Paul E. Jarris, MD, MBA, Executive Director, Association of State And Territorial Health Officers, ASTHO

by John Morton

DomesticPreparedness met with Paul E. Jarris, MD, MBA, Executive Director, Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (ASTHO), who provides the perspective of state health officials today on a host of public health preparedness issues, stressing interdisciplinary integration and the importance of interoperable networked systems for the tracking of diseases, vaccine distribution, and patients.

DomPrep has divided the 46 minute interview into 6 segments.

Download full audio interview to your MP3 player.

Listen to Audio Segment One ASTHO’s View on the Public Health Infrastructure

ASTHO’s emphasis on four essential components of the governmental public health infrastructure: trained and sustained workforces; health/medical data systems; reliable communications; and comprehensive disease-surveillance systems.

Duration: 6 Minutes 56 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Two Preparedness

Integrating state-level preparedness responsibilities and resources into public health. Leveraging exercises and real-life events to validate strategic performance capacity indicators. Building the preparedness capabilities of states with a “one workforce” approach to public health.

Duration: 11 Minutes 06 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Three Infectious Disease Policy

The development of a national surveillance strategy and system. Social distancing and the legal authorities and public health law. Implementing vector-control programs. The importance of maintenance contracts for public health labs.

Duration: 10 Minutes 34 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Four Anti-Viral Stockpiling

The need for equipment stockpiling beyond anti-virals.

Duration: 4 Minutes 07 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Five Vaccine Supply

The challenge presented by the dramatically increased cost of vaccines. The need for an interoperable national tracking system for the supply, purchase, and distribution of vaccines. The ASTHO/CDC initiative to arrive at a consensus on determining vaccination priority groups.

Duration: 8 Minutes 35 Seconds

Listen to Audio Segment Six Informatics Policy

The need to include public health considerations in the discussion with the clinical community on health information-technology standards.

Duration: 5 Minutes 05 Seconds

Dr. Paul E. Jarris, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO),is former State Health Official of the Vermont Department of Health, where he oversaw a department of 850 employees, 12 district offices, and a $250 million budget while serving the public-health, mental-health, and substance-abuse needs of the state’s citizens.One of his primary emphases in that post was the prevention of chronic illness; he also was instrumental in developing options for patients vulnerable to addiction, and developed the state’s first inpatient substance-abuse treatment program dedicated to adolescent and women’s care. A graduate of the University of Vermont and of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he interned at the Duke-Watts Family Medicine Residency Program in Durham, N.C., and completed his residency at the Swedish Family Practice Residency Program in Seattle. He also completed a Faculty Development program and received a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Washington.