From smoke free public places to immunization clinics; from clean drinking water to “Click it or Ticket” reminders on the highway, public health is everywhere – protecting Connecticut’s health by safeguarding the places where we live, learn, work, and play. Public health professionals monitor the health of all populations, investigate diseases, and work to eliminate disparities through federal, state and local public health systems and programs.
Why does Public Health Matter to You?
We asked a diverse group of people - a lawmaker, municipal official, business leader, Connecticut citizens, and public health officials - why public health matters to them. Hear their stories, and tell us why public health matters to you. Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/dphct
Connecticut's Local Public Health System
What does Connecticut’s public health system look like? What are public health services? Does every community provide the core public health services and protection that all Connecticut residents should expect and deserve? How can Connecticut public health and municipal leaders effectively use resources to assure the conditions in which all people can be healthy? These are key questions that Connecticut set out to explore through its participation in the Aspen Institute’s Excellence in State Public Health Law (ESPHL) program.
Of Connecticut’s 73 local health departments/districts (LHDs) that exist to serve all of the state’s residents, 22 are part-time and 51 are full-time. According to a recent survey by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) the number of public health and preventive services offered by LHDs varies widely across Connecticut, from fewer than twenty to more than fifty. The structure, governance, resources and function of LHDs in Connecticut are inconsistent and do not equitably serve all residents. LHDs vary widely in terms of human and fiscal resources and revenues. The flu season of 2012-13 and severe weather events (e.g., storms Irene, Alfred, Sandy and Charlotte) brought into focus the disparity of services available to Connecticut residents across the state.
Aspen Institute's Excellence in State Public Health Law (ESPHL) program
Connecticut is one of eight states selected to participate in Aspen’s program, a one- year initiative designed to help states examine how law and policy can advance their state’s health priorities. Aspen’s program provides education and other resources that will enable policymakers and agencies to more effectively address public health issues and become leaders in creating healthier states. The program strengthens public health law collaborations among state officials and state-level policy-makers. It will increase their effectiveness on public health issues in their respective states, including working across party lines and government agencies and branches.
Connecticut’s team includes staff from the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Office of Policy and Management, Connecticut General Assembly staff, as well as State Senator Terry Gerratana and State Representative Prasad Srinivasan.