Submitted by Shasta Jorgensen, Affiliate Representative to the Affiliate Governing Council

Today is APHA’s Get Ready Day!
Get Ready Day is part of National Preparedness Month, which urges all Americans to prepare, plan and stay informed each September. Get involved by sharing APHA’s preparedness fact sheets, infographics and e-cards and download their new Pepper the Prepper Cat Coloring Book. Click here for more information and materials. Don’t miss APHA’s new music video, "One Chance (To Get Ready)." Inspired by Drake’s “One Chance,” the video has preparedness-themed lyrics and tips for packing your stockpile, taking shelter and more.APHA Affliate logo rgb

Lights, camera,  APHA  action!
Check out APHA’s new videos!  They have posted short clips on some great topics such as advancing your career, using APHA to bolster your professional network, getting the most out of the Annual Meeting, earning CE credits and navigating APHA.org. They also feature a recording of the Sept. 6 live APHA Town Hall with Executive Director Georges Benjamin and Associate Executive Director Susan Polan, who offer a look inside APHA. Check them out! 

Highlights from The Nation’s Health
I have found this newsletter to be very informative. Want to stay up with what’s happening in public health? Sign up for Highlights from The Nation’s Health, the monthly e-newsletter from APHA’s newspaper. This free newsletter shares stories from The Nation’s Health as they’re published — and you don’t need to be a member to receive it. Sign up now!

APHA Annual Meeting – Who’s Going?
Hey, NHPHA Members! Who’s going to the APHA Annual Meeting in Denver this year? Are you presenting a poster, on a panel, and/or attending? Please email me at Shasta.jorgensen@gmail.com and let me know if you are going. I will plan an informal night for NHPHA members to get together, have dinner and share stories from the conference.
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Submitted by Lisa Vasquez, MS, CPS 
Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator
Greater Nashua Public Health Network; Beyond Influence
City of Nashua, Division of Public Health & Community Services

What is Public Health Photo 1What is Public Health Prevention and where can you see it in your community? If you don’t know ask any of the children who participated in Nashua’s Photovoice Project! Armed with cameras, 20 participating kiddos went out into the Nashua community and created a story with pictures of Public Health within the community. They all saw Public Health prevention in different places whether at the crosswalk or in the public pools they realize Public Health prevention is all around us and makes our lives healthier and safer. Out of the 20 participants, 13 projects were completed.  The Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services hosted a Gallery of the children’s artwork.  The participating youth were proud of the work and eager to talk to attendees about their projects. One of the attendees Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess was very impressed by the quality of the pictures and the enthusiasm and knowledge of the participants regarding Public Health.

As the region’s Prevention Coordinator I look forward to another Photovoice Project with more participants. It was great seeing the participants develop their stories and the pride in their faces with their finished projects. All participants received a certificate for their outstanding work and one of the participants was interviewed by the Nashua Telegraph regarding his project.  The Project received great community support and the artwork will be available for viewing at more community venues like the Public Library, dates to be announced soon. 

What is Public Health Photo 2
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Submitted by Lisa Vasquez, MS, CPS 
Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator
Greater Nashua Public Health Network; Beyond Influence
City of Nashua, Division of Public Health & Community Services
Recovery Month Article Photo 1
We celebrate recovery from Substance Use Disorder and Mental Illness. Why have an entire month dedicated to celebrating recovery you may ask? Recovery Month reminds everyone that Substance Use Disorder and Mental Illness can happen to anyone but it also reminds us that recovery is possible. Let’s take a minute to think about it in a different way. Have you ever broken a bone, had surgery or even had a common cold? You had to somehow recover from those ailments. It was not easy; it took time to feel better.  Everyone recovers differently, some may take medications, and some may use a more natural approach.  In the same way, recovery from Mental Health Illness and Substance Use Disorder has many different routes. For example some people may need residential treatment while someone else may be able to use medication assisted treatment along with outpatient treatment to work towards recovery of Substance Use Disorder. In the case of Mental Illness depending on the diagnosis someone may require medication while others might work with a Mental Health Counselor to increase behavioral tools to manage their mental health symptoms. The goal of recovery is to increase the quality of life of a person. There are many recovery stories both of Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorder. There are currently over 23 million people in long-term recovery from a Substance Use Disorder in the United States alone. The main message of recovery month is a hopeful and simple one “Recovery is Possible” 

Recovery is possible! It happened for me. My name is Ed McDonough, I am in long term recovery. My story began in Greater Boston, coming from a middle class family with a nurse as a mother and police officer as a father. I had a private school education with a childhood that consisted of sports; especially hockey, boy scouts and a good family, but also included other things fears, doubts and insecurities. Alcohol was the first substance I ever used, Recovery Month Article Photo 2it made me feel at ease and able to socialize without thinking about those fears doubts and insecurities. After realizing that I liked the feeling that alcohol gave me all I wanted was to have that feeling more and more often. During this time I started middle school, still played hockey but a perfect storm of circumstances changed this story from alcohol and marijuana to prescription drugs and later heroin. A hockey injury occurred around the same time my grandfather moved in with my family due to his cancer diagnosis. I was prescribed a small amount of opiates for my hockey injury. I discovered I liked the feeling of not having pain both physical and emotional. When my own prescription ran out I didn’t have to go far to access more. My grandfather was in the same home with a large supply of unsupervised opiates. As my grandfather’s cancer progressed and the opiates prescribed became a stronger dose so progressed my opiate use. I could use alcohol but my parents, teachers or coaches could detect the smell of alcohol.  Opiates for me through middle and high school were easily accessible, free, had no detectable smell, I could sit right next to my police officer father after taking opiates and no one would be able to tell.  There were some beliefs that also played a part in this story. I believed I was treating my hockey injury, I believed prescription opiates were safer than other substances after all it was prescribed by a doctor and it was not heroin, I believed I didn’t have a problem. I soon found myself not being able to function without opiates. Withdrawal was awful I needed to continue to use just not to feel sick. When the supply of opiates was no longer available at home I began to purchase it from friends, I saw several doctors for pain and was prescribed opiates but it wasn’t enough. I soon was unable to afford my prescription drug use. The beliefs of right and wrong were replaced by the necessity to not feel sick from withdrawal. I didn’t see any alternatives. Heroin became easily accessible and was cheaper than prescription opiates. When I was charged with armed robbery I realized something had to change.  I went to Detox, tried Medication Assisted Treatment but in retrospect realize that I wasn’t addressing the reason I used, those fears, doubts and insecurities. At the time nothing seemed to work, I couldn’t relate to clinicians. It wasn’t until I found a place that offered me structure and therapy that I was able to have those real and hard conversations with myself. I needed to be shown how to be sober one day at a time by people who were also going through the same struggles I was. That’s when I was able to find recovery. I finally felt that someone was able to relate to how I thought and felt. I knew I wanted to stay sober but now I was working on the “now what”.  My belief changed from “It can’t be me I’m a great kid to it is me”. I realized I didn’t have to do it alone and that I no longer ran the show the substance did and that needed to change. 

Recovery brought me my family back. It has brought me the opportunity to help others, independence from a substance that ruled my life and personal independence. Recovery has lifted a burden from my shoulders, it has brought me relief; no more guilt, shame or remorse. I no longer have to look over my shoulder. But most importantly it has brought me contentment, being ok with myself and knowing that everything will be okay because I have worked on those fears doubts and insecurities but it’s also an ongoing process and I will continue to work on my recovery.
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Submitted by Jeanie Holt, Public Policy Committee Co-Chair

As the Public Policy Committee works to update our Child Health and Safety Policy Statement, we have been talking about the public health impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Karen Welford (Children's Trust and member of NHPHA's Public Policy Committee) and Dr. Kelley White wrote the following article to help us better understand the research on this important topic.



Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Public Health Perspective
Submitted By Karen Welford, BSN MSPA and Kelley White, MD

The whole-life perspective taken by the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study uncovers the effect of childhood stressors on a person’s health and social well-being throughout life beyond childhood. The study, an ongoing collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente, measures a variety of adverse childhood experiences and their effect on the public health.

Begun in 1994, the study included over 17,000 adults surveyed by the Kaiser HMO in San Diego, California. The survey asked questions on 10 adverse childhood experiences: physical, psychological, and sexual abuse; emotional Publication1and physical neglect; alcoholism or drug use in the home; loss of a biological parent when under 18 years of age; depression or mental illness in the home; seeing a mother treated violently; and having an imprisoned household member. People who had these experiences as children were defined as having had “adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs)

Three important findings are revealed by this research. First, adverse childhood experiences are very common and often remain unrecognized. Second, they are powerful predictors of adult social function, well-being, health risks, disease and premature death. And third, the combination of these first two findings make adverse childhood experiences “the leading determinant of the health, social well-being, and economy of the nation". (1)

The prevalence of traumatic life experiences in childhood and adolescence is far higher than had been previously conceived. Only 33% of the survey participants had an ACE score of 0, while one in six adults acknowledged 4 or more adverse childhood experiences, having an ACE score of 4 or more.

The broad public-health perspective of the ACE study led to the recognition of a wide array of impacts on health behavior, disease-risk factors, and health outcomes such as obesity, inactivity, smoking, alcoholism, use of illicit drugs, depression, autoimmune disease, liver disease and premature death. The ACE score captures the cumulative negative impact on social, emotional, and cognitive development; and other impairments in the function of brain and body systems. As the number of adverse childhood experiences increases, the risk of developing significant health problems increases in a strong and graded fashion. More adverse childhood experiences mean more risk of negative outcomes. Dr. Robert Anda concludes that understanding this causal connection will help us make progress in preventing and recovering from these problems. (2)

The American Public Health Association Child Health Policy for the United States acknowledges: “Access to medical services is necessary but not sufficient to support children’s health and healthy development; attention also must be paid to the larger context of families’ lives and to the intergenerational effects of health status and economic resources. (3)

Evidence presented by the ACE Study indicates that adverse childhood experiences are major risk factors for illness, disability, death, and poor quality of life. This has important implications for those addressing public health in New Hampshire. Early-childhood and family support and strengthening programs, such as Family Resource Centers, continue to learn more about the long and short-term outcomes of adverse childhood experiences and to develop policies and programs addressing the prevention of these traumatic experiences for the children of our state. New Hampshire is beginning to understand that PREVENTION MATTERS.
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[1] Anda, R, Felitti,V. “The Lifelong Effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences” Chadwick’s Child Maltreatment Encyclopedic Volume 2, STM Learning Inc.

[2] Anda, R. “The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study: Child Abuse and Public Health,”  Prevent Child Abuse America, http://preventchildabuse.org/resource/adverse-childhood-experiences-robert-anda/

[3] American Public Health Association Child Health Policy for the United States https://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/public-health-policy-statements/policy-database

Additonal Resources

www.ACEsConnection.com
www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/ACES/index.htm
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Submitted by Bobbie D. Bagley, RN, MS, MPH, CPH
Director, City of Nashua DPHCS

Co-Chair NHPHA Nurse's Section

Whether its putting together the program for their first - to be annual - health conference for practitioners or tracking down contacts to a complex infectious disease case, the public health nurses in Nashua have had their work cut out for them this summer.  Theresa Calope, RN, Nurses Photo 1PHN, had an idea “Why don’t we put together a conference for health providers?” and just like that the planning efforts began. Working with state and local partners, the public health nurses of the Division of Public Health and Community Services planned their first Pediatric Health Conference. There were over a hundred attendees representing nurses from community health, school, primary care and public health practice in the audience as well as physicians, advance nurse practitioners, behavioral health providers and others. The premier focus of the agenda was on immunization updates and lead poisoning prevention. The planning committee was able to get local providers, Wendy Wright, ARNP, Dr. Charles Cappetta and Dr. Storo as speakers. 

After coming down from a very successful educational venue, the team was then up and running to respond to increased outreach activities, infectious disease case investigations and coordinating efforts to support community partners in screening for tuberculosis infection. At the time not realizing they would soon be faced with an investigation that would exemplify the importance of the role of the public health nurse in coordinating case investigation with collaborating partners in primary care and community services. The team relied on outreach and rapport established within the community to successfully identify high-risk and vulnerable contacts in a transient population. The local nurses sought technical support from NH DHHS Bureau of Infection Control who responded by coming to Nashua to review the progress of this ongoing case investigation.  Nurses Photo 2

This lean team of nurses that has not cut any slack on their own prevailing efforts of health promotion and disease prevention, also made time to recognize the efforts of others. The PHNs in Nashua made two nominations this year for “TB Heroes” which have been recognized by National TB Programs.  Darlene Morse, RN, MSN, MED, CHES and Dr. Elizabeth Talbot of Dartmouth and DHHS Deputy State Epidemiologist were both recipients of national honors as a result of the nominations!

As members of the NHPHA Nurses Section these nurses are in the field making a difference! If you have not yet joined, take the opportunity to become a member of those dedicated to protecting, preserving and promoting health and mental wellbeing in our communities.

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An estimated 200,000-400,000 people in the United States contract Lyme disease each year, although only ~35,000 are reported. Incidence has been increasing in both the United States and New Hampshire and New Hampshire has the second highest incidence rate of Lyme TIck Free NHdisease in the country (CDC).

TicksThe Community Health Institute (CHI) is working with a range of state and community partners throughout New Hampshire to identify, prioritize, and fund Lyme disease prevention efforts around the state.

Prevent: Wearing tick-repellent clothing, tucking long pants into socks, having long sleeves, using insect repellent, and staying to the center of paths, is the best way for people to prevent tick bites when they venture outdoors.

Inspect: Do a tick check on yourself, your children, and pets after being outside, every time.

Remove: If you find a tick on your body, your children, or your pets it is important to remove it immediately. To properly remove an attached tick using a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers or a tick removal spoon – learn more at TickFreeNH.org!

The project is funded by a private donor through the NH Charitable Foundation; an advisory committee helped to prioritize the prevention activities and determine the best partners to carry out implementation. CHI is working with stakeholders who are on the front line of tick encounter prevention, such as: summer camps, childcare facilities, schools, and parks, and focusing prevention messaging on parents of children aged 2 to 13 and recreational outdoors enthusiasts. CHI will also implement a grassroots education campaign to inform and protect the New Hampshire public about Lyme disease prevention.

Help share the message of Lyme disease prevention and help New Hampshire be #TickFreeNH

https://www.facebook.com/TickFreeNewHampshire/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_ngD4NW5Sogx0ukQCy3-iw

https://www.instagram.com/tickfreenh/



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Submitted by Shasta Jorgensen, Affiliate Representative to the Affiliate Governing Council

NIH Launches Moms’ Mental Health Matters

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has launched Moms’ Mental Health Matters, a new initiative to raise awareness among pregnant and postpartum mothers, their families, and health care providers about depression and anxiety during pregnancy and after the baby is born. Free health education materials are available in English and Spanish. The posters describe the signs of depression and anxiety during and after pregnancy and address the misconception that for all women, pregnancy and new motherhood can only be "the happiest time of your life." In addition, the action plan helps moms identify when and where to seek help, and the conversation starter postcard, specifically designed for a mom's support system, offers suggestions for communicating with a loved one about this issue. For more information, click here.

Enter APHA’s 2016 Get Ready Photo Contest
DEADLINE EXTENDED: Enter by Monday, Aug. 22!
APHA is holding a fun photo contest for their Get Ready Campaign. Winning photos will be used for APHA’s 2017 Get Ready Calendar. From APHA website, “Everyone loves baby animals. They are just so gosh-darn cuddly and cute! We love them so much, in fact, that we made them the focus of this year's Get Ready Photo Contest. The contest is using baby animals — of any kind — to promote emergency preparedness. We'll add witty captions to the photos and use them to share messages about emergency preparedness with the world. Need some inspiration? Take a look at photos from past rounds of the Get Ready Photo Contest, featuring cats, dogs, babies and other animals. Read our FAQs  and official rules and regulations  for complete info. Contest entries are being accepted July 11 through Aug. 22, so get snapping!”

Get Ready Day, September 20, 2016
Not in the mood to enter the Get Ready Photo Contest but want more information regarding APHA’s Get Ready Campaign? Click here

APHA Annual Meeting and Expo: "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Ensuring the Right to Health", October 29th - November 2nd – Advance Registration Deadline is September 15th
APHA's 2016 Annual Meeting and Expo brings together more than 12,000 of your peers from across the U.S. and around the world to network, educate and share experiences. This year the focus will be on health equity and ensuring the right to health

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Zika virus disease is a mosquito-borne infection that is related to dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. First discovered in Uganda in 1947, Zika virus disease did not begin spreading to South and Central America until 2015. The outbreak in Brazil led to reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with microcephaly (small head size), as well as other birth defects.  

zika photoThere have been cases of Zika virus disease in the United States in people who traveled to countries or territories where the virus is being transmitted and in individuals whose sex partner traveled to a Zika-affected area.  To date, there have been a total of 8 confirmed cases of Zika virus infection amongst New Hampshire residents who were infected during travel to a Zika affected area.  It is important to note that Zika virus is not present in mosquitoes in NH and there is no evidence of sustained populations of the Zika virus mosquito vectors, Aedes  aegypti and Aedes albopictus, in NH.  The NH Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) has plans to expand mosquito surveillance, however, local transmission of Zika virus by mosquitoes should be considered extremely unlikely at this time.

Approximately 80% of people who are infected with the Zika virus do not develop symptoms. In those who do become ill, the disease is usually mild and lasts from several days to a week. The symptoms of Zika virus infection include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

In January 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory for people planning to visit countries where Zika virus is being transmitted by mosquitoes.  There are currently 52 countries and territories reporting local transmission of Zika virus infection. The NH DPHS recommends that pregnant women consider postponing travel to any affected areas, and women and their partners who are planning to become pregnant should take steps to prevent mosquito bites while in Zika affected areas, including the use of insect repellents.  It is unknown how long the virus persists in semen; studies to assess this are ongoing.  Therefore, it is recommended that men who have lived in or traveled to regions where Zika virus is being transmitted by mosquitoes and who have a pregnant sex partner should abstain from sex or consistently and correctly use condoms during the partner’s pregnancy. Anyone planning to travel should talk to their healthcare provider or visit a travel medicine clinic prior to any travel.

Additional resources:

1.) NH DPHS Zika Virus Webpage: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/zika/index.htm

2.) NH DPHS Zika Virus Fact Sheet: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/zika/documents/zika-virus-fact-sheet.pdf

3.) CDC Zika Virus Webpage: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html

4.) CDC Zika Virus Prevention Webpage: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/index.html  
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Parents can do a number of things to ensure a healthy future for their child. One of the most important actions parents can take is to make sure their children are up to date on their vaccines. Vaccines are among the safest and Immunization graphicmost cost-effective ways to prevent disease. Following the recommended immunization schedule provides the best protection from serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases.

Babies receive vaccinations that help protect them from 14 diseases by age two. Child care facilities, preschool programs and schools are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs, and other factors such as interacting in crowded environments.          

Parents can send their preteens and teens to middle school and high school – and also off to college – protected from these vaccine-preventable diseases by ensuring their children are up to date on their vaccines. Along with helping protect preteens and teens from contracting certain diseases, being vaccinated also helps stop the spread of these diseases to others in vaccinetheir family, classroom, and community. Protecting your children from preventable diseases will help keep them healthy and in school. A sick child may also mean that a parent has to miss work or other important events.

Vaccines are thoroughly tested before licensing and carefully monitored even after they are licensed to ensure that they are very safe.

Side effects from vaccines are usually mild and temporary. Some people may have allergic reactions to certain vaccines, but serious and long-term side effects are rare. If you are unsure of your state’s school immunization requirements, check with your child’s doctor, school, or local health department. Parents with questions are encouraged to talk with their child’s healthcare professional to see if any catch-up doses are needed. The vaccine schedule is based on the best scientific information available and provides doctors with information on administration of each vaccine. Estimates from a CDC nationally representative childhood vaccine communications poll (July 2014 online poll) suggest that almost 9 out of 10 people are vaccinating according to schedule or are intending to do so.

Vaccines don’t just protect your child. Immunization is a shared responsibility. Families, healthcare professionals and public health officials must work together to help protect the entire community – especially babies who are too young to be vaccinated themselves.

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PhotoVoice is a program in which participants take photos as a means of telling a story. PhotoVoice is used around the world to give people without a voice an opportunity to tell their story. Photo voice has been used in Nashua for several years by the Nashua Police Athletic League and its youth members. This year with the support of the City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services the program has expanded to include the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Nashua. We hope to be able to expand the program within the Greater Nashua Region in the coming years. This summer 20 youth in Nashua are participating in the program. The theme of the project is Public Health Prevention in the Community. As part of the program, participants attended a Public Health Presentation where they were able to get more information about Public Health and how it’s part of every aspect of the community. The goals of this project are multiple, to increase the understanding of public health in the community within the participants and as a result of their art work, increase the understanding of public health within the community at large, to give the participants increased opportunities for positive community interactions and to increase positive peer relations within the participants.

The community will get an opportunity to see the final artwork at a Photo Gallery on August 26, 2016 at The City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services – 18 Mulberry Street, Nashua NH 03060 from 3pm to 5pm.  We hope you can join us as we view the Photo voice artwork. 

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Submitted by Gail Brown, JD, MSW, Director of the NH Oral Health Coalition

OHC Photo OneThe NH Oral Health Coalition has completed its “NH Oral Health Network Statewide Road Trip: Setting the Plan” throughout the state.  Stopping at 7 locations the team met with oral health providers, policy makers, programs managers, consumer advocates and others to discuss the 2015 NH Oral Health Plan, the NH Oral Health Communication Plan, and an update on NH oral health data reports.  Almost 70 OHC Photo 2participants provided updates on their local oral health programs and services, data gathering, and infrastructure planning.  The information gathered will be used to inform and advance an integrated, statewide oral health plan including a presentation at the 2016 NH Oral Health Fall Forum on November 11th at the Holiday Inn in Concord, and annual oversight on stakeholder progress.  More information on the NH Oral Health Coalition and the NH Oral Health Stakeholder Network is available at: www.nhoralhealth.org  or contact: info@nhoralhealth.org

Save the Date for the 2016 NH Oral Health Fall Forum

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Submitted by Jeanie Holt, NHPHA Public Policy Committee Co-Chair

The Public Policy Committee will host a discussion of our Sexual and Reproductive Health policy statement on August 26. We have asked Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) to open the discussion with information about current issues and challenges in reproductive health policy. We will discuss what needs to be included in NHPHA’s policy statement and will then ask a couple of people to take on drafting a new statement for the organization. PPNNE submitted the following article as background for our discussion.

Join us on August 26, 9:00-11:30 at NH Hospital Association, 125 Airport Road, Concord.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is the local affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. We conduct our public policy work in conjunction with the Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund, the political, advocacy, and organizing arm of the organization.

Our current public policy priorities are centered around three core issues: 

1.  Health Access and Health Equity:  eliminating inequality in access to sexual and reproductive health care
2.  Safe and Legal Abortion:  ensuring affordable access to abortion; getting politicians out of personal, medical decisions
3;  Sex Education:  giving all young people access to quality sex education, inclusive of LGBT individuals and relationships.

A summary of the policy environment and key issues that we have faced in Congress and in New Hampshire in recent years is available here

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But really, #BlackLivesMatter.

#BlackLivesMatter.  Yes, all lives matter, but really, #BlackLivesMatter.  Because white Americans have not been subject to the institutional racism that was mixed into the mortar that holds together the bricks of our country’s foundation.  Because being white means we have the luxury of avoiding long-term health effects of the toxic stress caused by institutional racism.

By saying #AllLivesMatter, we diminish our neighbors of colors’ lived experience. This experience makes it necessary for parents of color to teach their sons not to wear hooded sweatshirts at night. Parents of color worry that their child may not receive the same medical treatment as the fair-skinned girl next to them in a waiting room.  Concerns for their children are underpinned by their justified worries that their children they might not be able to get a job they are qualified for because of their skin color, natural hair texture, or accent.

I am consumed with sadness that we must again ask the question  asked in response to the Orlando shooting.  What venue, what shooter, what motive will finally shine the light on the root of all these devastating stories?  What will it take for our elected leaders to acknowledge and begin a meaningful narrative on the role privilege and oppression has played in this sadness and how we can fix our systems to impact change.

We can point fingers and pass judgment and blame. We can mourn the police officers killed in Dallas, but still be outraged at the larger narrative of the story.

Validated research shows that privilege and oppression manifests itself everywhere - in our hospitals, our schools, our social programs. How many more black men will worry about getting out of a traffic stop alive, compared to a white man worrying about how he will avoid getting a ticket?  How many children of color will be administered inadequate pain medication because of their doctors' implicit biases? How many more teens of color will end up in a stereotypical downward spiral because of the impact their families' skin color has had on their parents' ability to get an education, get a job, get safe housing? Enough is enough.

In the words of Minnesotan blogger Ryan Williams-Virden, "we need to… stand up and demand fundamental, radical, structural changes. To fail to do this is to betray humanity, it is to betray ourselves.”  The NH Public Health Association is working to achieve optimal health and equity for ALL NH residents, and urges strong leadership from our elected officials to guide peaceful action to begin to unravel the policies and systems that damage the health, lives, and souls of so many Americans.

Submitted by Katie Robert
NH Public Health Association
Board President

By Jeanie Holt, NHPHA Public Policy Committee Co-Chair

The Public Policy Committee has begun its work to update our policy position statements. We also have a couple of topics on which we plan to write new statements. Here is an opportunity for you to be involved in a time limited project. Below I list the statements to be revised and the topics for which we will draft new statements. You can participate in this process in one or more of several ways: participate on the sub-committee working on the statement; you can volunteer to review draft statements to see that they make sense, read smoothly, etc.; and/or you can be a subject matter expert reviewing the scientific basis cited in the statement. Please let me or JJ Smith know how you’d like to help.


Child Health and Safety: this statement needs a complete overhaul. Karen Welford, Children’s Trust Fund, is leading this sub-committee.

Alcohol and Other Drugs: We last reviewed this position in 2013. Given that opioid misuse has become a crisis, and we anticipate efforts to legalize marijuana, we need a current and robust position statement.

Sexual and Reproductive Health: As with other statements, new developments and new debates in this field require an up-dated statement that provides the evidence of public health benefits to such policies as requiring coverage for contraceptives. Our current statement also does not include a position on access to abortion services. We will hold a Public Policy meeting dedicated to this topic on August 26.

Tobacco: We wrote and approved our current statement before the introduction of e-cigarettes and vaping. We have some catching up to do!!

Disabilities and Public Health: Working with folks at the Disabilities and Public Health project (Institute on Disabilities, UNH), we will draft a new policy statement.

Food Security, Food Systems, Nutrition: We have a statement on food safety which we may update to cover these important issues; or we may end up drafting a new statement or more than one to establish a science-based position from which NHPHA can act on these important issues.

As you can see, Public Policy Committee has plenty to do—and this does not cover all the work we have outlined for ourselves. Our work is interesting, even fun! We hope more NHPHA members will get involved.
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