27 January 2015

National Association of County and City Health Officials Names Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck as the New Executive Director

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of LaMar Hasbrouck, M.D., M.P.H., as its new Executive Director, effective February 10, 2015. 
NACCHO's mission is to be a leader, partner, catalyst, and voice with local health departments working towards a vision of health, equity, and security for all people in their communities.

"Dr. Hasbrouck's experience working at all levels of governmental public health practice along with credentials in public health and medicine are especially appropriate at a time when the public health and healthcare sectors are transforming in response to political, economic, and social pressures," said Georgia Heise, Dr.P.H., NACCHO's President. "NACCHO's continuing emphasis on assuring and representing local and foundational governmental public health capacity and services remains in good hands."

Dr. Hasbrouck was most recently the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.  Illinois has about 100 local governmental public health departments that range from among the nation's largest to some of the smallest in size.

As a Senate-confirmed member of the Governor's cabinet, Dr. Hasbrouck managed the department responsible for protecting the health and improving the lives of the state's 13 million residents through the prevention and control of disease and injury. The Department has two headquarters, seven regional offices, 1,100 staff, a budget of $600 million, and more than 200 programs, including vaccinations, food and water safety, dairy and drugs, health facilities licensing and regulation, outbreak investigations, HIV/AIDS drug assistance, collection and evaluation of health statistics, screening newborns for genetic diseases, and programs to meet the special health needs of women. Combined with the efforts of local health departments, these vital programs and services make up the state's public health system, a system that bears major responsibility for the quality of life in Illinois.

Among Hasbrouck's achievements as Director, he developed a five-year strategy, implemented various aspects of the Affordable Care Act, applied for voluntary national accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board, and built successful partnerships to pass a state cigarette tax increase. In addition, Hasbrouck led the development of statewide blueprints for health workforce development and population health integration, two key initiatives of the Governor's Office for Health Innovation and Transformation.

"It is an uncommon privilege to join NACCHO as its next Executive Director," Hasbrouck said. "I am looking forward to working with and being inspired by a diverse Board of Directors, an energized professional staff, and a wide range of colleagues and organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors dedicated to transforming the health of the community. I believe that strong local health departments are the backbone for a robust public health enterprise that includes state health departments and federal partners. NACCHO's continued growth in the service of local health departments is therefore critical to the health of the nation."

Prior to his appointment as Illinois' 17th Director of Public Health, Dr. Hasbrouck served as the only county official in New York State to lead both the public health and mental health departments in Ulster County. He held positions of increasing responsibility with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including directing the CDC office in Guyana, South America. He has also served on faculties of medicine and public health.

Dr. Hasbrouck is currently a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and is a Diplomat with the American Board of Internal Medicine.  He is a former Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the CDC, Primary Care Health Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Heath Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). He is also the recipient of numerous awards for his governmental and non-governmental work.

Dr. Hasbrouck replaces Robert Pestronk, M.P.H., who served NACCHO for seven years and is retiring next month.

About the National Association of County and City Health Officials
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation's 2,800 local governmental health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.

14 January 2015

Free course - Ebola in Context: Understanding Transmission, Response and Control

Ebola in Context: Understanding Transmission, Response and Control | London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine | LSHTM

This two-week free course looks at the science behind the Ebola outbreak, to understand why it has occurred on this scale and how it can be controlled.

Register for the course

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is launching its first free online course with the help of its partners FutureLearn. 

The course

This free online course looks at how Ebola, a disease that many people had never heard of until last year, has caused a humanitarian crisis and worldwide panic. It examines the science behind the outbreak, to understand why it has occurred on this scale and how it can be controlled. 

The course is taught by experts from a wide range of disciplines from epidemiologists and clinicians to anthropologists and health systems researchers. There will be contributions from experts from a range of disciplines, including those who have been directly involved in the Ebola outbreak at different stages and from different angles.

Modules / activities will be structured around the following themes:

  • Infection and the importance of context
  • Why and when to isolate? The logic and experience of isolation
  • Transmissibility: measuring and experiencing an epidemic
  • Reducing transmission: what works?
  • How can we reduce the deaths? Treatments and survival
  • Could vaccines be the answer?
  • The future and wider impact: where is the epidemic going?

By the end of the course you should have an understanding of the key principles that underlie the spread of infectious diseases, and of the key importance of context in determining transmission and shaping control efforts.

Register for the course

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for healthcare professionals or anyone working in a health organisation; undergraduate students taking a healthcare or science-related degree; medical students and postgraduates wishing to complement their studies; and anyone else with a keen interest in the science behind Ebola.

Main contributors:

  • Professor Judith Glynn, Lead Educator and Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
  • Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, co-discovered the Ebola virus in 1976, was founding director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and is currently Chair of the World Health Organization's scientific committee on Ebola.
  • Professor David Heymann, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the School, Co-Chair of the WHO Director General’s advisory group on the Ebola response and Chair of Public Health England.
  • Professor John Edmunds, Dean of the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health at the  School , member of the World Health Organization's scientific committee on Ebola, leading mathematical  modelling of the epidemic.
  • Dr Fred Martineau, paediatrician and researcher, coordinator for the Ebola Response Anthropology Platform
  • Dr Shunmay Yeung, paediatrician and health policy researcher, recently returned from working with Save the Children in Sierra Leone –  Listen to her podcast
  • Dr Olivier Le Polain, public health physician and epidemiologist, recently returned from working with Save the Children in Liberia