the full article here.

  • 14 May 2020 9:32 AM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)

    Public health is working non-stop to address the COVID019 outbreak. But underfunding and workforce losses mean public health capacity is not as robust as it should be.

    Kim Krisberg

    The Nation's Health May 2020, 50 (3) 1-12;

    Read the full article here.

  • 9 Apr 2020 7:48 AM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)

    The Other Crisis: Climate Change

    We are in a crisis, a real live pandemic, and Vermonters have risen to the occasion. We are mobilizing our health care workers and staying home to prevent the spread of infection, and communities are joining together to support our food shelves and those handy with a needle and thread are turning out hundreds of face masks and gowns. Vermont is rallying with energy and industry to get us through this crisis.

    But when the COVID-19 crisis has waned (and it will - due to our determined efforts) we will have to return our focus to The Other Crisis – that of climate change. Even though Vermonters have previously worked hard to address climate change, our greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 13% since 1990. So we must pause and consider, what would our emissions look like if we would mobilize to fight the climate crisis just as we have concentrated on fighting the COVID-19 crisis?  Imagine a full-on effort, with everyone rallied to overcome climate change – just as with this pandemic. Many people don’t think of climate change as a health emergency - but it truly is. The World Health Organization started listing climate change as the #1 threat to human health long before COVID-19 was on the scene.

    So let’s envision the same investment and effort of the all-in COVID-19 response applied to climate change. Let’s imagine a workforce activated on a statewide basis and assigned to climate change reduction strategies and an influx of state and federal funds for supporting comprehensive fossil fuel reduction strategies. Let’s also establish universal no-cost programs to weatherize our homes and financial support for our homes and businesses both large and small to become “net zero.” Let’s implement education courses in all grades, in all K-12 schools and in colleges so our youth are energized for earth-friendly lifestyles and action.

    We, as public health professionals, in partnership with our medical and clinical care professionals, are working hard to tame the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we are also wondering, how can we call Vermonters to action for an all-out attack on the already pervasive and urgent threat of the worldwide climate crisis?   Unlike COVID-19, the impact of climate change on health won’t be temporary. But also, unlike COVID-19, we have the cure. We now need the public will to deploy solutions aggressively, systematically and with determination!  

    Sally Kerschner, RN, MSN, President, Vermont Public Health Association

    Dan Quinlan, Chair, Vermont Climate and Health Alliance


    For information about the VtPHA and National Public Health Week, visit https://vtpha.org/National-Public-Health-Week-2020

    For more information about the Vermont Climate and Health Alliance, visit https://www.vtcha.org/

    The VtPHA is a statewide membership organization that seeks to positively influence the health of all Vermonters. The VtPHA does this by providing a strong, independent voice for public health in Vermont through advocacy, education, and community engagement, and by bringing together professionals, policymakers, and partners.

  • 2 Apr 2020 2:51 PM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)

    National Public Health Week is April 6 - 12

    BURLINGTON, VT, April 2020.  With the COIVD-19 pandemic racing across the country bringing the potential to devastate all aspects of our communities’ infrastructure, economics, and education, it feels a bit anticlimactic to declare that National Public Health Week (NPHW) is April 6 – 12.  What an ironic time for the Vermont Public Health Association (VtPHA) to do our duty by recognizing the 25th annual NPHW as sponsored by the American Public Health Association.

    For 25 years, communities around the country have recognized NPHW each April to acknowledge the role of public health in promoting a healthy and thriving nation. This year’s theme is "NPHW @ 25: Looking Back, Moving Forward.”

    Our original plans to celebrate this week were to outreach to Vermonters about our organization and offer an opportunity to recognize the role of public health in protecting us all every day of every week, all year long. This is the one week out of each year we stop to specifically highlight the role of public health in keeping us all healthy. Normally, we celebrate our accomplishments such as immunizations, public sanitation systems, and decreases in infant and maternal mortality. In more recent years we have framed our work in such concepts as community resiliency and health equity. As part of our planning, we are posting daily fact sheets on our website, www.vtpha.org, about key public health issues using the theme of “Looking Back, Moving Forward.” 

    But this year, NPHW falls during a massive pandemic being described as the public health threat of the century and being compared to the 1918 “Spanish” flu that affected a quarter of the world’s population. As of this writing, COVID-19 has caused nearly 40,000 deaths worldwide with more than 800,000 cases.

    So we will celebrate NPHW by doing what we do best as a public health professionals. We are the experts at disease surveillance. We work with health care delivery systems to prepare a clinical response. We inform policy makers of the latest science and advise the public to help them understand how they can protect themselves and their families. We advise our partners in housing and economics and education to be sure they have the information and awareness needed for them to create safety nets for individuals and families and communities.

    This year public health is being tested as never before - and we are up to the challenge. We will learn from COVID-19 and survive with a clearer vision of how to protect our population not only from infectious disease, but also to reinvigorate our work to improve Vermonters access to health and well-being by decreasing the inequities that result from our systems of employment and housing and education and food access. The public relies on us and we will not disappoint.

    Sally Kerschner, RN, MSN

    President, Vermont Public Health Association


    The VtPHA is a statewide membership organization that seeks to positively influence the health of all Vermonters. The VtPHA does this by providing a strong, independent voice for public health in Vermont through advocacy, education, and community engagement, and by bringing together professionals, policymakers, and partners.

  • 28 Jul 2019 9:34 AM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)

    American Public Health Association (APHA) Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD, testified before the U.S. House Committee on the Budget on July 24 about “The Cost of Climate Change: From Coasts to Heartland, Health to Security.” 

    See why climate change is a public health emergency and what he and other expert witnesses had to say: http://www.publichealthnewswire.org/?p=22733

About the association

VtPHA is a membership organization which facilitates collaboration among people who care about public health and are interested in protecting and promoting the health of Vermont residents.

VtPHA is an Affiliate of American Public Health Association.

Copyright © 2018 Vermont Public Health Association. All rights reserved.


Vermont Public Health Association
P.O. Box 732
Burlington, VT 05402-0732

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