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April 2021 Monthly Newsletter

Message from Executive Director - Shawna Webster

April has been an incredibly busy month for advocacy work at NAPHSIS. Our cadre of “Data Partners” in the Data: Elemental to Health Campaign has grown and now includes the four original organizations (NAPHSIS, CSTE, APHL & HIMSS) plus ASTHO and the Big Cities Health Coalition. Together, we have spent this month really focusing on the vitals pieces of Data Modernization, which have not yet received any funding from the various appropriations targeted at DMI activities.

In terms of funding for our member jurisdictions, CDC continues to focus on the Epi and Lab Capacity Grant (ELC) mechanism. Although it does include vital records already, it is fairly vague. We are working with partners to either modify the grant to include more specific guidance for vitals or help them create a task that is specific to your work. Definitely keep your eye on ELC for future funding for DMI activities.

NCHS has been earmarked for a $15.48M increase out of the 2020 CARES Act of $500M for DMI, and we eagerly await more information about how they plan to use it this year.

Meanwhile, the Biden Administration is working on its infrastructure bill, which (so far) doesn’t include funding for DMI or public health. Together with over 100 other organizations, the Data Partners submitted this letter to the Senate & House Appropriations Committee leadership to urge them to include another $250M for DMI work in 2022.

As we receive more specific information about how CDC is using the DMI funding we will let you know. In the meantime, the work continues!

Message from the President - Molly Crawford

Connecting with others in our highly specialized industry is something so essential. I am grateful that NAPHSIS resumed regional meetings for members this past month. Even with the virtual platform, conversation came easy and there was energy in the discussion at the Midwest/West meeting that I attended. For a few short moments we collectively escaped our day-to-day operations and the demands of COVID19 in our lives. While I was not able to attend the Eastern and Southern meeting, I bet it was much the same.

For the meeting I did attend, Linda Wininger (UT) and Shawna Flax (SD), members of the planning committee, mixed emerging topics, updates, NAPHSIS member resources with lively commentary. The nearly 70 members who logged on shared news from their jurisdictions as well as innovations and strategies to continue operations and provide service and support while keeping staff and customers safe during the pandemic. It was time well spent. It was good to hear voices and see faces for those who were brave enough to turn on their video. Thank you NAPHSIS for carving out the space for the Spring 2021 Regional Meetings and for the jurisdictional staff who attended.

NAPHSIS quickly followed with a webinar on Managing Virtual Work presented by Michael Barata. Again, a great and timely topic to support members as we adapt to the challenges of today. Keep up the virtual meetings and professional development NAPHSIS—you know what we need, and it is great to have these opportunities to check in and connect with others. Block your calendar the afternoon of July 26 for the 2021 Business Meeting. Go online to check for upcoming NAPHSIS events and trainings.


News Spotlight

CityMatCH Nominations

The 2021 CityMatCH Leadership and MCH Epidemiology Conference will take place December 8 – 10, 2021 in New Orleans, LA. Nominations for national awards are open through May 31, 2021. Please visit the website for descriptions of each type of submission and timeline, as well as more information about the conference. To submit a nomination, use the submission page found here.


Birth eLearning Promotional Workgroup needs your help!

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics is seeking jurisdiction volunteers to help promote the launch of its updated eLearning course, “Applying Best Practices for Reporting Medical and Health Information on Birth Certificates.”

This is a FREE online course intended for anyone who is responsible for recording and/or gathering birth and fetal death record information, including physicians and nurses involved in labor and delivery, and birth information specialists. The course provides training on how to collect and record accurate information on births and fetal deaths, and highlights the importance of data quality. Jurisdiction volunteers are essential for spreading the message of this valuable course to colleagues who may benefit.

Volunteers for the e-Learning promotional group will meet for 30 minutes, once a month, potentially until the end of the year. Those interested in volunteering can contact NAPHSIS.


Call for PHAB Vital Records/ Health Statistics Site Visitors

PHAB accreditation utilizes a peer-review process, and site visitors play a central and substantive role in that process.

Volunteers who have served as site visitors have told PHAB that the experience is rewarding and provides tangible benefits such as networking with other leaders in public health; gaining in-depth information about the accreditation process; participating in a meaningful peer review process; enhancing verbal, written, and technical communication and interviewing skills; learning about new, innovative, and promising practices; engaging in professional development; and contributing to the overall improvement of the field of public health. PHAB covers all of your travel expenses for training and for the site visits. Currently, training and site visits are conducted virtually due to COVID-19.

The PHAB VRHS site visit team is composed of two individuals, one with vital record/health statistics expertise and one with PHAB health department accreditation experience. Applicants must have:

  • At least five years of professional public health experience in a state health department or in state health department vital records and/or health statistics services (preferred),

  • Leadership or management experience as demonstrated by supervisory responsibility for one or more programs or units, and,

  • A baccalaureate or higher degree.

To apply to be a VRHS site visitor go to:

For more information, or if you are a current PHAB site visitor interested in conducting VRHS reviews, please contact Brittan Williams at or 703-778-4549, x115.


Innovations Call for Abstracts

NAPHSIS will host an Innovations Webinar and we want to hear from you about your innovative activities! The abstract submission deadline is May 14, 2021. Individuals who submit abstracts will be notified May 21 regarding acceptance of their submission. This webinar to be held on June 29, 2021 from 1:00 - 4:00 ET.

Submit applications HERE.


New York City Invites Members to Use New Online Training Module

Do your new staff or colleagues need a brief Introduction to the world of vital records and vital statistics? New York City recently developed an introduction to vital records and vital statistics training for its staff and would like to share it with the rest of the NAPHSIS members. This training, Vital Records and Vital Statistics: The Backbone of Public Health in America, is free and open to everyone.


Member Spotlight

NAPHSIS would like to highlight jurisdiction members and activities each month. We invite you to submit staffing updates and activities that may be of interest to your peers by sending to Please include Member Spotlight in the subject.


Continual Quality Improvement Training Opportunity

NAPHSIS will be hosting "Introduction to Improvement: Seeing the Possible," a training on Continual Quality Improvement (CQI), May 4 from 2:00 - 3:30 ET. This training session will discuss:

  • Understand the What and How of the improvement cycle

  • Understand and identify the concepts of improvement

  • Appreciate the degree of change and benefits that are truly possible when using CQI.

There is no better time than now to develop and utilize CQI skills. These applied skills can help all team members to bring CQI into daily work so that problems are quickly solved to improve work process effectiveness and efficiency for the benefit of its customers, team members and communities.

In addition to this training there will be another CQI training opportunity coming in May. This workshop will offer hands on experience with CQI and Process Performance. This is a two part workshop that will be offered twice. Training Group 1 will meet May 18 and May 25 from 2:00 - 3:30 ET and Group 2 will meet May 20 and May 27 from 10:00 - 11:30 ET. Please watch for an email coming soon with the application.


Upcoming Webinars and Events

Tuesday, May 25 @ 3pm ET Field Services Special Interest Group Email us to join. _____________________________ Thursday, May 27 @ 3pm ET Systems Special Interest Group Email us to join. _____________________________ For any questions about NAPHSIS Events, please email NAPHSIS.

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