ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Right now, the Affiliation of State and Territorial Well being Officers (ASTHO) is unveiling its checklist of the highest 10 state public well being coverage points to look at in 2023. The problems on the checklist embody the general public well being workforce and authorized authority, immunization, reproductive well being, overdose prevention, psychological well being, information privateness and modernization, well being fairness, environmental well being, tobacco and nicotine merchandise, and HIV.
Annually, ASTHO tracks current and rising coverage traits that influence state and territorial public well being departments. “Whereas there are a number of acquainted subjects, like HIV and tobacco, we’re seeing a brand new emphasis on points like reproductive healthcare and overdose prevention,” says Michael Fraser, chief govt officer of ASTHO. “We have now discovered loads over the previous three years in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, monkeypox outbreak, and outbreaks of ailments like measles—every highlighting the necessity for sturdy public well being coverage on the state and territorial stage.”
Immunization: Vaccination is likely one of the strongest and cost-effective instruments to stop illness, incapacity, and loss of life amongst kids and adults. Throughout the 2019-2020 season, flu vaccines prevented roughly 7.5 million diseases, 105,000 hospitalizations, and 6,300 flu-related deaths. In November 2022, CDC issued a Well being Alert Community (HAN) Well being Advisory warning of sharp will increase in respiratory ailments—together with influenza and COVID-19—earlier within the yr than anticipated. ASTHO anticipates that states will think about laws to scale back limitations to accessing vaccines, think about adjustments to childhood vaccination necessities, and proceed investing of their immunization info methods.
Reproductive Well being: Reproductive healthcare encompasses the bodily, psychological, and social wellbeing of individuals in relation to the reproductive system. Public well being companies help reproductive well being throughout all phases of life by coordinating funding sources, selling schooling and consciousness, and offering information to determine well being inequities and work to handle them. States and territories will possible think about laws to enhance contraception entry, develop complete intercourse schooling, and improve information safety and privateness of reproductive well being information.
Overdose Prevention: Drug overdoses, each deadly and nonfatal, proceed to extend in the US, with nearly all of overdose deaths involving opioids. In 2020, the speed of drug overdose deaths rose 31% over the earlier yr; preliminary 2021 information signifies that greater than 105,000 lives had been misplaced. States and territories will possible think about laws geared toward lowering deadly overdoses, together with decriminalizing fentanyl take a look at strips, rising naloxone entry by means of co-prescribing necessities, and supporting neighborhood distribution of naloxone by means of colleges.
Public Well being Company Workforce and Authority: Governmental public well being has a duty to guard the general public’s well being and security, which will be supported by varied authorized authorities and a robust public well being workforce. For the upcoming 2023 legislative periods, ASTHO expects jurisdictions to handle points associated to public well being authorized authority and the general public well being workforce, together with sustaining latest investments in public well being staff, contemplating skilled licensure necessities for public well being staff, and figuring out the method for and scope of public well being orders to regulate the unfold of illness.
Psychological Well being: An estimated one in 5 U.S. adults has a psychological sickness, and lately considerably extra youth have reported psychological well being challenges. In 2021, virtually half of highschool college students reported feeling persistently unhappy or hopeless up to now yr. As well as, estimates recommend that half of youth with a psychological sickness don’t obtain therapy. To deal with these alarming traits, state legislatures proceed to pursue a wide selection of insurance policies to enhance psychological well being entry and outcomes.
States and territories will possible think about laws to enhance suicide prevention and schooling, put money into youth psychological well being, and develop entry to psychological well being professionals by means of telehealth and licensing flexibilities.
Knowledge Privateness and Modernization: Public well being departments proceed to enhance information assortment, working to facilitate well timed information sharing between healthcare suppliers and public well being authorities whereas strengthening information privateness protections. States and territories will possible think about laws to modernize public well being information methods and strengthen privateness, together with rising public well being company entry to current well being info exchanges, strengthening authorized protections of identifiable well being information, and gathering extra demographic information.
Well being Fairness: The COVID-19 pandemic amplified well being inequities in traditionally marginalized populations residing in each city and rural communities. From enhancing public well being information assortment, to raised understanding well being disparities, to incorporating well being fairness and anti-racism insurance policies throughout all ranges of presidency, state and territorial legislatures can enhance well being for all residents. ASTHO expects legislatures to contemplate payments geared toward enhancing healthcare entry for rural communities, working to gather extra strong disaggregated information on race, ethnicity, and financial standing, and investing in applications to dismantle structural racism.
HIV: In 2019, the federal authorities set a purpose to scale back new HIV infections by 90% by 2030. Over the previous yr, charges of latest HIV infections have declined, nonetheless, it’s unclear whether or not that displays a real lower in instances or fewer folks being examined for HIV. Aligned with this federal purpose, states and territories are contemplating laws to scale back HIV stigma and stop new infections. ASTHO expects state and territorial legislators to contemplate laws increasing entry to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), establishing or enhancing syringe service applications, and decriminalizing HIV.
Environmental Well being: State and territorial legislatures play an necessary position in advancing environmental public well being, from establishing requirements for consuming water to contemplating which meals merchandise are topic to state meals security rules. ASTHO expects state and territorial legislatures to contemplate laws supporting complete local weather adaptation planning, defining what qualifies as cottage meals, and establishing most contaminant ranges for PFAS chemical substances.
Tobacco and Nicotine Merchandise: In response to CDC, tobacco use is the main reason behind preventable illness, incapacity, and loss of life in the US. There are indications that cigarette smoking is declining, whereas the usage of various nicotine merchandise is gaining recognition amongst youthful customers. Nicotine, a extremely addictive chemical compound present in tobacco merchandise—together with digital cigarettes—is dangerous to adolescent mind growth and pregnant folks, in addition to typically dangerous to all folks when uncovered to the lungs. ASTHO expects states and territories to contemplate laws prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco merchandise, rising the worth of tobacco merchandise, and increasing which public areas are deemed smoke-free environments.
For extra info on every matter, go to ASTHO’s legislative prospectus sequence net web page.
ASTHO is the nationwide nonprofit group representing the general public well being companies of the US, the U.S. territories and Freely Related States, and Washington, D.C., in addition to the greater than 100,000 public well being professionals these companies make use of. ASTHO members, the chief well being officers of those jurisdictions, are devoted to formulating and influencing sound public well being coverage and to making sure excellence in public well being follow.
SOURCE Affiliation of State and Territorial Well being Officers