2018 President’s Challenge: “Health Yeah!” A Podcast Series about Population Health

2017 President’s Challenge    |    2016 Presidents Challenge


The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) has launched its newest podcast series, “Health Yeah!,” led by Dr. Jean O’Connor, out-going NACDD Board President, on innovative models for population health improvement and chronic disease prevention within each community.

“While hospitals, payers, and health care providers consider a more limited definition of ‘population’ by focusing on the panel of patients they serve, we tend to view outcomes on a more geographical or societal basis,” Dr. O’Connor said. “However, our end goal of improved health is the same, and we are using many of the same techniques and approaches to improving population health to accomplish our objectives,” she said. 

Dr. O’Connor’s “Health Yeah!” podcasts support the third annual NACDD President’s Challenge, which is a call to action for public officials to focus on emerging issues in chronic disease prevention and control. She wrote more about the initiative in a blog post in October 2017. In 2016, Mehul Dalal, MD, MSc, MHS, Chronic Disease Director of Connecticut, led the “Learn, Lead, and Thrive” podcasts, which challenged Members to improve management practices, and support professional growth development in state health departments. The first President’s Challenge, initiated by Namvar Zohoori, MD, MPH, PhD, Director of the Center for Health Advancement at the Arkansas Department of Health, examined the importance of health equity.

“I believe that public health has championed this idea around social determinants of health which is integral to population health,” said John W. Robitscher, NACDD CEO. “How do we make sure that every person has a safe place to live, clean food, and water? How do we make sure they have transportation to and from medical attention whenever they need it? It does take a village to take care of people. Dr. O’Connor’s podcasts series is a detailed study on how the public health community as a whole can improve population health.” 

All eight episodes are approximately 30 minutes in length and will be released individually on this site, and streaming via iTunes and SoundCloud starting March 30 to help kick off National Public Health Week (April 2-8, 2018).

  • NACDD Projects that Support Population Health: Dr. O’Connor speaks with John W. Robitscher, NACDD’s CEO, on how NACDD uses consultants to work on projects that support chronic disease prevention and control. Robitscher highlights some of the projects that provide support and education, and are currently funded by NACDD and CDC. (SoundCloudiTunes)
  • Chronic Disease and Social Determinants in Public Health: Dr. O’Connor speaks with Dr. Soma Stout, a Vice President at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and is Executive Lead of 100 Million Healthier Lives, on how the public health industry should come together to examine the driving forces behind chronic disease, and how the landscape can be improved. (SoundCloud, iTunes)
  • Opioid Use in Public Health: Dr. O’Connor speaks with John Auerbach, president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health, on opioid use in the United States, and how it affects population health and public health. Auerbach also touches on topics such as importance of keeping people healthy and resilient, and how it has a positive effect on population health. (SoundCloud, iTunes)
  • Understanding Population Health Improvement: Dr. O’Connor speaks with Mary Ann Cooney, Chief of Health Systems Transformation with the ‎Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, on population health and what it means among public healthcare officials, and how population health can be understood. (SoundCloudiTunes)
  • Defining Population Health Improvement: Dr. O’Connor speaks with Dr. Vincent Lafronza, Chief Executive Officer of the National Network of Public Health Institutes, on social determinants, population health improvement, and what the definition of population health improvement really means. (SoundCloudiTunes)
  • CDC Foundation and Population Health: Dr. O’Connor speaks with Dr. Judy Monroe, President and CEO of the CDC Foundationon the importance of philanthropy and partnerships to support population health efforts, from emergency responses, like Zika, to chronic disease issues. (SoundCloudiTunes)
  • Meeting the Needs of Employees through Worksite Wellness: Dr. O’Connor speaks with Carmen Daniel, Worksite Wellness Program Manager with ‎the Georgia Department of Public Health, on the collaboration that occurs between the state health department and academia to provide support and encourage worksite wellness. The program focuses on aspects—such as physical activity, nutrition, and stress management—that support worksite wellness. (SoundCloudiTunes)

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