NACo’s Healthy Counties Initiative creates and sustains healthy counties by supporting collaboration and sharing evidence-informed approaches to pressing health issues. The initiative is centered on supporting and elevating best practices and county innovations in public health. By addressing key public health issues, Healthy Counties empowers county leaders with resources for promoting and advancing health policies and programs that meet the needs of their communities.

The Healthy Counties Initiative is supported by the Healthy Counties Advisory Board, a committee comprised of county elected officials, key county agency staff and corporate partners. These members work collaboratively to identify priorities and ensure that other county leaders receive timely and useful information to make appropriate health decisions for their communities.  

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Congress introduces Local 9-8-8 Response Act of 2023 to improve mental healthcare access

In early December, the Senate introduced the Local 9-8-8 Response Act of 2023. This bipartisan bill, introduced by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), aims to enhance mental health crisis response through the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

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Congress works to reauthorize behavioral and mental health programs in SUPPORT Act

In 2018, Congress passed the Substance-Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act. On September 30, many policy provisions in the original package expired, requiring congressional reauthorization to continue these critical programs among a worsening overdose crisis.

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Counties tackle dental care for the underserved

The Community Health Centers of Linn and Benton County, Ore. are working with a recovery support service to alleviate barriers to treatment through its on-site dental program, which can see up to seven patients a day. 

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CMS releases interim final rule on Medicaid unwinding, enforcing requirements for states

On December 6, the Department of Health and Human Services, through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, released an interim final rule that enforces state and local requirements for post-COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Medicaid eligibility redeterminations and disenrollment, also known as “Medicaid unwinding.”

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White House releases playbook to address the social determinants of health

On November 16, the White House released the first-ever U.S. Playbook to Address Social Determinants of Health, a policy guide aimed at integrating social services, public health, and the healthcare system to improve health outcomes in local communities by breaking down federal agency and local system silos.

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NACo commission on mental health sends letter to Congress

On November 13, members of NACo's Commission on Mental Health and Wellbeing sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Committees on Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The Commission called on Congress to support counties in delivering high-quality, assessible mental health services to address residents' comprehensive behavioral health needs in any mental health legislation package. 

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