This year's theme, Driving Public Health Forward: A Dynamic Response to Working Together, aims to explore how the local public health workforce and its stakeholders can develop collaborative approaches to identify and strengthen cross-sector partnerships; refine and create new data- and information-sharing systems; examine the root causes of health inequity and explore strategies that create prerequisite conditions for achieving health equity; and discover how public health policies are developed to respond to emerging trends—all with the purpose of improving the health of the communities we serve. See brief descriptions of the conference tracks below, and view the full track descriptions to learn about the type of abstract topics the NACCHO 360 Conference Committee seeks.
- Track 1: Emerging Trends in Public Health and Public Health Policy. Local health departments (LHDs) play a critical role in detecting emerging trends and developing strategies to address the related public health policy implications. This track will explore how LHDs are developing public health policies, plans, and laws to respond to emerging trends.
- Track 2: Leadership and Workforce Development. Assuring a competent workforce is an ongoing challenge for LHDs contending with shrinking budgets and resources, staff reductions, increasing workloads, and ever-changing public health threats. To meet the changing health needs of our communities, we must expand our workforce capacity to support both direct service and population-based public health practice.
- Track 3: Partnerships and Collaborations. LHDs have a vital leadership role in convening health agencies, stakeholder organizations, and individuals in the community to collaboratively identify community health priorities and pursue effective strategies to improve patient access to preventive and chronic care services.
- Track 4: Behavioral Health. The preventive nature of public health uniquely positions LHDs to promote healthy behaviors and preempt risk behaviors in communities. This track aims to highlight data-driven approaches or initiatives to identify trends in behavioral health issues and collaborate with cross-sector stakeholders (e.g., public safety) and community partners to respond.
- Track 5: Equity and Social Justice. As defined by Camara P. Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, “Health equity is assurance of the conditions for optimal health for all people…Achieving health equity requires valuing all individuals and populations equally, recognizing and rectifying historical injustices, and providing resources according to need.” As the field increasingly acknowledges health inequities as “systematic…unjust, and actionable” (Margaret Whitehead) outcomes caused by a legacy of social injustice associated with racism, class divisions, and gender inequities, health equity is becoming a priority in many LHDs. Inequitable health outcomes can be mitigated but not eliminated by conventional programs and services. Instead, creating health equity requires strategies for acting on the political and economic systems and powers that established and continue to maintain social inequities leading to poor health, chronic stress, and premature death. This track will explore what LHDs are doing to create health equity.
- Track 6: Surveillance, Informatics and Data Systems. In an increasingly electronic world, harnessing information to improve health outcomes requires optimal systems and cross-sector partnerships to access, analyze, and act on data in a timely, efficient, and secure manner. This track will showcase stakeholder efforts and explore how LHDs are using surveillance, informatics, and data systems to collaborate, establish new and enhance existing infrastructure, and apply necessary skills to improve delivery of public health services by getting data into the right hands, in the right format, at the right time.
- Track 7: Providing Our Essential Services during Difficult Times. Local public health relies on a strong, functional, and effective operational infrastructure that is nimble and viable to provide essential services within their communities. This is especially challenging during times of crisis when LHDs are called upon to maintain essential services in the midst of crises.