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Vermont public health association


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  • 7 Sep 2021 8:35 AM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)

    Check out these highlights from APHA's September issue of The Nation's Health: 

    Stress of pandemic harming mental health of public health workers

    Long work hours, strained resources and vaccine misinformation are leaving public health workers feeling burned out and underappreciated.

    Role of arts in public health capturing interest

    Given the expanding research on the benefits of the arts to improve physical and mental health, more public health professionals are advocating for painting classes, dance classes and other forms of artistic self-expression.

    States pursue government-led health insurance programs

    More U.S. states are offering state-sponsored health plans, also known as public options, designed to be more affordable than private health insurance and still offer comparable coverage.

    Life expectancy for US Hispanics drops drastically during pandemic

    Overall, U.S. Hispanics tend to live longer than whites, Blacks and Asians. But many of the factors that increase longevity for Hispanics also make them more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

    Grouping statistics on Asian American populations masks health disparities

    When data from Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander groups are lumped together, important health insights are lost, says UCLA’s Ninez Ponce.

    Sugary drink taxes improve health, raise funds

    Lowering risks for excessive weight gain and related chronic diseases can be as simple as levying a tax, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

    Reimagining public places to foster health

    During the pandemic in the U.S., urban parks have played an important role in public health. The National Association for Olmsted Parks is celebrating public parks and the opportunities they offer for physical exercise and relaxation.

    New book explores the power of policy in public health

    “Public Health Under Siege: Improving Policy in Turbulent Times” shares ways policy can be used to achieve improvements in population health.

    New podcast: What will the fall flu season bring?

    The Nation’s Health talks to Robert Kim-Farley — a UCLA professor and communicable disease expert — about the upcoming U.S. influenza season in the U.S. and the possibility of a flu and COVID-19 "twindemic." Listen now.

    Healthy You: Let’s get comfy! Preventing computer pain and strain. Having an ergonomic computer workstation can help you avoid aching joints and back pain. Read Healthy You online, and download and share a PDF in English or Spanish.


    Check out who’s making waves in public health


    See what’s new in public health media

  • 11 Mar 2021 2:00 PM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)

    VtPHA Member Patricia Johnson shares her story of how she cares and advocates for marginalized patients.

    Read the full story here.

  • 22 Feb 2021 2:08 PM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)

    Date: Feb 22 2021

    Contact: Media Relations 

    Statement from APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD

    We are shattered at the staggering new milestone our nation has reached during the COVID-19 pandemic: As of today, 500,000 people in the U.S. have lost their lives from the disease.

    One year after the first recorded U.S. death from COVID-19, we grieve with the millions of people whose families and lives have been devastated by this pandemic.

    Our sorrow is compounded by this week’s findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing steep declines in U.S. life expectancy, especially for people of color.

    There is hope, however. We as Americans, at the hands of our new leadership, are proving resilient. As we witness a sharp drop in new coronavirus cases — accompanied by findings that there are now more people worldwide vaccinated against the virus than infected with it —there is reason for cautious optimism. We’re now seeing a science-driven course of action, comprising the most collaborative and efficient work our leaders have undertaken since this crisis began.

    To change the direction of this pandemic, we must not let our guard down amid these silver linings. As always, wear a mask, practice physical distancing, wash your hands and get your vaccination when it’s available to you. We’re closer to healing and returning to normalcy than we were even a month ago. But to continue the momentum we’ve gained, we will need hope and a commitment from everyone to do their part.”


    The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.

  • 22 Feb 2021 8:43 AM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)

    This report by the Lancet Commission on Public Policy and Health in the Trump Era assesses the repercussions of President Donald Trump's health-related policies and examines the failures and social schisms that enabled his election. Trump exploited low and middle-income white people's anger over their deteriorating life prospects to mobilise racial animus and xenophobia and enlist their support for policies that benefit high-income people and corporations and threaten health. His signature legislative achievement, a trillion-dollar tax cut for corporations and high-income individuals, opened a budget hole that he used to justify cutting food subsidies and health care. His appeals to racism, nativism, and religious bigotry have emboldened white nationalists and vigilantes, and encouraged police violence and, at the end of his term in office, insurrection. He chose judges for US courts who are dismissive of affirmative action and reproductive, labour, civil, and voting rights; ordered the mass detention of immigrants in hazardous conditions; and promulgated regulations that reduce access to abortion and contraception in the USA and globally. Although his effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed, he weakened its coverage and increased the number of uninsured people by 2·3 million, even before the mass dislocation of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has accelerated the privatisation of government health programmes. Trump's hostility to environmental regulations has already worsened pollution—resulting in more than 22 000 extra deaths in 2019 alone—hastened global warming, and despoiled national monuments and lands sacred to Native people. Disdain for science and cuts to global health programmes and public health agencies have impeded the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, and imperil advances against HIV and other diseases. And Trump's bellicose trade, defence, and foreign policies have led to economic disruption and threaten an upswing in armed conflict.

    Read the full text here.

  • 18 Jan 2021 10:15 AM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)

    Rev. Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas, pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Jericho, was interviewed by VTDigger's "The Vermont Conversation" Podcast, which features interviews on local and national issues with politicians, activists, artists, changemakers, and citizens who are making a difference. 

    Click here to listen

    "American democracy is enduring an unprecedented test. An American president, Donald Trump, capped off months of denying the reality that he had lost the 2020 election by inciting his followers to rise up and vent their rage against a co-equal branch of government, the U.S. Congress, and Vice President Mike Pence, who certified the result. Thousands of Trump supporters, mostly angry white men, mounted a violent insurrection and laid siege to the U.S. Capitol in an effort to stop the counting of electoral votes to certify the election of Joe Biden.

    These American terrorists parroted Trump’s exhortations that something had been stolen from them. Symbols of the Confederacy and white nationalism were everywhere in the insurrectionist mob. This was Trump’s last stand, and its racist underpinnings were on full and ugly display. To get some perspective on the insurrection, the enduring scourge of white supremacy, and the 92nd birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King, we turned to Rev. Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas, pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Jericho. Rev. Thomas is moderator of the Racism in America Forums and former conference minister of the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ. He is the first black denominational leader in the state. 

    'I believe America is in the midst of a political war,” says Rev. Thomas. “We as a nation are not far removed from the civil unrest that sparked the war between the states back in 1861.'"

  • 8 Jan 2021 12:00 PM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)

    Date: Jan 08 2021

    Contact: Media Relations 

    Statement from APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD

    Click here to read the statement on APHA's website

    Wednesday’s egregious act of violence against our government and assault on American democracy at the U.S. Capitol was horrifying to watch and underscores the great divide that exists in this nation. And just yesterday, our country experienced the deadliest day of the COVID-19 pandemic, surging past 4,000 deaths for the first time.

    I urge us all to get the facts, ignore disinformation and pledge to condemn violence. Violence is corrosive to the public’s health. Wednesday’s act of domestic terrorism continues the assaults we are seeing on our public officials, from health officials to elected leaders. It is a painful example of how much trust we have lost because of the lies and misstatements perpetuated by some of our leaders. This undermining of the truth has made our nation less safe, not only in our hallowed halls, but on our streets as well.

    Combatting the growing distrust and deluge of misinformation that led to Wednesday’s horrific events, where many mask-less extremists increased the risk of COVID-19 spread, is the only way to end the pandemic, and mitigate the impact of the next one. We can only do this if we come together, as a nation. We must believe in science, not fallacy, and trust our experts, not our loudest dissenters. And we must speak out continually about the racism that resulted in predominantly white terrorists being treated differently than Black Lives Matter protesters.

    We have a lot of work to do to rebuild confidence in our collective actions. We now need to begin restoring trust and achieving justice in the middle of a pandemic. I am inspired by the remarkable personal sacrifice happening across the country as so many people work tirelessly to lift our country out of this dark period.

    We cannot allow hate to divide us at the very time we need everyone’s help in ending these dual public health crises — violence and the pandemic.


    The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.

  • 22 Oct 2020 11:02 AM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)

    Dear Fellow Americans:

    In this historic and unprecedented election season we expect to see a record number of voters casting ballots for candidates seeking national, state, and local offices. Whether you vote early, by mail or in person, or choose to visit your polling place on Election Day, election agencies across the nation are partnering with their state and local public health officials to make the process as safe and secure as possible so that every voice can be heard.

    No civic task is more important than voting. Without question, the decisions you make on your ballot will have a direct impact on your health, the health of your neighbors, and the health of your states and communities. Did you know that at least 50% of our health is determined by the social, economic, and environmental conditions in the community where we live? Those conditions are impacted by policies supported or opposed by elected officials, which is why voting is critical to a thriving community!

    Knowing your voting options and what you can do to vote safely will ensure that casting your vote during the pandemic will not compromise your health.

    First, we urge all in-person voters to wear a mask and observe physical distancing recommendations. Voting locations across the country have made changes to allow voters more room to spread out while waiting in line. Many have made hand sanitizer or hand washing stations available to in-person voters. Election workers are cleaning high touch surfaces regularly, and some states offer single use items such as pens, cotton swabs, or finger cots, to limit your contact with public surfaces, depending on the voting technology in use.

    Polling places also may offer guidance about the appropriate use of your own sanitizing wipes or cleansers when in the voting booth, as your personal sanitizers can damage sensitive surfaces or interfere with voting machines. Finally, if your state offers in-person early voting, we strongly recommend that you consider this option. Early voting will help you avoid crowds, save time, and reduce Election Day lines.

    Voters who are ill or worried they might have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their local elections office for information regarding their voting options. Many states offer curbside voting so that sick or at-risk voters can cast their ballots outdoors or from their vehicles.

    HealthyVoting.org is a helpful resource featuring state-by-state healthy voting tips and other information. For official guidance, however, you should consult your state and local election officials.

    Together, our ten organizations serve millions of people in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. We are state and local public health leaders, educators, physicians, and attorneys, among others, focused on ensuring a safe and healthy voting environment.

    Whether you choose to vote by mail, to cast your ballot in person before Election Day, or to vote at your polling place on November 3rd, know that we all are working together to ensure your health so that you can confidently choose the government you believe will best promote and protect your health and the health of those around you.


    The American College of Preventative Medicine

    American Public Health Association

    Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

    Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

    Big Cities Health Coalition

    National Association of County and City Health Officials

    National Network of Public Health Institutes

    Network for Public Health Law Public Health Accreditation Board

    Trust for America’s Health

  • 3 Jun 2020 3:01 PM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)


    Front. Public Health, 02 June 2020 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.00197

    Frameworks for Community Impact - Community Case Study

    Laural Ruggles*

    • Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, St. Johnbury, VT, United States

    The Affordable Care Act of 2008 placed specific community health needs assessment and community benefit reporting requirements on US not-for-profit hospitals. The requirements are straightforward, but come with no expectation for synergy between the needs assessment and the community benefit spending, no direction on how to design systems to improve community health, and with surprisingly little accountability for improving health outcomes. With the help of diverse community partners, one Critical Access hospital in rural Vermont has successfully linked the needs assessment with community benefit dollars to address upstream contributors of health. In 2014, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital lead the creation of NEK Prosper: Caledonia and Southern Essex Accountable Health Community with a mission to tackle poverty as the ultimate root cause of poor health in the region. This article outlines how a hospital community health needs assessment ignited a change in how community partners worked together, aligned organizational strategies, and overcame industry jargon barriers to create regional system change to improve health. And how that same hospital has used community benefit dollars to accelerate action at the community level.

    Read the full article here. 

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About the association

VtPHA is a membership organization which facilitates collaboration among people who care about public health and are interested in protecting and promoting the health of Vermont residents.

VtPHA is an Affiliate of the American Public Health Association (APHA). APHA is the national voice of public health and champions the health of all people and all communities. They are the only organization that combines a 140-plus year perspective, the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health and a member community from all public health disciplines and over 40 countries. Learn more at www.apha.org.


Vermont Public Health Association
P.O. Box 732
Burlington, VT 05402-0732

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