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2020 Track Descriptions


Track 1: Emerging Trends in Public Health and Public Health Policy. Public Health plays a critical role in detecting emerging trends and developing strategies to address the related public health policy implications. This track will explore how public health is developing public health policies, plans, and laws to respond to emerging trends.

Track 2: Leadership and Workforce Development. Assuring a competent workforce is an ongoing challenge, contending with shrinking budgets and resources, staff reductions, increasing workloads, and ever-changing public health threats. To meet the changing health needs of our communities, we must expand our workforce capacity to support both direct service and population-based public health practice.

Track 3: Community Engagement and Healthcare Linkages. Public health has a vital role in convening health agencies, stakeholder organizations, and individuals in the community to collaboratively identify community health priorities and pursue effective strategies to improve patient access to preventive and chronic care services.

Track 4: Healthy Behaviors. The preventative nature of public health uniquely positions local health departments to promote healthy behaviors and preempt risk behaviors in communities. This track aims to highlight data-driven approaches or initiatives to identify trends in behavioral health issues and collaborate with cross-sector stakeholders (e.g., Public Safety) and community partners to respond.

Track 5: Equity and Social Justice. As defined by Camara P. Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, “Health equity is assurance of the conditions for optimal health for all people…Achieving health equity requires valuing all individuals and populations equally, recognizing and rectifying historical injustices, and providing resources according to need.” Health equity is becoming a priority in many local health departments as the field increasingly acknowledges health inequities as “systematic…unjust, and actionable” (Margaret Whitehead) outcomes caused by a legacy of social injustice associated with racism, class divisions, and gender inequities. This track aims to explore how creating health equity requires both mitigating inequitable health outcomes through conventional programs and services and acting on the political and economic systems and powers that established and uphold social inequities.

Track 6: Applying Information and Technology to Improve Essential Public Health Services. In an increasingly electronic world, harnessing information to improve health outcomes requires optimal systems and cross-sector partnerships to access, analyze, and act on data in a timely, efficient, and secure manner. This track will showcase stakeholder efforts to collaborate, establish new and enhance existing infrastructure, and apply necessary skills to improve delivery of public health services by getting data into the right hands, in the right format, at the right time.

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