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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:

 Attached Files:

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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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Posted By Melissa Touma, Thursday, November 3, 2016



Elizabeth Schwartz, MPH Candidate, Southern Connecticut State University

The Michael J. Perlin Student Award 

Elizabeth Schwartz graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in Cultural Anthropology before pursuing a Master of Public Health from Southern Connecticut State University. Elizabeth brings an array of experiences, from working in the New York State Assembly as a Legislative Aide to lead a team of experienced real estate professionals in management as an Assistant Director at Merlot Properties Group. Elizabeth worked with Susan G. Komen of Connecticut as a research assistant for the 2015 Community Profile of Breast Cancer in Connecticut Report and wrote the Executive Summary for the report. In 2015, Elizabeth also became a Fellow in Resident at the Connecticut Coalition on Aging. As of October 2016, Elizabeth also serves on the CPHA Board as our interim treasurer. 

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CPHA Newsletter - Fall 2016

Posted By Melissa Touma, Friday, September 23, 2016

CPHA E-Newsletter—Fall 2016



Plans are well under way for CPHA’s 100th anniversary conference. There is plenty of excitement with this conference, not only because we are celebrating a century of public health successes but also because our featured speaker is APHA President, Dr. Camara Jones. We expect this to be an excellent conference and I encourage members to register early.

As many of you may know, we have been working closely with Connecticut Community Health Workers to develop a CHW section for our chapter similar to the APHA’s section. Recently, we signed on as supporters of the New England CHW Coalition comments addressed to the U.S. Department of Labor on the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code for CHWs. Specifically, we are urging the DOL to adopt revisions to the definition of CHWs to better reflect the important work CHWs perform.

The CPHA Board has been working hard to implement our new strategic plan and is always happy to receive help and input from our members. If any members would like to become more involved with the Board or a specific committee, please reach out to myself or any of our committee chairs for more information.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you in November!  


Join us for our Centennial Celebration and Annual Meeting on November 10! Back to the Future: 100 years of Public Health in CT and Beyond will be held at Anthony's Ocean View in New Haven, CT beginning at 9 AM. We are excited this year to be including a Rapid Fire session, Roundtable, and Panel Discussion. We are very pleased to host our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Camara Jones, APHA President, as well as our afternoon panelists including Senator Chris Murphy who will participate in a discussion on the tackling the Opioid Epidemic. The celebration will also feature over 30 speakers and a networking Happy Hour featuring live music. Take a glance into the past during the lunch presentation on the history of CPHA and public health in the state, and look forward to the future and with innovations in health research, policy, and community programs. Don't forget to take advantage of the Early Bird discount before it ends on October 14.

More on our Keynote Speaker and Afternoon Panel:

Keynote Speaker: Camara P. Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, President, American Public Health Association (APHA)

Dr. Jones is a research director on social determinants of health and equity in the Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and President of the American Public Health Association (APHA). She seeks to broaden the national health debate to include not only universal access to high quality health care but also attention to the social determinants of health (including poverty) and the social determinants of equity (including racism). As a methodologist, she has developed new ways for comparing full distributions of data (rather than means or proportions) in order to investigate population-level risk factors and propose population-level interventions. 

Afternoon Panel: Tackling the Opioid Epidemic at the Federal, State, and Local Levels featuring Senator Chris Murphy's Director of Community Affairs, Sean Scanlon

Senator Chris Murphy's Director of Community Affairs, Sean Scanlon, has been invited to sit on a panel of policymakers, research scientists, and overdose prevention advocates to tackle the conversation on the opioid epidemic and provide insight what is being done at the local, state, and federal level to better understand opioid abuse and reduce exposure in the community. Explore how advocates are working hard to improve community efforts to prevent dependence and improve overdose outcomes. Visit CPHA's website for more information.

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!

*This is a fragrance free event in consideration of those with asthma and respiratory reactions.*

The Program Committee meets every two weeks via phone. If you would like to join and assist in these final weeks of planning, please email the



The Connecticut State Innovation Model (SIM) is a $45 million grant awarded to the State through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, a division of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services established under the Affordable Care Act.  The SIM includes a variety of initiatives intended to establish a whole-person centered healthcare system through three main strategies: transforming the healthcare delivery system, reforming payment and insurance design, and developing population health capabilities.  An overview of the SIM and its strategies can be found here.


There are often opportunities to get involved with SIM initiatives, with announcements posted on our main page and our Facebook page.  You can also receive Newsletters and E-Alerts by signing up here.




The Health Education Committee wants to hear from you!

Join our next meeting on October 12 at 8:45 AM via phone or WebEx invite. It’s easy to join- just contact us at to receive call-in information. This month’s presentations will feature:

·         Emerging Trends - Amy Hanoian-Fontana, MA, EMT-B, Community Education Specialist, CT Poison Control Center - UConn Health

·         Lead 101 - Basics about Lead - Kim Ploszaj, Lead Program and Healthy Homes, CT Dept. of Public Health

Thanks to all who participated in our September meeting. Please find the meeting minutes here.

September meeting highlights:

·         Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) Pilot Project – presented by Suzanne Blancaflor, MPH, MS, Chief, Environmental Health Section, CT Dept. of Public Health. Find more details, information, and resources about Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment.

·         Who’s in charge, the parasite or the host? How bed bug-human behaviors contribute to the insect’s success Bed Bugs – presented by Dr. Gale E. Ridge, Assistant Scientist, The CT Agricultural Experiment Station. Check out the “Connecticut Coalition Against Bed Bugs (CCABB) - Bed Bug Information” website for flyers and other information to share with the public


National Public Health Week: Success by the Numbers

Our National Public Health Week (NPHW) activities reached over 4,000 high school and community college students from over 80 communities, significantly surpassing our 2015 outreach efforts of 2,500 students in 70 communities!  How did we accomplish this?

1.       Through our broad and active membership: MOR paired several member organizations with schools across the state, with CT HOSA (CT Association of Future Health Professionals) and Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) public health presenters led student contacts reaching over 3,000 through their combined activities.

2.       By Sharing Resources: The CPHA MOR posted events, free existing resources and new ones developed with the support and creativity of mentored MPH candidates.

3.       By Listening to our Education Partners: We extended NPHW activities past April at the request of educators to accommodate their spring vacation and testing schedules.


MOR Public Health Awareness among CT High School Students

At the 2016 statewide HOSA (Future Health Professionals) Annual Competition in New Haven, there was a clear indication that Public Health is no longer an unknown term among high school students. According to CT HOSA President and MOR member, Susan Troupe, 350 high school students presented innovative team driven and designed health projects.  Students selected from several categories to develop their project, e.g., Behavioral Health, Medical Innovation, Pathophysiology and Public Health.  More Public Health teams entered than any other type of team. In 2012, Public Health wasn’t even a choice.  We have come a long way through our joint efforts.

MOR and UCONN MPH Students Pilot a New Health Literacy Curriculum

In keeping with this year’s NPHW theme, the CPHA MOR aimed to “Reach the Next Generation” with a new two-three week curriculum:  Health Literacy: Don’t Leave High School Without it.” Graduate students, Fawatih Mohamed, MD and Rabale Hasan, working with MOR leaders, Cyndi Billian Stern and Amanda Durante, developed a blended curriculum aligned to standards in health education, medical careers and Public Health 101 classes for the high school.

A New Britain Medical Careers class completed the new lessons with educator Darlene Clark using a pre and post-test with her students which indicated its effectiveness on a small sample.  We continue to tweak the curriculum and are currently seeking funding to evaluate it following a broader student pilot in New Britain, Manchester, and Waterbury. Following the evaluation, our intent is to offer the online curriculum with training for educators.

Public Health 101 For the High School:  Now Free for ALL High Schools

Hyde Public Safety Academy is the latest high school to launch PH101 full year course developed by CPHA MOR leaders and EdAdvance (formerly Education Connection).  The 2016 version, updated by Newtown’s PH101 teacher, Susan McConnell, can be accessed at

MOR Mentoring for College Students of Public Health

Research indicates the exponential growth of public health majors at the undergraduate level.  In Connecticut, we have seen this growth with students enrolling in greater numbers in public health courses at University of CT, St. Joseph University, Goodwin College, CT Community Colleges and Yale.   In the coming months the MOR will determine the best way to serve this population, regarding experiential learning and career advice with the help of the leaders of those programs, who are also MOR members.
                    To get involved or for MOR information contact


The Advocacy Committee is preparing to take an active role in the 2017 legislative session, and will be determining priorities in the coming months. If you would like to get involved, please contact Jenna Lupi,

Set to go into effect on October 1, 2016, here is a summary of seven bills of public health interest that were passed during the 2016 legislative sessions:


This act reduces the public water supply's mandated fluoride content. Specifically, it requires water companies serving at least 20,000 people to add enough fluoride to the water supply to maintain an average monthly fluoride content that varies no more than 0. 15 milligrams per liter (mg/L) from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) most recent recommendation for optimal fluoride levels in drinking water to prevent tooth decay (currently 0. 7 mg/L).


This act adds licensed speech and language pathologists, respiratory care practitioners, and audiologists to the list of health care providers authorized to provide health care services using telehealth. Under the act, they must provide telehealth services within their profession's scope of practice and standard of care, just as other telehealth providers must do under existing law.

By law, “telehealth” means delivering health care services through information and communication technologies to facilitate the diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management, and self-management of a patient's physical and mental health.


This act contains various provisions on opioid abuse prevention and treatment and related issues. It:

1.       prohibits, with certain exceptions, a prescribing practitioner authorized to prescribe an opioid drug from issuing a prescription for more than a seven-day supply to (a) a minor or (b) an adult for the first time for outpatient use;

2.        makes various changes to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program, such as (a) expanding who may serve as a prescriber's authorized agent, (b) modifying reporting deadlines, and (c) decreasing required prescriber reviews for prolonged treatment with schedule V nonnarcotic drugs;

3.       allows any licensed health care professional to administer an opioid antagonist (e. g. , Narcan) to treat or prevent a drug overdose without civil or criminal liability;

4.       requires municipalities, by October 1, 2016, to amend their local emergency medical services (EMS) plans to ensure that specified first responders are equipped with an opioid antagonist and trained in administering it;

5.       prohibits certain health insurance policies that provide prescription drug coverage for opioid antagonists from requiring prior authorization for these drugs; and

6.       requires the Public Health Committee chairpersons to establish a working group on the issuance of opioid drug prescriptions by prescribing practitioner.


This act establishes a framework to identify and treat bed bug infestations in residential rental properties, including public housing but excluding detached, single-family homes. It sets separate duties and responsibilities for landlords and tenants, including notice, inspection, and treatment requirements. It also gives landlords and tenants remedies when either party fails to comply with these duties and responsibilities.


This act makes numerous changes to Department of Public Health (DPH)-related statutes and programs, some of which include:

1.       makes changes affecting local health departments, such as establishing a process to address alleged impropriety by local health directors or their employees;

2.       creates a new dental assistant designation and requires dental professionals to take continuing education in infection control;

3.       allows nursing home patients to receive methadone treatment for opioid addiction at the nursing home under certain conditions;

4.       recognizes in statute a category of psychology technicians and allows them to provide certain psychological testing services if acting under a psychologist's supervision;

5.       as of July 1, 2017, eliminates the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and requires the governor to designate a nonprofit entity to serve this function;

6.       creates a diabetes advisory council in DPH within available appropriations; and

7.       creates a nail salon working group and a medical records task force.


This act makes changes to statutes related to HIV. Specifically, the act requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) to establish needle and syringe exchange programs in any community impacted by HIV or hepatitis C, not just the three cities with the most HIV cases among injection drug users, and expands the programs' service components. But it requires the programs only within available appropriations.


This act lowers, from . 10% to . 08%, the blood alcohol content (BAC) level that triggers a presumptive violation of the law's prohibition on carrying a loaded firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The . 08% level is the same threshold as for state and federal driving under the influence (DUI) laws.


Second Annual Statewide Prevention Fitness Forum

Connecticut Prevention Network and Wheeler Connecticut Clearing House

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Savin Rock Conference Center, 6 Rock Street, West Haven, CT


Public Health Nurse, City of New Haven

Epidemiologist, City of New Haven

Healthcare Advocate, State of Connecticut Office of the Healthcare Advocate

Healthcare Policy Planning Specialist, UCONN Health

Director of Health, City of Bridgeport

Public Health Nursing Administrator - City of Meriden

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Hepatitis Awareness Month

Posted By Michael Craven, Thursday, May 26, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Hepatitis Awareness Month

Hepatitis is an important virus that has a huge impact on public health and is one of the topics that we focus on in May. Hepatitis comes from the combination of two terms: Hepa- is the technical term for liver and -itis is the used to describe an inflammation. This disease is commonly associated with the Hepatitis virus, but is known to be caused by toxic substances and autoimmune disorders.

Hepatitis Virus
The most common types of Hepatitis virus in the United States are A, B, and C. There are two other types referred to as Hepatitis D and E viruses. According to the CDC, Hepatitis A, B, and C have 3,500, 19,800, and 29,700 new cases reported each year, respectively(2). There are vaccines available for Hepatitis A and B, however no vaccine is available for Hepatitis C(2). Many people are unaware that they are infected with these viruses. The most common route of infection for viruses A, B, and C are through contact with bodily fluids of another infected person including transfer from mother to child during birth(1,2). Typically, the B and C hepatitis viruses lead to more chronic diseases, cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer, so it is important for those with risk factors to be tested. Check out the CDC link at the bottom of this page to see a list of populations that should consider getting tested for the Hepatitis B and C viruses.

Toxic Substances
Hepatitis caused by toxic substances can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. The liver is the one of the main organs in the body that processes/metabolizes whatever is introduced into the body. For that reason, an individual who consumes alcohol heavily will be at a higher risk for hepatitis because alcohol in large quantities is hard for you liver to process. Another cause of hepatitis can be over the counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen(3). These can damage the liver over time, especially if they are taken with alcohol(3). Industrial chemicals, herbs/supplements, and prescription medications can cause liver damage (see the Mayo Clinic's list of prescriptions that can cause hepatitis)(3).

Autoimmune Hepatitis
A third cause of hepatitis can be autoimmune, or in other words the immune system of an individual begins attacking its own liver. This type of hepatitis can result in cirrhosis and liver failure(4). Autoimmune disorders of the liver can be treated with certain prescriptions(4). Typically people who develop autoimmune hepatitis have other autoimmune disorders and tend to be female(4).

Symptoms of Hepatitis
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Dark Urine
  • Grey Colored Stools
  • Joint Pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes)

(2) (List of at risk groups)

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