In the spirit of our mission to bring together people interested in public health, and provide a forum for the exchange of public health information, we would like to invite you to join us at our Annual Meeting. The NHPHA Annual Meeting is a gathering of public health, medical and business professionals from organizations around New Hampshire.

The event will begin with a networking social from 4:00pm - 5:30pm. During this time, light refreshments will be served. Attendees will have the opportunity to walk through the student poster gallery where 20+ students are presenting interesting findings from their research projects or practicums. Exhibits at the Discovery Center will also be open. Students interested in exhibiting, click here.

The main structure of our meeting will be from 5:30pm - 7:00pm where the Association will conduct annual business, present awards, and announce the election of new officers and Board of Directors.

Special Events for Students

NHPHA is committed to growing its Rising Stars Initiative. This year, in addition to the Student Poster Session, there will also be a pre-event training opportunity for students - Demystifying the Interview and Salary Negotiation Process, which will begin at 2:00 p.m.

This workshop will equip attendees with the tools to self-advocate in the job market. In this session participants will demystify the interview and salary negotiation process by learning how to articulate the value of their unique perspective and experiences. The interactive workshop will be immediately applicable for networking during the poster presentation, and leave members feeling more confident about their next interview opportunity.

The session is being presented by Cait Glennen, a certified Global Career Development Facilitator and Career Programs Coordinator at a local New Hampshire University. She has experience helping graduate and undergraduate students navigate the transition from the classroom to the workforce in a variety of ways by facilitating workshops, guest lecturing, and providing one on one counseling. A few of her recent projects include collaborating to develop the Women in STEM program as well as piloting and building the first online micro-internship for healthcare programs at her university.

There is no additional fee for students to attend this session.

Register Now!

Each year in New Hampshire, several hundred new cases of Granite State children living or receiving childcare in housing built before 1978.were getting poisoned with lead. For several years, Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that all children have their blood tested for toxic levels of lead at ages one and two.  Up until the recent passage of SB 247, a bill which addresses childhood lead poisoning in paint and water, New Hampshire did not such a requirement for universal testing.  In fact, less than 20% of NH’s children in that age category have had this simple blood test. SB247 has now passed in the legislature and has been signed by the Governor into law.  This new law will require that:

  • doctors and clinics test children at the one and two-year checkup, unless parents object.
  • Insurance must cover the cost of these tests.
  • Lowers the blood lead level that triggers DHHS investigations from the current “action level” of 10 micrograms per deciliter to 7.5 as of July 1,2019, and the CDC’s recommended level of 5 as of July 1,2021.
  • It enables earlier action to protect kids by providing important information to parents and landlords when a child is diagnosed with a blood lead level of 3 mcg/dl.
  • It limits DHHS to investigating only units that are occupied by a child under the age of seven or a pregnant woman in multi‐unit rental housing. A significant change from the current which requires all units in the building to be tested if a child’s blood lead levels exceeds the action level.                 
  • It establishes a loan guarantee program to help landlords and homeowners lower the overall cost of lead hazard remediation, with a total program cap of $6 million.
  • It addresses lead in drinking water by requiring DHHS to test drinking water in units where a child’s blood lead level meets or exceeds the “action level” and also requires day care centers and schools to test for lead in water every five years; and also requires filtration when lead levels exceed EPA standards.
  • It requires any newly created rental units and child care facilities building that was built before January 1, 1978 to be certified as lead safe effective July 1, 2024. This provision only applies to pre‐1978 buildings not currently being used as rental housing or for child care facilities that are converted to those uses after July 1, 2024.
  • This bill does not currently apply to privately owner-occupied housing, even if small children reside.
  • It updates the form sellers of real estate are already required to provide purchasers regarding lead, radon and arsenic with more complete and accurate information about lead.

For more information:

Thank you all for inviting me to share my field study as I complete my Masters in Public Health with the University of New England. For my MPH field study I am working with Bi-State Primary Care Association. Bi-State supports Federally-Qualified and Community Health Centers in both Vermont and New Hampshire. Bi-State supports the health centers with workforce recruitment and retention, public policy advocacy, and other projects to support high quality, affordable primary and preventive health care for all, regardless of income or insurance coverage in rural and underserved communities. I am working with the Vermont office of Bi-State in Montpelier, VT.

The purpose of my project is to identify and produce a document for the best practices for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in conducting a community health needs assessment. The regular completion of community health needs assessments are a requirement for health centers in order to receive federal funding. FQHCs complete community health needs assessments to demonstrate and document the needs of their target populations and to update their service areas, when appropriate. There is not currently a best practice guideline or template to assist the Vermont FQHCs in identifying and accessing the data to determine if their community’s’ needs are being met.  The purpose of this project is to identify and evaluate the current methods of conducting a community health needs assessment and the recommendations identified by previous HRSA site visits and to research and identify best practices for FQHCs in conducting a community future assessments. If this project is successful, I hope that whatever document I can create will also benefit our NH health centers.

While simultaneously working on this project with Bi-State, I am also engaged in writing a Capstone paper on improving access to primary care in rural communities. My research in this capstone paper is around initiatives in the state of New Hampshire that existing currently to improve rural primary care access, as well initiatives that are being suggested in the literature. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of both New Hampshire’s current initiatives as well as initiatives being proposed in research, I hope to be able to synthesize and recommend suggestions for future New Hampshire initiatives to improve rural access to primary care.

This month, NHPHA hosted its first continuing education opportunity as part of our NH Public Health Training Center grant,  called, “Lobbying and Advocacy: A Primer for New Hampshire Non-Profit Advocates”.  Co-sponsored by the UNH Institute for Health Policy and Practice, the event was held at the UNH School of Law in Concord, with refreshments donated by The Works.  The training was well-attended by members, and other interested representatives from local and state government, non-profit organizations and advocacy organizations.  There was a wide range of experience and knowledge around lobbying and advocacy leading to a ripe conversation and many questions from the audience. 

The first speaker of the day, Kerri McGowan Lowery, JD, MPH provided a presentation, “How to Get Advocacy Done without Violating the Law!” Kerri’s presentation detailed federal lobbying laws and funding restrictions, as well as IRS lobbying rules. and s and some NH Kerri joined us from the University of Maryland, Carey School of Law where she is the Deputy Director,  and Director for Grants Research Network for Public Health Law Eastern Region.  Kerri’s talk concluded with an opportunity for attendees to exercise the key points through a series of case studies from which attendees could gain confidence advocating for the issues important to them.

Following Lowery was James Monahan, Vice President of The Dupont Group out of Concord, NH provided a New Hampshire specific presentation, “ Lobbying and Advocacy: A Primer for New Hampshire Non-Profit Advocates”.  His focused on the NH lobbying law.   Monahan closed his presentation by sharing some of his personal experiences and providing some key “Informal Rules of the Road”, including the importance of knowing the rules and procedures, of being honest, and of understanding the other side’s position. 

This training is the first part of a series in an effort to address workforce development in New Hampshire, a priority for the Association.  Stay tuned for upcoming workforce development opportunities.

Did you miss this opportunity but are interested in learning more?  You are in luck!  The training was recorded and will be distributed soon.

Submitted by:

 Melissa Schoemmell, NHPHA BOD Member and Communications Committee Co-Chair.

Sadly this month I am adding my voice to those who are speaking out in the wake of yet another unbearably tragic mass shooting in one of our nation’s schools.  You may be like me in that each time this happens, you feel outrage and sadness and an urge to do something.  Short of adding my name to some petition and donating to causes that seek to end gun violence I mostly feel overwhelmed and helpless.  The youth of Parkland Florida are bravely making their voices heard and could, in fact, be the impetus to make real change in the reduction of gun violence in the United States.  Locally we can do more.  We can get organized.  Please join the NHPHA policy committee to create a local voice on this important issue.

As public health professionals we have an obligation to utilize public health strategies to address gun violence which kills over 36,000 individuals each year or one person every 15 minutes. Both Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times and Georges Benjamin of the American Public Health Association note that we need look no further than approaches taken to reduce motor vehicle crashes as effective public health prevention strategies upon which we could model gun violence prevention.  In public health we assess the data to explain the nature and magnitude of the problem.  We research strategies, implement and evaluate them to effect change.  Kristof states, “We don’t ban cars, but we work hard to regulate them – and limit access to them- so as to reduce the death toll they cause. This has been spectacularly successful, reducing death rate per 100 million miles driven by 95 percent since 1921.”   Strategies included seatbelts, federal safety standards for cars, child safety seats speed limits and airbags.  All fifty states have varying graduated licensing laws for teens with provisions such as limiting hours youth can drive and the numbers of passengers they can carry until they have more experience.  Such laws have dramatically reduced deaths and crashes among teen drivers.  These concepts and approaches are transferrable to the prevention of deaths due to firearms.

There are examples we can draw from to reduce firearm deaths both in the United States and other countries with Australia providing the most powerful illustration.

Following a deadly mass shooting in 1996, Australia passed sweeping gun reform including firearms restrictions and a mandatory buyback program of semiautomatic rifles.  There is a national registration, an age requirement (18 or over), required training and storage, and grounds for license refusal (violent convictions, mental or physical fitness).  After the buyback program, there has not been a single mass shooting.

While talk of gun reform legislation can be politically divisive, Kristof cites 2017 polls from the Pew Research Center and the Quinnipiac University National Poll that reveal that both gun owners and those without are fairly close in their views on several policies to make guns safer: background checks for all gun buyers (93%,96%); preventing the mentally ill from buying guns (89%, 89%) nationwide ban of sale of guns to people convicted of violent crimes (88%, 85%).  However, in some areas consensus is less likely such as banning the sale of high capacity ammunition magazines (52%, 77%). 

New Hampshire currently rates a “D”grade in terms of gun regulations according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.  The Center finds that states with the strongest gun regulations tend to get an “F” in its grading system.  Tightened gun laws in Connecticut resulted in a 40 percent decrease in gun homicide rates. 

Last year NHPHA began to tackle this tough issue by adopting a policy statement to allow us to advocate for measures to decrease deaths due to firearms.  Our policy supports: universal background checks; improving data on gun ownership and firearm injury and death data; restricting the sale of military-style weapons and large-capacity ammunition clips or magazines and more.  Our need now is for volunteers willing to stand together to carry out advocacy efforts.  Please contact Rachel Maxwell, our policy committee chair if this is of interest to you.  The time to hold our policymakers accountable is now.  NHPHA encourages its members to join with and support the voices of Florida’s youth to call for sound policies to stop the senseless violence both in New Hampshire and across the nation. 

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You don't want to miss this training where you will learn and have your questions answered about the limits and differences between Advocacy and Lobbying activities. Two subject experts - one from the national perspective and the other from the NH perspective will be on board.

What can you do as a non-profit or public health official? What are the legal sources of lobbying restrictions? What is advocacy, direct lobbying, and grassroots lobbying? As we move into the thick of the New Hampshire legislative session be ready with the information you get at this opportunity.

Kerri McGowan Lowrey will be presenting information that will empower you to effectively advocate for your organization without breaking any laws. She will cover Federal Restrictions, IRS info, and more.

Jim Monahan will bring it home by focusing on NH advocacy opportunities; and the skill sets necessary to successfully advocate at the NH legislature for your agency.

There will be ample time for your questions at the end of the presentations.

When: February 15, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Snow Date: February 22.
Where: University of NH School of Law, 2 White Street, Concord, NH
Who: Anyone interested in learning more about advocacy and lobbying - novices to experienced - all are welcome
Cost: $15 for NHPHA Members; $30 for Non-members; $15 for students.

Note: There are some scholarships available for students. Please contact to apply.

Register here.  For more info contact

More info about the presenters.

Kerri McGowan Lowrey, JD, MPH, is Deputy Director and Director for Grants & Research for the Network for Public Health Law’s Eastern Region at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. Kerri has more than 15 years of experience in public health law and policy. Her areas of research include injury prevention law, particularly sports and recreational injury prevention in children and adolescents; the role of law in cancer prevention; and transportation policy and public health.

James (Jim) Monahan, Vice President, The Dupont Group has a strong and established public affairs practice that focuses on representing businesses, trade associations and non-profit organizations before state and national governmental agencies. This work includes an emphasis on policy development, legislative advocacy and effective communications.Jim’s professional focus includes energy, transportation and environmental issues. He does work in the healthcare field, with an emphasis on Medicaid policy.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB6HP27877 “Regional Public Health Training Center Program”
Call out for leadership! The NHPHA Membership Committee is seeking a Co-Chair to fill the vacant seat on the committee. Please reach out to current Co-Chair Ashley Peters ( with questions and/or nominations.

Monarchs NHPHA Member Appreciation Event. On Saturday, March 3rd @ 6PM, NHPHA will take a trip to the Manchester Monarchs. We've received significantly discounted tickets through the Monarchs - $12 for kids and $16 for adults. Reserve your tickets now. Come hang out with your fellow #publichealthnerds and their families


NHPHA Open House Recap
. In December, NHPHA hosted their annual open house. It was a night of great public health conversation, networking and fun with NHPHA members and their families. We also had a special visit from Representative Rebecca McBeath from Rockingham (District 26). Thank you to everyone who was able to join us!

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Membership Renewal Pins. As a thank you to our members for their membership renewal, the Committee has purchased pins for our members as a thank you. We hope that you will wear your pins with pride at NHPHA and other public health events. Pins can be picked up at NHPHA events, or to coordinate a pick up, please e-mail Ashley Peters (

Snapshot of membership numbers: As of January 31, 2018, NHPHA has 134 individual members and 21 organizational members.

New and renewing members. We'd like to welcome our new members:

  • Christine Paulik
  • Corey Dowe
  • Diane Sullivan

A special shout-out to our renewing individual members: Shannon Casey, Michael Cohen, Jackie Aguilar, Theresa Calope  and Marc Hiller. We'd also like to welcome back Breathe NH as an organizational member.
Guest post written by Ashley Conley, MS, CPH, CHEP, Catholic Medical Center

It’s that time of year again when we see an increase in influenza activity across the country. As of January 20th, the entire country was seeing widespread influenza activity, including New Hampshire. With so much influenza activity, there has been a lot of media attention on the topic. Are you tired of listening to the media reports? Tired of listening to the public health announcements about vaccination and hand hygiene? I know I start to get a bogged down by all the media after a few weeks of influenza season but I urge you to remain vigilant with your influenza prevention habits, and for good reason!

Influenza A (H3N2) is dominating the influenza landscape this year. Historically, this strain brings an increase in hospitalizations, deaths and influenza activity in the community. As you can see in the figure below from the CDC, this year’s influenza season has a similar level of activity to the 2014-2015 influenza season, which caused an increase in hospitalizations and deaths. Nationwide, there have been 37 pediatric deaths since the start of the influenza season. Thankfully, we have not seen any in New Hampshire at the time of this writing. The age group seeing the highest rate of hospitalizations from influenza is adults over the age of 65. 

What can you do to fight the flu? The top three ways are: get vaccinated, wash your hands (all the time!), and discuss taking antivirals if you get influenza. It can take 2 weeks for your body to develop antibodies after you get the vaccine so don’t delay and get it today. It’s not too late! Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth unless you wash your hands first and clean and disinfect commonly touched items such as your desk and phone. If you start to come down with symptoms of influenza, such as a fever, cough, body aches and sore throat, talk to your doctor about taking antiviral medications, especially if you are over 65 years old or have a high risk health condition (e.g. asthma, diabetes). Antivirals have been shown to reduce serious complications from influenza.2

Stay up to date on what is happening with influenza and don’t just rely on the media reports. Check out the data by going to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services website for a statewide perspective or go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website ( for a regional or national perspective. The CDC also has an interactive dashboard you can manipulate to look at the data you are interested in. Check it out by going to Stay healthy this influenza season!

1CDC. (2018). Weekly US Influenza Surveillance Report. Retrieved from
2CDC. (2018). Preventive Steps. Retrieved from
Guest post by Rising Star, Hannah Leeman, CDC Public Health Associate
New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services, Concord, NH
Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance

Rising StarI am honored to be able to share my experience in New Hampshire public health and my work with the NHPHA community. I am a CDC Public Health Associate working in New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, on issues of antimicrobial resistance and healthcare associated infections. The CDC Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) is a two year fellowship/training program for early career public health professionals to gain frontline public health experience. Associates are assigned to public health agencies and nongovernmental organizations across the United States and US territories, and work alongside other professionals across a variety of public health settings. If you are interested to learn more about the program, you can find information at the following link: I am happy and honored to have been placed in New Hampshire and I have had the privilege of being here over a year.

While New England was familiar territory, as I grew up near Portland, Maine and attended college in the Boston area, at Brandeis University where I completed my undergraduate studies in public health, New Hampshire was a brand new experience. I was delighted to find a small yet vibrant public health community which I was able to engage with quickly. I have found that the collaboration and partnership across different health sectors and program areas that takes place in a small state public health structure both an exciting and  nurturing learning environment.

My work at NH DPHS has been primarily focused on understanding and combatting antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. When I first began my work in New Hampshire in the fall of 2016, the antimicrobial resistance program was just getting started, allowing me to be part of shaping and taking a leadership role in the program, an experience which has been incredibly fulfilling. The primary goal of our program’s antimicrobial resistance activities is to better understand drug resistance in NH, engender statewide collaboration and coordinated efforts to work towards reducing resistance and preventing antibiotic resistant infections in NH.

One of my major projects in recent months has been the creation of a statewide antibiogram. The first event state antibiogram was published in New Hampshire last month. An antibiogram is a chart that compares bacterial organisms to antibiotics and shows the percent susceptibility of each organism to each respective antibiotic. An antibiogram is produced by all hospital labs across the state, and then the data were compiled into a statewide antibiogram. This is the first that’s been done in New Hampshire and one of only a few across the county. Antibiograms are both a clinical tool to assist providers in prescribing appropriately based on the population resistance, which can directly lead to the better treatment of patients, and they are also an important public health tool to track resistance over time and geographically. As part of this project, I worked closely with many different clinical infectious disease doctors and pharmacists to develop messaging around the data and I have also had the privilege to travel across the state presenting the antibiogram and our findings. If you want to check out the first NH state 2016 antibiogram report, you can find that here:

I am also planning the first annual New Hampshire Antimicrobial Stewardship Symposium, a large statewide conference to discuss and kick start state coordinated efforts of antibiotic stewardship to promote the responsible and judicious use of antibiotics across New Hampshire. The issue of antimicrobial stewardship is one that reaches across disciplines and healthcare types, and we hope this symposium will to reflect that in the audience it attracts. This symposium is targeted toward physicians, nurses, pharmacists, veterinarians, dentists, laboratorians, public health professionals, healthcare administration, and any other leaders in stewardship in all healthcare settings. It is taking place May 23rd, 2018 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord. I encourage anyone interested to join us, and please be in touch if you’d like more information! I can be reached at, (603) 271-1058.

Antibiotic resistance is an issue that affects everyone and we each have a role to play in prevention. The link below provides further information on antibiotics and describes ways that you can be a responsible user of antibiotics.

I have enjoyed and learned so much from my experience in my past year plus in New Hampshire. I have been lucky to work closely with many smart and passionate public health advocates here at NH DPHS. I look forward to my coming months here before I plan to return to school full time to pursue a Master’s in Public Health.
Guest post by Meghan Farrell, New Futures

The New Hampshire Health Protection Program, also known as Medicaid Expansion, is a unique, New Hampshire solution that leverages federal dollars to ensure that all Granite Staters have access to quality and affordable health care. Over 130,000 New Hampshire residents have accessed necessary care throughout the program’s lifetime. Over 23,000 individuals have used their coverage to access substance use services, making the program our number one tool in fighting the Granite State’s addiction epidemic.

Unfortunately, this critical program is set to sunset at the end of 2018. Currently, lawmakers are considering multiple proposals to reauthorize Medicaid Expansion, ensuring that tens of thousands of Granite Staters get the care they need to get healthy and get back to work.

It is crucial that our lawmakers understand the benefits of Medicaid Expansion to our economy, workforce, and communities.

How can you support Medicaid Expansion?

Help plan, or attend, an in-district meeting

An in-district meeting with your representatives is the perfect opportunity to explain to them the immense and unique impact that Medicaid Expansion has had on your own community. In-districts look different in each community, but overall allow lawmakers to hear from a wide variety of constituents, organizations, and businesses that they represent.

Contact your representatives

Phone calls, emails, letters, and in-person meetings with your senators and representatives to urge them to support reauthorization can happen at any time. Click here to find your lawmakers.

Submit a letter to the editor

Advocating in the media will help make sure that your lawmakers see all angles of this issue from lots of different sources. Consider submitting a letter to the editor to your local newspaper in support of Medicaid Expansion reauthorization.

Collect client stories

Stories of success from Medicaid Expansion beneficiaries help to demonstrate the local impact of this program. Collecting client success stories to bring to your lawmakers, or empowering clients to share their stories themselves, will help lawmakers understand the many lives that benefit from the program. Individuals can also share their stories via this link.

Use social media

Social media is an important tool to advocate for issues that we care about. Some sample tweets about Medicaid Expansion include:

Over 50,000 residents have health care because of #MedEx. What will they do if this program sunsets? #nhpolitics
#MedEx supports NH's low-income workforce and it helps people get back to work. Without it, our economy would suffer. #nhpolitics

New Futures has talking points, planned in-district meetings, sample phone scripts, and letters to the editor to make it as easy as possible for you or your organization to get involved. Please contact Holly Stevens at for more information.
January marks the start of the legislative session at the NH Statehouse and NHPHA is on the move! For a professional organization with as broad a reach as ours, it is always a challenge to limit our legislative activity to where we can have the greatest impact. In December we defined three priority areas for action to give clarity to our vision for our legislative work this year. This January was the typical flurry for our policy committee of reviewing bill language and speaking to partners to decide which bills in the NH Statehouse would receive most of our attention during the session. The bills we attend to may shift as the session progresses, but for now we have two to three bills in each of the priority areas that we will seek your help to educate legislators on the public health impacts. Our priority areas are as follows with the proposed legislation we are targeting listed underneath:

Equity & Health Outcomes – NHPHA will seek to address inequities in education, housing, pay, benefits, social inclusion, etc., that result in a substantial burden of avoidable illness. All people who live in New Hampshire should have a fair and just opportunity to be healthier. This session we will work to:
  • pass the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program that will support low-income, hourly wage-earners who do not currently have access to such benefits,
  • ensure Medicaid Expansion does not sunset or cover fewer lives, and
  • remove work requirements that limit access to public assistance programs.
Healthy Environments – Natural, Built and Social - NHPHA will seek to address the environments in which we live, learn, work, and play to ensure a healthy population. We will join in efforts this session with other fellow advocates to:
  • support legislation to make our roadways safer supporting a seatbelt bill,
  • oppose a bill seeking to reduce limits on cell phone use while driving,
  • support the Tobacco 21 legislation that seeks to increase the age of purchase for tobacco products.
Substance Misuse – Improving Prevention, Treatment, & Recovery - NHPHA believes the high rate of Opioid Use Disorders, a preventable and treatable disease of the brain, is the number one public health crisis facing the State of New Hampshire in 2018. We will seek to support an appropriate legislative response. We will:
  • oppose reducing the age for legally possessing alcohol, and
  • support increasing the distribution of funds to the Alcohol Abuse Prevention and Treatment Fund.
To learn more about our vision for our legislative action, see detailed descriptions of our priority areas on our website:

Thank you to Rachel Maxwell for chairing the public policy committee and to JJ Smith for already committing hours of time as the NHPHA Advocacy Lead. Please contact Rachel Maxwell if you would like to get involved on these issues or others. And please keep an eye out for information about our Legislative Breakfast, Wednesday, March 7th, 7:00 to 8:30 AM. There is nothing like talking to your legislator over coffee!
The New Hampshire Public Health Association is seeking a part-time (20 hours per week) Workforce Development Coordinator to coordinate and expand its continuing education offerings and the Rising Stars Initiative to connect public health students, young professionals and employers through recruitment, job fairs, internship and mentoring programs. This is a one-year grant funded position with potential to continue beyond the first year. Duties include developing and coordinating: public health webinars; student intern and mentoring programs; recruitment opportunities for public health professionals; and the Rising Stars Advisory Committee.

You can review more information and the requirements for the position here.
NHPHA is able to pursue its mission through a variety of funding sources - such as membership dues, donations, registration fees and grants. Without such support we would not be able to provide opportunities for public health professionals to network and share ideas; cultivate and nurture our "rising stars" (young professionals just launching their careers); or provide professional development opportunities for those who are currently working in the public health field.

We are pleased to announce we have recently been awarded two grants to support our work.

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We are grateful to the New England Public Health Training Center (NEPHTC) for funding a new grant proposal we recently submitted. These funds will allow us to provide a variety of training and work force development opportunities designed to benefit future and present public health professionals.  

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We are also appreciative of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation's grant that will allow us to grow our Rising Stars program. The supported project will connect public health students, young professionals and employers through recruitment, job fairs, internship and mentoring programs. We anticipate making strong and lasting connections between academic settings, students and employers.
For many of us in the clinical and public health field receiving a flu shot is an annual occurrence. Each one of us makes the decision to receive the influenza vaccination for a number of reasons. Perhaps we do not want to become ill, we want to protect our loved ones, or this is one of the ways we support antimicrobial stewardship efforts on a personal level. Regardless we make these decisions because we are informed, we know how important the influenzae vaccine is not only for ourselves but to the health of the public too.

girl fluBut what if you didn’t go to school for public health or the medical field? Would you still get the flu vaccine? What if you read in a newspaper the influenzae vaccine is only predicted to be 10% effective this year? Many people this year have been in this situation, unsure if receiving the influenzae vaccination is a good choice. While the statistic of 10% effectiveness is not wrong in its entirety, the value does not convey to the public how the value was arrived upon nor what exactly the number means. While the public may interpret the information to mean there is only a 10% chance this year's vaccine will protect them from the flu, this is not the case.

The value was an estimate of the vaccine’s effectiveness against only one of the circulating strains of flu (H3N2) in Australia, and does not take into account the protection provided against other flu strains targeted this year . Vaccine effectiveness also varies by geographic location, since circulating strains differ depending on the region examined. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have utilized their robust projection tools to study the common H3N2 strain in the United States and have found it to be similar to the virus used to create the vaccine1. The CDC will continue to monitor and collect data as the flu season progresses1.

The media’s portrayal of information regarding the effectiveness of the current influenzae vaccine is a symptom of the larger issue of communicating health information to the public. Providing correct yet easily understandable information to patients and the public about health information can be difficult, but can have a large impact on the engagement of the patient in their own healthcare. We can make a difference everyday by directing patients and those you serve to credible unbiased sources of information with appropriate health literacy levels. Utilize already existing resources to promote influenzae vaccinations in common areas. Or perhaps share with your patients or clients what your reason was for getting the flu vaccine and encourage questions. When the devastation of the 1918 influenza pandemic is no longer within the memory of the public, we as public health professionals need to remember and share the importance of influenzae vaccinations.

Written by NHPHA Member and subject expert Carly Zimmermann MPH MLS(ASCP)
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