Lessons From Kentucky’s Public Health Surveillance and Community Prevention

Crossing into Covington, Kentucky from Cincinnati, Ohio

Crossing into Covington, Kentucky from Cincinnati, Ohio Shutterstock


Connecting state and local government leaders

The National Governors Association selected seven state governments to participate in a learning lab and receive technical assistance.

Earlier this month, National Governors Association selected seven states to participate in a learning lab focused on state strategies to manage infectious diseases related to substance abuse.

In addition to a field visit to Kentucky that will look at how public health surveillance and community prevention efforts have been used to address the risk of infectious disease risk associated with substance abuse, including the opioid epidemic, the states will receive six months of technical assistance in creating and executing an action plan.

The NGA chose Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Michigan, Utah, Virginia and Washington to participate in the learning lab.

“The opioid epidemic continues to take a devastating toll on Virginia’s communities,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement released Monday. “As a physician myself, I know that to combat this public health crisis, we must approach it from every angle, including finding better ways to reduce the harm from infectious diseases. I appreciate the opportunity from the NGA for Virginia to learn collaboratively, and I look forward to hearing what our officials learn from other states and how we can implement those findings in the Commonwealth.”

Dr. Daniel Carey, who serves as Virginia’s secretary of Health and Human Resources, said in a statement: "Public health is a collaborative effort, and I’m looking forward to learning from Kentucky’s success.”

In a separate project, the NGA selected five states—Alaska, Arizona, Missouri, Rhode Island and West Virginiato participate in a program looking at efforts in Ohio to serve pregnant and post-natal women with opioid-use disorder and improve health outcomes for their babies.