FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
July 2, 2013 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – State health officials today announced that Connecticut is one of eight states selected to participate in the Aspen Institute’s Excellence in State Public Health Law program, a one year program 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, and will increase these leaders’ effectiveness on public health issues in their respective states, including working across party lines and government agencies and branches.
Representing Connecticut in this program are representatives from the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Office of Policy and Management, Connecticut General Assembly staff, as well as State Senator Toni Harp and State Representative Prasad Srinivasan. Connecticut’s team will examine how local public health districts and departments provide essential public health services. Currently, 74 local health departments/districts (LHDs) exist to serve all of the state’s residents, including those residing in rural areas and Connecticut’s 169 towns and cities. Twenty-four of these LHDs are part-time and 50 are full-time.
“The structure, governance, resources and function of LHDs in Connecticut are inconsistent and do not equitably serve all residents,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Regionalization of LHDs or cross jurisdictional sharing of public health services could improve access to the ten essential public health services across the state to better serve all of Connecticut’s residents.”
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. Aspen will fund all travel and travel-related expenses associated with participation in the program.