When the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published Public Health 3.0: A Call to Action to Create a 21st Century Public Health Infrastructure, the agency outlined a vision for a new model of public health that centered local public health leaders as Chief Health Strategists and called for efforts to strengthen the local governmental public health infrastructure. Despite making progress toward this vision, there’s much more work to be done – and we have to commit to doing that work together.
Public Health is an inherently multi-disciplinary field with a diverse workforce consisting of professions ranging from clinicians, epidemiologists, and informaticists to health educators, policy analysts, and program evaluators. As a result, we often find ourselves siloed by our specific discipline or practice area and, even more frequently, our public health focus area (e.g., HIV and STIs, chronic disease, environmental health). As such, the struggle to meaningfully collaborate, both within the field and beyond, remains.
As we head toward a new decade and set our sights on achieving Healthy People 2030 goals, it’s critical that we create opportunities for engagement across public health disciplines, practice areas, and organizations/agencies. To that end, NACCHO is expanding our 2020 annual conference into a two-pronged convening, NACCHO 360: Raising the Reach of Public Health, which will feature:
- NACCHO Annual, the premier public health conference where local health department staff, partners, and funders share the latest research, ideas, strategies and innovations across public health focus areas, and
- PHIITS: Public Health Informatics, Information Technology, and Surveillance, a reimagined Public Health Informatics Conference that goes beyond informatics to also explore local health department information technology infrastructure and public health surveillance.
NACCHO 360 doesn’t intend to merge its two related but complex parts. Rather, undergirded by the key principles of Public Health 3.0 – strong leadership and workforce; strategic partnerships; flexible and sustainable funding; timely and locally relevant data, metrics, and analytics; and foundational infrastructure – it aims to empower cross-pollination. The conference will break down silos and connect public health professionals and disciplines that depend on each other, while also preserving pathways that respect the focus and interests of the individual public health professions.
To keep up with the latest information on NACCHO 360 (July 7-9, 2020; Denver, CO), follow our Twitter page and our conference hashtag: #NA360.