Member Spotlight - April 2016

An article from the April issue of the NHPHA e-Newsletter

This month, the spotlight shines on and welcomes Shannon Bresaw and Granite United Way, a new organizational member and public health friend to NHPHA.  GUW Logo

Granite United Way currently serves as host agency for three (3) out of the thirteen (13) regional public health networks in the state, including the Capital Area, Carroll County and South Central (formerly Greater Derry).  Funded in part by NH DHHS, these networks work to convene, coordinate and facilitate an ongoing network of partners to address regional public health needs.  Granite United Way is committed to improving the lives of individuals and families by supporting programs in the areas of education, income and health.

ShannonMeet Shannon Bresaw, Director of Public Health Services and Prevention for Granite United Way, In her role, Shannon oversees the public health network contracts held with NH DHHS, including the following scopes of service for which each network is responsible: Substance Misuse Prevention; Continuum of Care for Substance Use Disorders; Public Health Emergency Preparedness; Public Health Advisory Council and Community Health Improvement Plan Development.  Shannon graduated with a Master's Degree in Social Work in 2004 with a focus on Community and Administrative Practice.  "I have been connected to the public health network system since 2004 working in Franklin and the Belknap County region before coming to United Way in 2007."  When asked what she liked most about the work that she does, the assessment, strategic planning, and evaluation components of the work as well as grant writing and research were a few of her favorite things.  "I am very focused on understanding the root causes of the problems we face in our communities, followed by the development of a comprehensive plan that is based on research and best practices."
Current projects for Granite United Way include the South Central Public Health Network that has recently developed a Public Health Advisory Council and is working on developing the region's Community Health Improvement Plan.  The Carroll County and Capital Area Public Health Networks are in the process of implementing their Community Health Improvement Plans.  "Each network is also working on an assessment and plan to address gaps and barriers related to the full continuum of care for substance use disorders, from prevention to treatment to recovery supports and services.", Shannon said.  "Priority issues in the regions align with the State Health Improvement Plan and include the misuse of alcohol and drugs, public health emergency preparedness, behavioral health, injury prevention, and more."

As a past member of APHA and having presented at their Annual Meeting, Shannon became very interested in being more connected with NHPHA, particularly concerning advocacy efforts and connecting their public health network members to those types of opportunities moving forward.  In the Capital Area Public Health Network, they are working to implement "Health In All Policies" in the region and will feature a presentation on this strategy at their annual meeting in June.  "We recognize the influence of laws and policies on our public health outcomes and believe that advocacy is a crucial component of our work."

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