President’s Message: Support HEiAP Legislation

I’m writing to raise awareness of the Ohio Public Health Association’s Health and Equity in All Policies Legislative Initiative.

Senate Bill 302 (Tavares), the Health and Equity in All Policies (HEiAP) Initiative, seeks to create a standardized, systematic review process for determining potential impact of proposed legislation on the health of Ohioans. The bill calls for a health and equity impact analysis at the early stages of policy development and is meant to inform Ohio lawmakers of any potential negative health and equity consequences.

The analysis would additionally help lawmakers identify those populations most susceptible to unfavorable health outcomes from any proposed legislation. Further, the review would allow legislators to consider how proposed bills would impact the population’s health through other health influences such as water and air quality, access to public transportation, social services, food security, education and good jobs.

We sincerely believe this legislation could be one of the most important public health policies to have been considered in Ohio in many years. And, if enacted, this legislation could be a significant factor in turning around both our poor health rankings and the inequities that exist among our fellow citizens. We will be reaching out to you for advocacy efforts on this initiative. In the meantime, for more information, please see the following link: https://ohiopha.org/about-opha/sections-and-subjects/heiap/ and please reach out to me if you would like to become more actively involved in this initiative.

Thanks for your continued efforts in public health!

Natalie DiPietro Mager
OPHA President
n-dipietro@onu.edu

Climate Resilience Resource for Local Health Departments Released

The Ohio Public Health Resiliency Coalition formed by OPHA has released a resource for addressing the public health impacts of climate change. The document looks the potential adverse outcomes that Ohio communities may face and suggests adaptations public health professionals can make.  It was released during the 2018 Public Health Combined Conference. The full release follows.

Continue reading Climate Resilience Resource for Local Health Departments Released

President’s Message June 2018

As I finish my last month as President of your association, I feel a deep gratitude for the privilege of being able to represent Ohio’s talented and dedicated public health professionals. As an association we have stepped forward to lead, and advocate for, initiatives that improve the health of our state and strengthen the public health system.

Some highlights from the past 12 months:

  • Public Health Nurse’s Role in Emergency/Disaster Shelters white paper was published by the OPHA Public Health Nursing Section. This document provides guidance for public health nurses in general disaster shelters operations.
  • OPHA’s Climate Resiliency Coalition developed and released their white paper, a resource for use by local public health professionals in their efforts to address the public health impacts of climate change and climate-related weather events in their jurisdictions.
  • The Ohio Journal of Public Health (OJPH) has been established to publish high-quality, peer reviewed manuscripts that present research, as well as public health and educational practices that are relevant to Ohio. Submissions for the first edition have been received for publishing this fall.
  • Promoting the adoption of Health and Equity in All Policies (HEiAP) through the release of the OPHA funded Enacting Health and Equity in All Policies: Literature Review and Case Studies report and the introduction of Senate Bill 302, by Senator Tavares, to create the Ohio Health and Equity in All Policies Initiative and the Health and Equity Interagency Team.
  • Advancing the practice of public health in Ohio through the OPHA Vital Statistics conference, Public Health Nursing Conference, the Combined Public Health Conference, and the Public Policy Institute.

I’d like to thank the Board, Governing Council, our many volunteers, the OPHA staff, and all our members, for their support and contributions to the success of OPHA in this past year!

Natalie DiPietro Mager, our incoming president, will continue to need all of us to continue working to support our association, especially as we continue to work through the transition of executive director staffing. I have full confidence that Natalie will do a great job leading the association forward!

Sincerely,
Joe Ebel

Senator Tavares Introduces HEiAP Bill to Improve Health of Ohioans

State Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus) recently introduced a bill, Senate Bill 302, to improve Ohio’s poor health indicators by requiring the State to determine how all new rules and regulations would impact the health of Ohioans.

“We know that the health of our citizens influences every aspect of our state – our economy, our productivity and our residents’ success,” said Senator Tavares. “Given that our state consistently ranks among the least healthy in the nation, we must take thoughtful and deliberative action to turn things around. This includes considering the impact every policy proposal has on the overall well-being of Ohioans and, especially, our most vulnerable communities.”

Like Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative, which looks at the impact of all laws and agency rules on business and the economy, SB 302 would require an analysis of all pending bills and agency rules to determine if they will have a positive, adverse or neutral impact on the health of Ohioans and on the attainment of health equity in the state.

The legislation, which is supported by the Ohio Public Health Association (OPHA), aims to demonstrate how even factors such as education, housing, neighborhood safety, transportation and employment can have wide-ranging health implications.

“This could be one of the most important public health policies to be considered in Ohio in many years,” said Joe Ebel, president of OPHA. “If passed, this bill would provide a tool which would allow our state lawmakers to consider the potential health implications of proposed legislation prior to the enactment of any new laws.”

SB 302 also creates an advisory board that would provide an annual report on the impact of the initiative and its effectiveness in improving the overall health of Ohioans and reducing costs. Bill text

OPHA Announces 2018 Award Winners

We are pleased to announce this year’s OPHA Award Winners!  The awards will be presented at the upcoming Celebrate Public Health Awards Dinner on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at J Liu Restaurant, 6880 N. High Street in Worthington.  The dinner coincides with the 2018 Ohio Public Health Combined Conference.   Reservations to attend can be made on the OPHA website. Continue reading OPHA Announces 2018 Award Winners

Reports Highlights Value of CHWs in Healthcare Teams

Increasing the integration of Community Health Workers (CHWs) among Ohio’s health care teams is a key recommendation of a report that has become a cornerstone for Ohio’s work to increase utilization CHWs. The Integrating Community Health Workers in Ohio’s Health Care Teams report released in 2016 provides a picture of where community health workers are, how they are used, trained and paid for in Ohio.  Continue reading Reports Highlights Value of CHWs in Healthcare Teams