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A Message from the President

Posted By Morgan Spencer, President , Thursday, October 17, 2019

Dear CPHA Members and Friends,

Welcome to the 2019 CPHA Annual Meeting and Conference, Innovative Solutions to Public Health Challenges: Research, Programs and Policy!

       Thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedules to be here today! I have truly enjoyed my time as your President and first would like to thank my mentor, The UConn Public Health Program Director, Dr. David Gregorio, our former Associate Director Joan Segal, as well as the staff at the Department. They are knowledgeable and without them, I would not have reached my level of achievement, nor would I be standing before you today.

       It is an honor to be a part of the largest and broadest statewide professional association in Connecticut devoted to providing leadership, education and advocating for intervention and resolutions to priority public health issues affecting the people of Connecticut.  Unlike other professional organizations, CPHA’s diverse professional membership crosses all sectors of public health, which provides a unique organizational capacity to effectively address fundamental public health issues from different perspectives.  CPHA collaborates with its partner groups through surveys, conferences, internships, and its annual meeting to identify primary public health issues and develop a core agenda. CPHA responds to critical public health needs by being a leader in developing and advocating for legislative policies that promote key public health initiatives at the State and Federal levels.  Using scientific evidence-based public health information it provides high quality education to the community, its members, policy makers and legislators focusing on proactive measures to ensure the health of Connecticut’s citizens.

       Our role as public health professionals is becoming more essential each day. Climate change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria combined with devastating Western wildfires and other natural catastrophes made 2017 the most expensive year on record for disasters in the United States, as reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These horrific events caused $306 billion in total damage with 16 incidents that caused more than $1 billion in damage each. To put that figure in perspective, that's more than the interest on the US national debt and twice the federal budget for health, Medicare and education. The second most expensive disaster year was 2005, the year of Hurricane Katrina. That year’s total was $215 billion. Aside from costly natural disasters, 2017 was the third warmest year on record in the United States, following 2012 and 2016. Five states had their hottest year on record: Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and New Mexico. Not surprisingly, 2017 was the most expensive disaster year on record for insurers. Much of these costs were fueled by the disasters in the United States, but the devastating flooding in Asia also added to the total.

       In 2018 the United States experienced 14 disasters that cost the economy as much or more than $1 billion dollars each. But the total cost of these hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other disasters that struck the U.S. last year is about $91 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. US News and World reports that thousands of people around the world lost their lives to natural disasters in 2018, a tragic reminder of the devastation and costs we have absorbed. 2018 ended with a deadly tsunami in Indonesia, capping the country’s largest annual death toll in more than a decade from natural disasters.  2019 cannot be fully summarized at this juncture, although it has already included wildfires, flash floods, earthquakes, typhoons, and volcanic eruptions. 

        Closer to home, Connecticut has experienced both new and old public health crises that we continue our work to eliminate. Last week, The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) reported six Connecticut residents who became ill with lung injuries possibly related to using e-cigarettes or vaping, bringing the total to 31 cases that have been reported to DPH. Three patients remain in the hospital. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of October 8, 2019, 1,299 cases of vaping-related lung injury had been reported from 49 states and 1 U.S. territory.  The CDC also reported 26 deaths had been confirmed in 21 states, including one fatality from Connecticut. Public health leadership in Connecticut continue their efforts to educate the public about the potential dangers of these substances.

I am very concerned that we continue to see new cases of vaping-related lung injury and this outbreak of illnesses and deaths appears to be far from over,” said DPH Commissioner Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell.  “I am asking Connecticut residents not to use e-cigarettes or vaping products that contain THC.”

            This has been an unprecedented year for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Connecticut.” said Dr. Matthew Carter, the DPH State Epidemiologist. Before 2019 Connecticut had only one human case of EEE and that was in 2013. Today we have four human cases, three of which were fatal.  The Commissioner has cautioned all residents to take serious precautions to avoid mosquito bites and works within DPH to continue to offer education around mosquito borne illnesses.

Connecticut has been deeply impacted by the opioid epidemic as have the rest of the country. One in ten Connecticut high school students reported taking prescription pain medications without a prescription or differently than prescribed (Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2017). Over 30% of these students got the medications from their home, someone else’s home, or were given the medications. In 2018, there were 1,017 accidental intoxication deaths in the state (Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, 2019). Of these deaths, 948 involved some type of opioid. A total of 760 of these deaths involved fentanyl, while 407 deaths involved heroin, morphine and/or codeine.  The good news.  DPH and state partners including the Department of Consumer Protection, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Department of Children and Families who work collaboratively on the State’s public awareness campaign to address the opioid crisis. Change the Script, as well as other treatment, recovery support and overdose prevention initiatives have been implemented. More good news; preliminary data from the latter part of 2018 indicates that Connecticut’s opioid epidemic may be stabilizing. This information is based on Edata from DPH’s EpiCenter syndromic surveillance system.

Connecticut faces a new public health issue, PFAS, a class of widely used chemicals called PER and polyflorintated alkyl. PFAS nonstick qualities make it useful in products as diverse as food wrappers, umbrellas, tents, and firefighting foam. The chemicals are also used in the manufacture of plastic and rubber and in insulation for wiring. These chemicals are all around us. They have been found in some regions and in drinking water.  That is because PFAS doesn’t break down easily.  They have come to be referred to as the “forever chemicals." Some varieties have been found to stick around in the human body for decades. Others accumulate in soil or water, creating a continuous source of exposure. Unfortunately, scientists know little about the health effects of most types of PFAS.

`           The last Connecticut public health issue I would like to mention is childhood vaccinations. When school started this fall DPH sent letters to parents to make sure their child’s immunizations are up to date.  The DPH reports that while the MMR immunization rate for Connecticut’s kindergarten students remains high, that rate declined from 96.5% for the 2017-2018 school year to a figure of 95.9% for the 2018-2019 school year that concluded this past June, according to data reported to DPH as of August 13, 2019, a decrease of 0.6%.  DPH is continuing its efforts to make sure all children have the appropriate vaccinations.

In 2019, the United States has seen the largest increase in the number of measles cases in the last 25 years.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1,215 people in 30 states had contracted measles between January 1 and August 22, 2019, including three cases in Connecticut and more than 1,000 in Brooklyn and Rockland County, NY.  The resurgence of measles is very concerning.  CPHA would like to offer any assistance to the Commissioner and her staff around this very important issue.

            We are genuinely pleased to have the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health Renee Coleman-Michell with us this morning. Governor Lamont appointed The Commissioner on April 1st.  If you are a public health professional in the state of Connecticut, you know how capable Renee is.  Governor Lamont is quoted. “Renée knows Connecticut’s public health community well and has the right experience and leadership skills to help achieve our goal of making our state even healthier. I look forward to having her on our team and am confident that, along with the capable staff at the agency, we will be ready to face these important challenges.” Renee – There is not a person in this room that isn’t thrilled about your appointment.

              This is a very special year for CPHA, as we are honored to welcome Dr. Pamela Aaltonen, the APHA President, as our keynote speaker. Dr. Aaltonen worked for decades with the Purdue University School of Nursing in the College of Health and Human sciences.  For the past ten years, she has made major contributions to public health through her research, teaching and engagement efforts. Focusing on cutting edge topics like e-government in public health, Dr. Aaltonen is one of the pioneers of the application of technology in health. In addition, she worked closely with Purdue’s Homeland security institute to address issues related to public health systems and preparedness, which are central to major public health issues in the United States today. She is beyond accomplished in the Public Health field and we are privileged to have her join us for this event. Pam received her baccalaureate degree in nursing from St. Olaf College, her master’s in public health nursing & public health science from the University of Illinois Chicago and received a PhD from Purdue University.  Prior to joining Purdue’s faculty, Pam was a public health nurse and nursing administrator in local health departments in Minnesota, Oklahoma and Illinois.  Dr. Aaltonen has been active in several local, state, and national health organizations and her leadership has had a major impact on public health in those states. 

           We have two more special guests, the first is Dr. Glenn Flores, this year’s recipient of the 2019 American Public Health Association's David P. Rall Award for Advocacy in Public Health. This Award is given "to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to public health through science-based advocacy." The APHA leadership specifically noted: "APHA joins your colleagues in recognizing your contributions to the health of America’s children through science-based advocacy. We are specifically impressed by your active involvement with policy leaders to produce effective public health policies and your research focusing on the unmet needs for translation and interpretation services for families with limited English proficiency as well as the impact of community health workers on the health care of underserved communities." Dr. Flores is Chief Research Officer and Director of the Health Services Research Institute at Connecticut Children's Medical Center and the Associate Chair of Research and a Professor of Pediatrics at UConn School of Medicine.  Congratulations Dr. Flores and thank you for representing Connecticut! 

           I would like to give a special thank you to Dr. Karl Minges, the Director of the MPH Program at the University of New Haven for his very generous Gold Sponsorship.  I would also like to thank our Bronze Sponsors; New England Public Health Training, Data Haven, CT Hospital Association, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Sacred Heart and InCHIP (Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention and Policy) at UConn. Thank you to our exhibitors and advertisers as well.  All such support is crucial to our ability to provide an exceptional and informative conference.

           Thank you to our old and new partner schools for their collaboration efforts and for providing funding so their students can attend today.  We have students from Yale, Southern Connecticut State University, Western Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut University, UConn, Sacred Heart and the University of New Haven.  

            A lot of time and effort goes into planning this conference so I would like to give a special thank you to the program committee. Thank you all for your endless efforts!  The committee thinks of everything from today’s menu to how far attendees have to walk to get to breakout rooms. We had more abstract submission this year than we have had in a decade, adding to their already heavy work load. This event is the product of your effort and I ask that you accept my gratitude

            Lastly, I would like to thank our members for their dedication to the organization and the field of public health. Your efforts will help make each generation of Connecticut residents healthier than the last.

               Before I turn it over to our APHA President, I would like to ask all Board Members to stand and be recognized.  Your passion and commitment are admirable and valued.  It is my privilege to have you serving the state of Connecticut along with me. 


Thanks for your support!

Morgan Spencer, MPA, MPH, CPH

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Governor Lamont Selects Renée D. Coleman-Mitchell to Serve as Commissioner of the Department of Public Health

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 17, 2019
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Doug Brugge from Tufts University joins the UConn School of Medicine as chair of the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care in March.

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 17, 2019
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2018 Public Health Advocacy Training

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 16, 2018
Updated: Sunday, April 15, 2018


CPHA hosted a successful public health advocacy training for over 40 public health students and professionals on April 7, 2018.  The Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) School of Health and Human Services co-sponsored the event and generously hosted us on the SCSU campus.  The half-day training was kicked off by Shelley Geballe, JD, MPH, Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale School of Public Health, and a Clinical Lecturer in Law at the Yale Law School, who made the complicated, sometimes mysterious Connecticut legislative structure and process seem simple and straightforward. She explained how bills become law, and how to keep up to date on what’s happening in the CT General Assembly. 

Shelley was followed by Ellen Andrews, PhD, Executive Director of the Connecticut Health Policy Project and Adjunct Faculty at Southern, who gave good advice about the most effective ways to communicate with legislators, including giving oral and written testimony, and writing opinion pieces for local newspapers.

Senator Gary Winfield, Deputy Majority Leader, representing New Haven and West Haven (with his young son and one of his newborn twins in tow!), put the group at ease about meeting with legislators by talking about the do’s and don’ts, and what works for him when he meets with constituents and others about legislative issues.

Attendees were able to immediately put their newly learned skills into practice with small group breakout sessions where they planned their next steps for legislator engagement on key public health issues. Thank you to our student and alumni volunteers, who assisted with the training and group facilitation!  They were Amalia Mahon, Bianca Flowers, Chandra Kelsey, Ermonda Gjoni, Francesca Testa, Shamika Smith, Veronica Cortes, and Whitney Allen.

We thank our speakers, participants, and volunteers, for making the 2018 CPHA Public Health Advocacy Training such a success!

The Training Committee:

Ashley Andreou, MPH Student Volunteer, Yale School of Public Health

Roberta Friedman, Co-Chair, CPHA Advocacy Committee

Valen Grandelski, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health, SCSU

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CPHA E-Newsletter - Spring 2017

Posted By Melissa Touma, Monday, February 27, 2017

CPHA E-Newsletter—Spring 2017



Happy New Year CPHA!  As we enter CPHA’s 2nd century, we are already preparing for an active and productive year.  But before getting into all the details, let’s first welcome our brand new section: the Community Health Workers Association of Connecticut!  We are excited to have CHWACT under the CPHA umbrella, and we look forward to everything they bring to the organization.

One of underlying themes in all of our activities this year will be to get you involved.  Not just in CPHA but in helping to improve the health of everyone in Connecticut.  You have already seen action alerts sent out from the Advocacy Committee, and there will be plenty more.  When you see them, spread the message.  Call or email your legislators about the topic.  Forward the email to your friends and colleagues.  Show up at rallies.  Share our posts on Facebook.  Re-tweet them on Twitter.  Post your own message and tag CPHA.  Ultimately, the strength of our advocacy efforts is you, and even a small amount of effort can have tremendous impact.

In addition to impacting Connecticut’s health, help us honor those who have made a real difference in our lives.  Nominate a colleague, an organization, or a student for one of the CPHA Awards.  Show your support for all of their late nights and weekends of work by joining us at the CPHA Awards Breakfast, which will be held during National Public Health Week.

Last, but certainly not least, get involved directly with CPHA.  Encourage your co-workers to support CPHA’s Mission by becoming a member.  Submit an abstract to the 2017 CPHA Annual Conference and present your work during the largest public health conference in the state.  Encourage your organization to join the MOR and help mentor young students who are interested in public health.  Attend a Health Education Committee meeting and learn about the newest public health programs and research being conducted throughout the state.

Our success as an organization is reliant on your involvement.  Help us make CPHA the strongest public health organization in the state!


Meet your new leadership team!  CPHA’s new Executive Committee began its term on January 1st.  There are some familiar faces in new positions and some new faces entirely.  CPHA gives them and all of our new Board members the warmest welcome.  We look forward to all that can be accomplished over the next year.


Jonathan Noel, President

Jonathan Noel, PhD(c), MPH is currently a doctoral candidate in the public health program at the University of Connecticut, where he also earned his MPH.  His research consists of evaluating alcohol advertising published on social media, understanding how alcohol-related messages spread through social networks, and how social media influences alcohol behavior.  He has previously worked at the Harvard School of Public Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA.  Jonathan has worked with CPHA since 2007.  He was the recipient of the CPHA Michael J. Perlin Award in 2015 and a CPHA President’s Award in 2010.  He is also an active member of the American Public Health Association and has served as APHA’s Student Liaison for the University of Connecticut.


Morgan Spencer, President-Elect

Morgan Spencer, MPA, MPH, CPH serves as the Program Coordinator for the Graduate Programs in Public Health at the University of Connecticut.  Morgan earned her Masters of Public Health (MPH) in applied public health practice in 2005 from the University of Connecticut.  In 2012, she completed her Masters of Public Administration (MPA) in public and financial management also from the University of Connecticut.  Morgan passed the Certification in Public Health (CPH) exam in 2008 and has maintained her public health certification since. Morgan is a proud member of both Delta Omega, Beta Rho, UConn’s Public Health Honor Society and Pi Alpha Alpha, the Global Honor Society for Public Affairs & Administration. Morgan has been a member of CPHA since 2005 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2013.


Heather Clinton, Secretary

Heather Clinton is a Research Assistant in the Injury Prevention Center at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Heather has been assigned to work with the Office of Injury Prevention at the Connecticut Department of Public Health since March 2016. As a member of the Office of Injury Prevention, Heather engages in activities focused on surveillance of unintentional drug overdose fatalities, utilizing the Connecticut Violent Death Reporting System (e.g., abstracting data from select official reports, analyzing data results, and generating reports).  In addition, Heather holds a concurrent position with Reach Out and Read Connecticut. Heather is responsible for activities related to communications, programs evaluation and coordination, and data management. Heather received a BS in Mathematics from the University of Connecticut.


Elizabeth Schwartz

Be it at Pepe’s, Modern, Sally’s, or Zinc Kitchen, New Haven resident Elizabeth Schwartz is still enough of a native New Yorker to know how to fold a slice!  Elizabeth would prefer to live in a world scored by upbeat, ‘80s one-hit wonders, where all stall doors swing outward, and where everyone has access to adequate healthcare and outstanding, public education. Her public health passions are issues of health equity, neglected tropical diseases, and health engineering using low-cost, local products in the developing world.  Professionally, Elizabeth leads community health activities in five New England states for a major cancer-focused charitable organization. She is also a part-time professor of public health at Southern Connecticut State University, and a public health ghost writer. In 2016, she was the recipient of CPHA’s Michael J. Perlin Student Award, as well as SCSU’s A. Kay Keiser Valedictory Award.  When not knee-deep in the world of public health, Elizabeth is a passionate globe trekker, photographer, and connoisseur of treehouse living!


 SAVE THE DATE: Friday, April 7, 2017 – 2017 CPHA PUBLIC HEALTH AWARDS


Mark your calendars!  The 2017 CPHA Public Health Awards Event is scheduled for Friday, April 7, 2017. Like every year, we welcome you to join us in honoring our 2017 CPHA Award Recipients (to be selected) for their outstanding contributions to public health in Connecticut. This event will also be an opportunity for professional networking with public health colleagues and supporters from around the state! More details about the event to follow soon!




The 2017 Program Committee is in the beginning stage of organizing the annual conference. The 100th anniversary celebration exceeded expectations and attendance, and we are looking forward to the same enthusiasm and attendance this year.  If you want to participate in the planning committee, please send email to:



The legislative session is in full swing, and the Advocacy Committee will be keeping you updated on ways to get involved. CPHA is committed to protecting and promoting public health efforts and investments, particularly in the areas of Prevention, Public Health Infrastructure, Health Equity, and Environmental Health. We need your voice- 2017 is shaping up to be a challenging year for the public health community.  We encourage you to speak up and help others to do the same.



1) GET TO KNOW YOUR LEGISLATORS. Follow your legislators on social media, save their numbers in your phones, bookmark their online contact info- however you want to get in touch, they NEED to hear from you!

Find your State Senator and Representative.

Find your U.S. Senator and Representative. Already know? Find their contact info below:

Senator Richard Blumenthal (202) 224-2823

Online: Twitter @SenBlumenthal

Senator Chris Murphy (202) 224-4041

Online: Twitter @ChrisMurphyCT

Rep. John Larson (1st District) (202) 225-2265

Online: Twitter @RepJohnLarson

Rep. Joe Courtney (2nd District) (202) 225-2076

Online: Twitter @RepJoeCourtney

Rep. Rose DeLauro (3rd District) (202) 225-3661

Online: Twitter @rosadelauro

Rep. Jim Himes (4th District) (202) 225-5541

Online: Twitter @jahimes

Rep. Elizabeth Esty (5th District) (202) 225-4476

Online: Twitter @RepEsty

2) ACT ON STATE LEGISLATION. We will provide updates on bills we are watching with calls to action. The list of bills we are tracking will be updated regularly and can be found here. If there are bills you are watching that you feel should be brought to the attention of the CPHA Board, please let us know. The Public Health Committee page can be a helpful resource to identify bills of interest, but keep in mind there may be bills in other Committees as well. You can make your own bill tracking list by creating an account, which will provide you with text and email alerts.

3)  ACT ON FEDERAL LEGISLATION. We will also provide updates on federal legislation and calls to action.

4) ATTEND EVENTS. We will share information about educational sessions, community conversations, and rallies related to public health legislation or public health issues relevant to our priority areas. We encourage you to share opportunities with us.

5) FOLLOW CPHA ON FACEBOOK. In addition to email alerts, we will be sharing opportunities to get involved through Facebook. Follow us here!



CPHA has taken a special interest, based on the bills currently under consideration, in the following topics:

· Opioid Addiction Treatment and Opioid Control

· Substance Abuse Treatment

· Tobacco Control

· Pay Equity and Paid Family Medical Leave

· Community Health Worker Integration

· Protecting and Enhancing Access to Reproductive Healthcare

· Promoting Affordable Housing

· Reducing Consumption of Sugar Sweetened Beverages

· Protecting Provisions of the Affordable Care Act

· Protecting and Enhancing the Water Supply

· Funding Lead Abatement Activities

To date CPHA has provided testimony on the following bills and issues:

H.B. 5210: An Act Concerning Various Pay Equity and Fairness Matters 

H.B. 5384: An Act Raising the Legal Age for Purchase and Use of Tobacco Products

S.B. 35: An Act Concerning Beverages with Added Sugars, Sweeteners, and Artificial Sweeteners and Obesity

S.B. 126: An Act Concerning Community Health Workers

Submitted by Community Health Workers Association of CT

S.B. 126: An Act Concerning Community Health Workers

Submitted by CPHA

Proposed Changes to the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Statute 8-30G


In addition to providing testimony, we will be sharing fact sheets with our members to accompany action alerts on the above topics. If you have special knowledge on any of the above and are willing to help in the development of fact sheets, please let us know.


In addition, the 2017 SHIP Policy Agenda is the first ever, collaboratively developed listing of priority policy issues for the Healthy CT 2020: State Health Improvement Coalition (SHIP Coalition).  The 2017 SHIP Policy Agenda is a consolidated list of input from Action Team members and SHIP Action Summit participants to align with policies and priorities developed through SHIP Action Teams. For more information about SHIP priorities, visit the SHIP Coalition webpage:


If you are interested in supporting the Advocacy Committee, please contact Jenna Lupi,




New and Existing Members – Get your CPHA Member pin!

This year, as part of our National Public Health Week (April 6th – 12th) activities, CPHA is asking all CPHA members to ask one or more colleagues and/or friends to join CPHA.  Membership is the backbone of the Association and we need you, your colleagues, and your friends to amplify your public health voice.  We know that our current membership reflects only a fraction of those involved in public health in the State.  Who works in public health?  Our friends at APHA have developed a fairly full roster including: first responders; restaurant inspectors; health educators; scientists and researchers; nutritionists; community planners; social workers; epidemiologists; public health physicians; public health nurses; occupational health and safety professionals; public policymakers; and, sanitarians.

If you know anyone who has a career listed above, ask them, “do you belong to CPHA?”  If they don't, ask them to join.  CPHA’s online membership form is the easiest way to do this.  During this membership drive every new member who signs up from March 1st to April 30th will receive a “CPHA Member” lapel pin (a new member agency will receive 3 pins).  As a thank you to existing members, if the new member (student, individual, agency, retiree, lifetime, or community health worker) lists the name of a CPHA member on their application as the person who referred them, the existing CPHA member will also receive a “CPHA Member” lapel pin.




This National Public Health Week the CPHA MOR is trying to Make CT the Healthiest State by April 8 by engaging them in the CPHA 30-30 Step Challenge. Please read the letter below which we sent to our 45 MOR members to get them involved in helping APHA reach its goal of 1 billion steps by April 9th.  We encourage you to join this effort by signing up as an individual member on the CPHA 30-30 Team, or as a team leader with one or more members at


Thank you from the NPHW MOR team:

Joan Lane Naugatuck Valley Health District, Co-chair NPHW

Cyndi Billian Stern, CPHA MOR Chair 

Pamela Kilbey-Fox, UConn MPH Adjunct Faculty

Susan Troupe, HOSA Chair

N. Chi Anako, Health Equity Program Coordinator for Trinity Health Care Systems

Jane Donn, Health Science Curriculum Specialist, Ed Advance

Michelle Pomerantz, Student Organization UConn MPH Program


On January 21st some 3 million people walked... rather marched... for women’s health. Now the American Public Health Association (APHA) has challenged Americans to collectively walk 1 billion steps by the close of National Public Health Week (April 3-9, 2017). With a population of just over 3.5 million, Connecticut’s fair share is 10 million steps of APHA’s goal of 1 billion. But CPHA believes we can do much better and is raising the bar to 30 million steps to Make CT the Healthiest State by April 8.

Whether we are walking for our heart or better health policies. Here’s how we will get there:



· Reach 30 million steps between March 11 and April 8 (3 times our share by our portion of the population) by forming small walking teams of co-workers and community members.

· Mentor students from undergraduate programs or courses in public health as you walk.

· Develop long-term relationships with schools, private businesses and foundations to increase support for, contribute to and participate in public health activities.

· Educate individuals and organizations across the state about the benefits of walking. Regular physical activity like walking reduces the risk of conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer. Walking can be relaxing, spiritual, and when we do it together, it decreases loneliness, one common risk factor for depression.


Our Strategy:

· Recruit CPHA MOR leaders from at least 20 of our 45 member organizations.

· Each MOR leader recruits 2 or more walkers (staff, colleagues, students, friends, family).

· Each MOR leader will also recruit a partner organization(s) in the community, which will also recruit walkers. Non-public health community organizations (businesses, schools, hospitals, foundations) that form teams will need to have one member join CPHA as an individual, or have the organization become a member.

· Walkers will count their own steps (via Fitbit, phone apps, pedometers) and report their results to their team leader.

· Team leaders will report steps on the CPHA website each Saturday from March 11th-April 8th.

· Watch our progress on APHA’s 1 Billion Steps Campaign website (look for the CPHA 30-30 team).

· Teams will be recognized at the CPHA Annual Awards Event in April.

· Encourage team members to join CPHA!

 We Can’t Do This Without You. Email or call us to get involved. We will send you what you need to make this easy: From letters to community partners to how to submit team information and number of steps. Watch for updates at



What is the Community Health Workers Association of Connecticut (CHWACT)?

CHWACT is an organization for Community Health Workers.  A Community Health Worker (CHW) serves as a liaison-link-intermediary among the community, health and, social services to facilitate access to resources and improve the quality and cultural competency of service delivery. A CHW also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy.         


CHWACT is a section of the CPHA.


CHWACT’s mission is: To advance the CHW workforce through policy, education, research and leadership.


CHWACT’s Core Values:

CHANGE:  We believe in the effectiveness of CHWs empowerment to transform individuals and communities.

JUSTICE:  We protect the capacity of CHWs to function ethically and with care. We accomplish this with integrity and courage.


LEADERSHIP:  We take steps to advance the CHW workforce and inspire others to join us.


Activities performed by CHWACT:

 Provide information, education and capacity-building for CHWs, CHW employers, CHW champions and community members

 Offer networking and professional development opportunities for CHWs

 Influence CHW-related policymaking and advocate for a strong, sustainable CHW workforce in Connecticut

 Collect and share current data impacting the CHW workforce in Connecticut, New England, and the U.S.


For more information on CHWACT visit:

Or contact:



Following an amazing 2016 Conference event, the 2017 CPHA Program Committee is hard at work preparing for this year's Annual Conference. The conference will be held on October 30, 2017 at the Aqua Turf in Southington, CT.


If you are interested in participating in the planning of this year's conference, please email


Interested in sponsoring, exhibiting or advertising at the CPHA conference? Take advantage of the opportunity and gain exposure to hundreds of public health professionals and advocates from around the state. Click here for more information!







City of New Haven


Medical Records Technician 2

Department of Public Health, State of Connecticut



Epidemiologist 1 (Infectious/Chronic Diseases)

State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health



CT Careers Trainee (Target Class Epidemiologist 1 -Inf/ChrnDis

State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health



Epidemiologist 2 (Infectious/Chronic Diseases

State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health



Epidemiologist 2 (Infectious/Chronic Diseases

State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health



Immunization Action Plan (IAP) Coordinator

City of Norwalk


Nurse Practitioner (Part time)

City of Norwalk




City of Stamford


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Healthy CT 2020 Performance Dashboard

Posted By Belinda Jivapong, Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Connecticut Performance Dashboard

Today, we are highlighting the value of using the Healthy CT 2020 Performance Dashboard—which displays how Connecticut residents are faring in health improvement target areas in a simple and visual format—with our partners. Below, we have asked Marianne Buchelli to share how the HIV Prevention Program has incorporated the Dashboard into their daily work.

Q:   How has your program used the Dashboard?

A:     We use it to monitor ourselves regularly and also as tool to share with our funders on our progress in meeting our goals and objectives.  One of the ways it has been helpful has been in presenting our data to the layperson in the community, which is part of our effort to be transparent and engage our patients/clients in understanding performance measures in general. We have used the Dashboards at a variety of task force meetings, such as Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) community core meeting, Connecticut HIV/AIDS Identification and Referral (CHAIR) Task Force, and the statewide Connecticut HIV Planning Consortia (CHPC). The Dashboard has helped demonstrate how “numbers are people” to further engage the community in performance improvement.  The picture to the right is of our very own Ramon presenting to community stakeholders at Yale University.

Q:  What are the benefits of using the Dashboard? 

A:   The Dashboard offers a way for our program to show stakeholders in the community how well our programs meet our annual goals and objectives.  It provides an easy way to show the data in a manner that is user-friendly to community members and also engages them in discussing the data rather than just talking at them with data sets. 

In 2015, the HIV Prevention Program presented our Dashboard at the Connecticut HIV Planning Consortia (CHPC) meeting.  It was a great way to highlight our successes and have a dialogue with community members about areas for improvement, specifically around health inequities.  Further information about how the community responded to the Dashboard can be found in the attached CHPC meeting minutes and CT Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan 2017-2021 on page 12.

Q:  What improvements have you seen since you started using the Dashboard and what do you attribute  them to? 

A:   The main improvement is in communicating performance improvement with our stakeholders.  Another of the major outcomes was identifying Plan, Do Study, Act (PDSA) projects for our funded contractors to implement based on the health disparities data among gay men and women of color living HIV/AIDS.  This has sparked a statewide initiative for Connecticut to develop a plan to end HIV/AIDS in CT.  The HIV Prevention Program is supporting this initiative to “get to zero” by laying the ground work for a community level plan that will work towards achieving zero infections, zero deaths, and zero stigma.  

Use of the Dashboard with partners helps with a common understanding of health issues, DPH’s role and partners roles, identification of policies, and system changes needed to improve health and health equity

If you have any questions about the Dashboard, want to learn more about it, or have a story to share about how you have used the dashboard,  please contact Etienne Holder (ex: 7781) at or Joan Ascheim (ex: 7626) at

 Attached Thumbnails:

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Posted By Melissa Touma, Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Updated: Thursday, November 3, 2016



Debbie L. Humphries, PhD, MPH, Yale School of Public Health

C.E.A. Winslow Award


Dr. Humphries is a clinical instructor in Epidemiology (microbial diseases) at the Yale School of Public Health and teaches the renowned Practice Based Community Health Research course, which places student groups with agencies around Connecticut.  The benefits for community-based public health in CT are twofold: students develop skills in planning and designing practice-based community health research projects while precepting organizations employ the results and pilot data to develop strategic plans and apply for grants and consultation services they could not otherwise afford. Last year participating agencies included the New London Homeless Hospitality Center, Yale New Haven Health System, Common Ground High School’s Urban Farm and Environmental Education Center, and the City of Norwalk.  Dr. Humphries also serves on the leadership committees for AIDS Project New Haven and the CT Public Health Practice Based Research Network (CT PBRN).  She is a key figure in the CT PBRN, serving as a principal investigator on several studies that were developed in collaboration with the CT Association of Directors of Health and focus on local health department organizational structure, financing, and service delivery. Her CT PBRN research includes studying the effects of cross-jurisdictional resource sharing on the implementation, scope and quality of public health services in CT.  Dr. Humphries is also a co-author of the Community Research Assessment Tool (CREAT), a framework for characterizing the research capacity and value of research conducted by public health and community organizations that was conceived by the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA). Dr. Humphries is a CIRA affiliated scientist and has collaborated with numerous community based HIV prevention and care providers in CT.   

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The Witness Project of Connecticut, Bridgeport, CT: GET TO KNOW THE 2016 CPHA PUBLIC HEALTH AWARD RECIPIENTS

Posted By Melissa Touma, Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Updated: Thursday, November 3, 2016



The Witness Project of Connecticut, Bridgeport, CT

Ira V. Hiscock Award


The Witness Project of Connecticut is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 with the mission to reduce the number of African American women diagnosed with late stage breast cancer in Connecticut by increasing early detection and treatment rates through education and empowerment. The Witness Project serves under-served women in Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford by providing culturally sensitive breast health education, patient navigation services for uninsured women and sponsor mammography screening days in the community. All of these efforts combined help facilitate detection, which is key to surviving breast cancer.

The Witness Project utilizes an evidence-based education model to provide women with breast health education and identify those who have not received a mammogram in the past 12 months. Women are reached in education sessions conducted for churches and the community service organizations that serve low income women. Group education sessions utilize lay health advisors and witness role models to educate and discuss breast health. Nearly 60% of the women reached are in group sessions and the Witness Project has consistently exceeded its annual education goals by 150%. The other 40% are reached in one to one education sessions during community mammography screenings.

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Posted By Melissa Touma, Monday, November 7, 2016
Updated: Thursday, November 3, 2016



Thomas P Meehan, MD, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Hartford, CT

Charles G. Huntington III Award

Dr. Meehan is a committed primary care provider, leader, researcher, and teacher dedicated to improving CT’s health care system and to supporting those working within it. Dr. Meehan began his career in primary care, working for seven years in the Waterbury area caring for patients of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Between 1998 and 2013, Dr. Meehan served in Yale-New Haven Hospital’s hypertension clinic, in which he cared for referred patients, many underinsured, with refractory hypertension. Throughout his entire 15 years working in Yale’s hypertension clinic, Dr. Meehan was a volunteer. Motivated by his passion for public health and quality improvement, Dr. Meehan earned his MPH degree and became involved in leadership, with noteworthy positions including Chief Medical Officer of Qualidigm (non-profit quality improvement organization) and more recently, Associate Medical Director of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (not-for-profit health plan). As a leader, Dr. Meehan has sought opportunities to improve safety net programs (Medicare and Medicaid) and to eliminate health disparities across all settings of care.

 Dr. Meehan has taught at UConn, Yale, and Quinnipiac over the last 26 years, working with students in medicine, nursing, and public health. In addition, he has published 69 original research papers regarding quality improvement in health care. Dr. Meehan’s career objective is to make a meaningful contribution to society by facilitating improvements in healthcare quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness.

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Posted By Melissa Touma, Friday, November 4, 2016
Updated: Thursday, November 3, 2016



Randy Domina, MPH Candidate, Southern Connecticut State University

The Michael J. Perlin Student Award 

Randy Domina received a Bachelor of Arts in History and Sociology from Hope College and brings a diverse background to the field of public health. For over 10 years, Randy worked closely with children of varying ages, helping at-risk teenagers, teaching environmental education, directing operations of an environmental education center, and eventually teaching geography and history at a local middle school after receiving his Certification for Middle School Social Studies in the State of Connecticut. In addition, Randy’s carpentry skills allowed him to start and own his own remodeling business for many years. In 2015, Randy also participated in a New England Public Health Training Center Fellowship in addition to working towards his MPH from SCSU. 

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