Inside NHPHA: Endurance and Leadership

by: Lisa Bujno

Last March I said to a coworker, who was working long hours to prepare for the impending COVID 19 pandemic, “Keep in mind, this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint”. Of course, it felt like a sprint at the time but as the months unfolded, the stress of the pandemic response marathon was evident throughout the healthcare and public health systems. At some point the initial adrenalin subsided but we kept going. Now we are working hard to deploy COVID vaccine to the population – another long haul and another leg in this crazy race.

Lately it seems that many people I speak with feel they are reaching the end of their endurance. It’s February, it’s dark and it’s cold. We are tired of COVID! In my search for something to keep me going through the rest of the pandemic, or at least the rest of the winter, I found a quote about perseverance from Walter Elliot.  “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many races one after another.” This reminded me to take a step back, take a deep breath, and take care of myself, in the pause between races, to prepare for the next phase of the pandemic.   

Inside NHPHA we are trying hard to persevere, as well, to keep our organization strong and able to both serve our members and advocate for the health of the public. This month we welcomed our new Program Assistant, Autumn Raschick-Goodwin, and we will be welcoming our new Executive Director, April Mottram, in March! We’ve done a bit of housekeeping as well, updating policies and tweaking the Bylaws, which will be sent to members for approval soon. In this newsletter you’ll read about the continuing work of the Policy Committee in response to the legislative session, Membership Committee outreach to potential members and much more!

Finally, we’re excited to announce a new partnership and heightened focus on one of our policy priorities – immunization. Through an agreement with JSI/CHI, NHPHA will be working to develop the first Immunization Coalition for the State of New Hampshire! The purpose of the Coalition is to educate and promote science and evidence-based information and strategies to:

  • heighten awareness on the importance immunizations across the lifespan,
  • work towards the equitable distribution of vaccines across NH communities; and,
  • provide learning and networking opportunities to key stakeholders.

We’re in the process of hiring a coordinator to manage this process and will keep you updated as we move forward in this important work.

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