2022 NACo Healthy Counties Forum

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

  • Apr. 6
    2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

    Optional Mobile Tour – The Poe Center

    All attendees are welcome to attend the mobile tour on a first come, first serve basis. The mobile tour will depart from the main hotel entrance. Attendees must arrive 10 minutes prior to tour departure to allow time to board the bus.

    The Poe Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to positively impacting the lives of North Carolina youth through health education. Since opening in Raleigh in 1991, the Poe Center has educated more than 1.3 million participants from 93 counties. The Center’s expert health educators partner with schools and organizations across the state to provide health education to children and adults. Engaging programs are available on nutrition and physical activity, adolescent development, general health, substance use prevention, dental health, bullying prevention, mental wellness and cooking and gardening education. Learn more before you go.

  • Apr. 6
    2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

    Registration Open

  • Apr. 6
    5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

    Welcome Reception

    Attendees and guests are invited to take a 12-minute stroll to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for a reception hosted by Wake County. Exit the Sheraton and take a right, then a right on West Jones Street. Limited transportation options available starting at 5:15 p.m.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

  • Apr. 7
    7:00 am to 4:00 pm

    Registration Open

  • Apr. 7
    7:45 am to 8:30 am

    Networking Breakfast

  • Apr. 7
    8:30 am to 9:00 am

    Forum Kickoff: “Building Healthy Counties”

  • Apr. 7
    9:00 am to 10:15 am

    General Session One: Innovations in Whole-Person Health Care Coming Out of COVID-19

    The vital role that counties play in creating and sustaining healthy communities has never been more evident. County leaders and public health departments have been at the forefront of combatting the COVID-19 pandemic and creating equitable opportunities for county residents to thrive. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and other state and local fiscal recovery funds create an opportunity for county leaders to invest in the future of their communities’ health in ways that promote equity and positive outcomes. Join us for a discussion on the collective impact of population health strategies and lessons learned for county leaders.

  • Apr. 7
    10:30 am to 11:45 am

    Breakout Session A: Addressing Housing and Homelessness to Support Health

    Counties invest significantly in housing and community development and play an important role in addressing the needs of people experiencing homelessness. County leaders have had to get creative during the COVID-19 pandemic to not only support unhoused residents to support health and wellbeing but to think about long-term solutions to an affordable housing crisis. This session will focus on innovative solutions for supporting people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness and address ways county leaders can support affordable housing for all community members.

  • Apr. 7
    10:30 am to 11:45 am

    Breakout Session B: Supporting Wellness for County Employees and Essential Workers

    As an employer of 3.6 million workers, counties play an important role in the health and wellbeing of county employees – including essential workers and first responders. The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for the county workforce, including heightened health risks, longer hours, staffing shortages and political backlash. This session will focus on innovative strategies for understanding county workers’ needs and supporting mental and physical wellbeing.

  • Apr. 7
    12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

    Luncheon: Leveraging Opioid Settlements for Health

    On July 21, 2021, a $26 billion settlement was announced between state and local governments and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and the “big three” distributors McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health to resolve their liabilities in over 3,000 opioid crisis-related lawsuits nationwide. State and local governments are anticipating an influx of resources for prevention, treatment and recovery efforts in the form of opioid litigation settlement funds as well as funds from the nearly $4 billion in substance abuse and mental health funding included in the American Rescue Plan. This is an historic moment wherein states and local governments have or will soon have significant resources to combat the opioid epidemic. In this session, participants will hear the latest update on these settlements and strategies for accessing these funds to support residents struggling with addiction. 

  • Apr. 7
    1:45 pm to 2:45 pm

    Moderated Meetup A: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders in the Age of COVID-19

    Counties are seeking innovative ways to address county residents’ reported struggles with mental health and substance use disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Feelings of isolation, loss and trauma have only increased this need, but county leaders have found innovation solutions to help their community members through this tough time. This moderated meetup will allow participants to discuss opportunities and solutions to addressing this challenge.

  • Apr. 7
    1:45 pm to 2:45 pm

    Moderated Meetup B: Food Insecurity

    Counties are improving access to healthy, affordable food to help residents live avoid the negative health outcomes associated with poor nutrition. Nationwide, low-income communities and communities of color still have the least access to healthy, affordable and nutritious foods. County leaders are supporting innovative partnerships and funding mechanisms to get healthy foods to the people and communities that need it most. This moderated meetup will allow participants to discuss opportunities and solutions to addressing this challenge.

  • Apr. 7
    3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

    Moderated Meetup C: Built Environment and Land Use for Healthy Communities

    Our built environment, including our homes, workplaces, streets, neighborhoods, infrastructure, buildings and parks, is a strong predictor of health outcomes and health status. Many counties are realizing that investing in neighborhoods, including green spaces and access to work, education, commerce and more can have positive impacts on community health. This moderated meetup will allow participants to discuss opportunities and solutions to addressing this challenge.

  • Apr. 7
    3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

    Moderated Meetup D: Health Across the Ages

    Counties are responsible for the health of our residents from the time they are born and across the lifespan. As the nation’s population rapidly ages, counties face increasing demand and challenges in providing comprehensive systems of care to older residents. County leaders have found innovative ways to support older adults facing isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic through partnerships and technology. This moderated meetup will allow participants to discuss opportunities and solutions to addressing this challenge.

  • Apr. 7
    6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

    Reception and Tours

    Buses will board promptly at 5:45 p.m. from the main entrance of the Sheraton and return starting at 7:30 p.m. The last bus will pick up at the museum at 8:30 p.m.

Friday, April 8, 2022

  • Apr. 8
    7:00 am to 8:00 am

    Bike Tour of Wake County Greenway System

    Greenways improve quality of life by providing opportunities for transportation, recreation, public health, economic development and environmental stewardship. Wake County currently has more than 250 miles of connected greenways to support these priorities. Join Commissioner Sig Hutchinson on a leisurely bike tour of Wake County’s greenway system and hear about how these systems were designed and the impact they are having on community health. Learn more before you go.

  • Apr. 8
    7:00 am to 9:00 am

    Registration Open

  • Apr. 8
    7:30 am to 8:15 am

    Networking Breakfast

  • Apr. 8
    8:30 am to 10:30 am

    Mobile Tour – Healing Transitions Men’s Campus

    Healing Transitions is a nonprofit organization that offers innovative peer-based, recovery-oriented services to homeless, uninsured and underserved individuals with alcoholism and other drug addictions. The program is specifically designed to rekindle a person’s desire and ability to return to a meaningful and productive life. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Healing Transitions has remained open to serve people in recovery. Learn more before you go.

    Mobile tours will depart from the main hotel entrance. Attendees must arrive 10 minutes prior to tour departure to allow time to board the buses.

  • Apr. 8
    8:30 am to 10:30 am

    Mobile Tour – Oak City Cares

    Oak City Cares' Coordinated Care Program serves as a point of entry into housing services for those experiencing homelessness and housing instability in Wake County. It is a public-private partnership that exists to support the self-determination of its neighbors experiencing homelessness through trusting relationships and connections to coordinated services that increase their ability to be safely and stably housed. The multi-service center is a unique collaboration of individuals participating from government, nonprofits, corporations and faith-based organizations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, its two care coordinators continued to provide assistance and referrals virtually and in-person. Learn more before you go.

    Mobile tours will depart from the main hotel entrance. Attendees must arrive 10 minutes prior to tour departure to allow time to board the buses.

  • Apr. 8
    10:45 am to 12:00 pm

    General Session Three: Building Equity into the Post-COVID World

    The COVID-19 pandemic stands to have profound effects on the nation’s economy, health care system and job market, as well as the lives of individual residents. While the virus itself does not discriminate, its impact is not uniformly felt across all population groups. As counties play an essential role in community health, human services and economic development, the pandemic and state and local fiscal recovery funds such as the American Rescue Plan Act provide a critical opportunity for county leaders to intentionally center health equity in their practices and policies. With a health equity lens, county leaders can identify the conditions that keep residents from thriving and create solutions that speak directly to community needs. This session will offer strategies for building equity into future health policy and funding decisions so that everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive.  

  • Apr. 8
    12:00 pm to 12:30 pm

    Closing Remarks

  • Apr. 8
    12:30 pm to 1:30 pm

    Grab-and-go Buffet Lunch and Networking