Year in Review: Renewing our Commitment to Public Health

By Dawn Fukuda, Director, Office of HIV/AIDS, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and NASTAD Chair (Outgoing)

Dawn Fakuda

Director, Office of HIV/AIDS, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and NASTAD Chair

As I began my tenure as chair of the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) in May 2013, I was full of energy and optimism. January 1st of 2014 was close at hand, and represented a massive new opportunity to invigorate our response to the HIV and viral hepatitis epidemics through the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

I was confident based on our experience with state health care reform in my home state of Massachusetts that increased access to medical care through broader insurance coverage would translate into health promotion and disease prevention outcomes that would advance our progress along the HIV Care Continuum. I remain steadfast in my belief that integrating an HIV and viral hepatitis response into primary medical care and reimbursable health services is the way to sustain our efforts into the future; yet the mechanics of the ACA roll out over the past year also provide a striking reminder of the essential and non-transferrable role of public health.

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Addressing Social Determinants of Health to Improve Health Outcomes for People Living with HIV and Viral Hepatitis

By Meico Whitlock, Senior Manager, Communications, NASTAD

Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America's Sorted-Out Cities

In May, during our 22nd Annual Meeting of state health department HIV and hepatitis program leaders in Washington, D.C., we hosted a discussion on addressing the social determinants of health to improve health outcomes. The following is an interview with Dr. Mindy Fullilove, professor of clinical psychiatry and sociomedical sciences at Columbia University, who shared highlights from her presentation.

NASTAD: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Dr. Fullilove. Could you share with us the key highlights from your talk on the social determinants of health? Continue reading

Former Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health John Auerbach Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award for Unwavering Leadership in Response to the Domestic HIV/AIDS Epidemic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2013
Contact: Meico Whitlock, 202-434-8094, www.NASTAD.org

Julie Scofield and John Auerbach

Julie Scofield, NASTAD Executive Director and John Auerbach

Washington, DC – The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) recognized John Auerbach with its Lifetime Achievement Award at its 22nd Annual Meeting of state health department HIV and hepatitis program leaders last month. The meeting takes place every May in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Auerbach is the former Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health where he oversaw more than 3,000 employees that included four public health hospitals, the State Laboratory, several regulatory bodies, and numerous programmatic units addressing chronic and infectious disease, substance abuse, environmental health, tobacco control, children and adolescent health, and emergency preparedness. Continue reading

Iowa AIDS Director and Outgoing NASTAD Chair Randy Mayer and Texas AIDS Director Ann Robbins Honored for Outstanding Leadership in Response to the Domestic HIV/AIDS Epidemic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2013
Contact: Meico Whitlock, 202-434-8094, www.NASTAD.org

Ann Robbins and Randy Mayer

Left to right: Murray Penner, NASTAD Deputy Executive Director, Ann Robbins (TX), Randy Mayer (IA), Julie Scofield, NASTAD Executive Director

Washington, DC – Ann Robbins, Manager of the HIV/STD Prevention and Care Branch of the Texas Department of State Health Services and Randy Mayer, Chief of the Bureau of HIV, STD, and Hepatitis at the Iowa Department of Public Health were honored with the 2013 Nicholas A. Rango Leadership Award by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) at its 22nd Annual Meeting of state health department HIV and hepatitis program leaders last month. The meeting takes place every May in Washington, D.C. The award is named for one of NASTAD’s founding members, Nicholas A. Rango, MD, PhD, who was director of the New York State AIDS Institute before his death of AIDS in 1993. NASTAD gives this award to recognize the state AIDS director, state and territorial health department staff member, or NASTAD staff member who best exemplifies Dr. Rango’s qualities of superior intelligence, dedication, activism in government, and impatience in leading the fight against HIV/AIDS and/or viral hepatitis. Continue reading

Lynda M. Dee Honored with Partnership Award for Tireless Work in Advancing Access to Life-Saving Treatment for People Living with HIV and Hepatitis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2013
Contact: Meico Whitlock, 202-434-8094, www.NASTAD.org

Lynda Dee

Left to right: Murray Penner, NASTAD Deputy Executive Director and Lynda M. Dee

Washington, DC – The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) recognized Lynda M. Dee with a Partnership Award at its 22nd Annual Meeting of state health department HIV and hepatitis program leaders last month. The meeting takes place every May in Washington, D.C. Ms. Dee is a founder of AIDS Action Baltimore (AAB), a non-profit organization dedicated to the support and education of people with HIV and the prevention of HIV. AAB provides educational, financial, and emotional support for people with HIV and HIV prevention services in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Ms. Dee is also a licensed attorney in Maryland and assists people living with HIV with legal issues. Continue reading