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National Association of County and City Health Officials

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY AND CITY HEALTH OFFICIALS

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) is a national organization representing local U.S. public health agencies. NACCHO's mission is to promote national policy, develop resources and programs, and support effective local public health practice and systems that protect and improve the health of people and communities.

NACCHO was established in 1994 with the merging of the U.S. Conference of Local Health Officials and the National Association of County Health Officials. Both of the two predecessor organizations were founded in the 1960s. NACCHO's members are local public health agencies, also called local health departments, in the United States. NACCHO serves the 3,000 local health departments in the country; over 1,100 local health departments, serving 75 percent of the U.S. population, are active, dues-paying members of NACCHO.

The organization's headquarters are in Washington, D.C., where the work of the organization is organized by a staff of about fifty. Local health departments are represented on NACCHO's thirty-two-member board of directors by local health officials (usually the chief executive) elected by the membership. Over three hundred local health officials serve on a variety of NACCHO advisory committees and national workgroups addressing a wide variety of public health issues.

NACCHO provides a number of services, ranging from professional meetings for local health officials to the development of tools to enhance local practice, and from public advocacy of national policies of importance to local practitioners to timely research on topics of relevance. NACCHO works closely with a number of federal partners, including the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NACCHO receives a significant portion of its operating revenues through the development of tools and services funded by these federal partners to benefit local public health practice. Examples include community assessment tools (APEX PH, PACE-EH), work on public health capacity issues (workforce development, accreditation, performance standards, information technology), and a variety of projects in key practice areas (tobacco use prevention, clean indoor air, brownfields, maternal and child health, food safety, safe communities, hepatitis-C prevention, rural health, and bioterrorism preparedness). NACCHO generates reports and provides training in many of these areas.

NACCHO also serves as the National Program Office for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Turning Point project. This project provides technical support and resources to forty-one community partnerships located in fourteen states around the county. The partnerships are working through collaborative partnerships to transform and strengthen their local public health systems to better protect and improve the health of their communities.

Thomas L. Milne

(see also: Association of State and Territorial Health Officials; Community Health; Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships )

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