Tackling the opioid epidemic at the federal, state, and local levels will be the focus of the featured panel when the Connecticut Public Health Association (CPHA) celebrates 100 years of public health in Connecticut at the 2016 CPHA annual conference in November. In addition to the expert panel on opioid abuse, there will be more than 30 presenters on public health topics, a presentation on the history of CPHA and public health in the state, and a look forward to the future and innovations on the horizon in health research, policy, and community programs.
“Today, more than ever, the value of public health in saving lives and reducing health care costs is at the forefront of public policy,” the organization’s website points out. Members represent a wide variety of disciplines, and “are united in the goal of protecting and promoting the public's health.”
Keynote speaker will be Camara P. Jones, MD, MPH, PhD, President of the 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.
Opioid abuse has hit record levels in the United States, with drug overdose deaths quadrupling over the last 15 years, the CPHA points out. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Connecticut is experiencing a death rate for drug and opioid overdoses that surpasses the national rate and has reached epidemic proportions.
The conference is being held at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven on November 10. The theme is “Back to the Future – 100 Years of Public Health in Connecticut and Beyond.” The annual meeting is the oldest and largest gathering of public health professionals in Connecticut, attracting hundreds of attendees each year.