Recent Conference Was an Outstanding and Inspirational Day

Two weeks ago NHPHA co-hosted with the Vermont Public Health Association and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center a first ever bi-state public health conference.  The Team Up, Take Action:  Partnering for Health Equity event built on last year’s successful collaboration with Dartmouth Hitchcock.  The result was an outstanding, inspirational day. 

Dr. Jim Weinstein, DO, MS kicked off the morning with a far reaching talk that began with sharing his experience leading the committee for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to develop the Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity Report.  Dr. Weinstein spoke of the drivers that are pushing health care out of hospitals and into communities and homes.  He called for public health entities and other health sector organizations to build internal capacity to engage community partners and coalitions to address the social and economic determinants of health.   He made clear the importance of building trust to be successful in this work.   

The day featured 12 breakout sessions highlighting the amazing work of our colleagues from NH, VT and CT.  There were opportunities to learn new ideas and skills to broaden our impact for both the seasoned professionals and the students in attendance.  

The day concluded, thanks to our partnership with Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and the Schumann Lecture, with a talk by Camara Jones, MD, MPH, PhD.  She shared her thoughts on the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of our nation through the telling of her own allegories.  If you missed her, definitely check out her Tedx Talk.  As the adage goes, “It may not be our responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but we are not free to desist either.” Dr. Jones stressed the necessity of long-term commitment to this work to have impact.

This event could not have happened without such a dedicated and flexible planning team.  A special thank you to NHPHA leaders Neil Twitchell our Program Planning Committee Chair, Board Member Mary Ann Aldrich, our Interim Executive Director Joan Ascheim, and Beth D’Ovidio our Program Assistant.  And thank you to our planning partners from Dartmouth including, Sally Kraft, Karen Borgstrom, and Cathy Marrow, along with the VTPHA folks, Jessica French, Sally Kerschner, and Burt Wilcke. 

And a heartfelt thank you to our event sponsors for their commitment towards events like this that develop the public health workforce:  Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, UVM Medical Center, New England Public Health Training Center, Delta Dental, Foundation for Healthy Communities, Community Health Institute/JSI, Vermont Department of Health, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, New Hampshire Pediatric Society, Southern New Hampshire Area Health Education Center, Master of Public Health University of New Hampshire, HNH Foundation, Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, NH Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, NH Division of Public Health Services,  UNH Department of Health Management and Policy, Mid-State Health Center, NH Nurses Association, NAMI New Hampshire.

Happy Holidays,

Rebecca
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