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Vermont public health association


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  • 01/18/2021 10:15 AM | Catherine Aikman (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.'"

  • 01/08/2021 12:00 PM | Catherine Aikman (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.

  • 10/22/2020 11:02 AM | Catherine Aikman (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

  • 06/03/2020 3:01 PM | Catherine Aikman (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. 

  • 06/01/2020 3:37 PM | Catherine Aikman (Administrator)

    Already-strained US public health workforce grapples with COVID-19: Despite resource gaps, workers fight on

    Kim Krisberg

    The Nation's Health June 2020, 50 (4) 1-12;

    For years, U.S. public health advocates sounded the alarm on funding declines, workforce shortages and health inequities, all in an attempt to prevent the stark consequences that unfolded this spring.

    Months into the nation’s COVID-19 response, health agencies struggled with gaps in response and testing, while at the same time preparing their already-strained systems for the weeks and months ahead.

    As local health agencies faced the worst public health emergency in a century, they were also bracing for serious workforce ramifications, both from the economic downturn and overwhelming response needs. Among those may be another round of recession-era staff losses, reported APHA member Lori Tremmel Freeman, MBA, CEO at the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

    Read the full article here.

  • 05/14/2020 9:32 AM | Catherine Aikman (Administrator)

    Public health is working non-stop to address the COVID019 outbreak. But underfunding and workforce losses mean public health capacity is not as robust as it should be.

    Kim Krisberg

    The Nation's Health May 2020, 50 (3) 1-12;

    Read the full article here.

  • 07/28/2019 9:34 AM | Catherine Aikman (Administrator)

    American Public Health Association (APHA) Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD, testified before the U.S. House Committee on the Budget on July 24 about “The Cost of Climate Change: From Coasts to Heartland, Health to Security.” 

    See why climate change is a public health emergency and what he and other expert witnesses had to say: http://www.publichealthnewswire.org/?p=22733

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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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