We believe Missourians deserve better health outcomes.
MOCPHE Announces New Executive Director
Vaccination Best Defense
Face Mask Guidance
MOCPHE is pleased to announce that Spring Schmidt will be taking the role of Executive Director on January 1, 2022. Schmidt will be stepping down as deputy director of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, where she has been a key leader in public health response throughout the COVID pandemic.
Schmidt replaces Larry Jones, who will be resigning in December after serving in the role of Executive Director since 2015.
Schmidt says she is excited about the new role and broadening her impact on Missouri's public health system.
She will have a dual role, also serving as the Executive Director for St. Louis University's Office of Public Health Practice within the College for Public Health and Social Justice.
SLU recently joined MOCPHE as a new member, demonstrating their shared commitment to improving public health services and health outcomes across Missouri through dedication to excellence.
Vaccination continues to be the best weapon available against COVID. Although the vaccine's effectiveness against the Omicron variant has not yet been fully studied, early tests suggest the vaccine may offer some protection. To date, evidence incidates full COVID vaccination offers significant protection against the Delta variant and other COVID virus strains currently circulating in Missouri.
In addition, the Missouri Hospital Association reports vaccine boosters significantly decrease the risk of fatality from COVID. “The unadjusted case fatality rate among unvaccinated and partially vaccinated Missourians at 1.6% (95% CI 1.43-1.76%, P 0.0001) is 2.77 times higher than the rate for fully vaccinated Missourians (0.58%, 95% CI 0.54-0.62%, P 0.0001) and 33.7 times higher than fully vaccinated individuals with a booster dose (0.05%, 95% CI 0.01-0.08%, P=0.0047). These differences are particularly notable considering fully vaccinated and boosted Missourians are significantly older than their unvaccinated counterparts on average, and have significantly higher rates of underlying conditions that place them at greater risk of severe illness and death.”
All Missourians age 16 and older are now eligible for booster vaccination against COVID.
Because the Delta variant is so much more contagious than earlier strains of COVID, the CDC recommends everyone in areas of substantial or high transmission wear a mask in indoor public places, even if they have already been vaccinated. It is not yet fully known how easily the Omicron variant will spread from person-to-person.
CDC recommends even people who have been vaccinated wear a mask. There have been some cases of reinfection, and a person who is vaccinated can still carry the COVID virus and spread it to others.
Masking slows the spread of the virus by reducing the amount of respiratory droplets that penetrate the mask.
CDC recommends schools require masking indoors for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors.
CDC recommends businesses require masking indoors for all employees, vendors, and customers.
Flu Vaccinations Vital
Public health experts stress the importance of preventing the combination of COVID and influenza this fall. In response to this concern, MOCPHE supports recommendations from CDC and other experts that every person 6 months or older receive a seasonal influenza (flu) vaccination this fall. A few exceptions may apply to individuals with medical contraindications to the flu vaccine.
MOCPHE recommends required influenza vaccination for school-aged children.
MOCPHE offers guidance to local public health agencies and health care providers considering safe and effective flu vaccination strategies, while maintaining masking and physical distancing precautions against COVID.
Missouri's grassroots initiative to transform Missouri's public health system is engaging local public health leaders in new health equity work, in partnership with experts from Consilience Group.
The team will identify training and tools necessary to help Missouri public health professionals infuse health equity into daily operations to more effectively and efficiently assure foundational public health services identified in Missouri's Foundational Public Health Services Model.
Training specific to the integration of health equity within the FPHS model will equip Missouri's public health system to take major strides toward ensuring justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion in public health practice.
Racism & Social Equity
Racism and Social Inequity is a public health crisis. Too many Black Americans have lost their lives and suffered and are suffering. Racism and Social Inequity has become a part of our public policy, and intertwined into our current public systems, structures, and services.
MOCPHE is committed to eliminating the systems that have allowed these inequities to exist. Racism and Social Iniquity has no place in our society. MOCPHE is committed to ensuring that the highest standards of public health practice and services are available and accessible to all people from all backgrounds in all regions of Missouri.
MOCPHE welcomes the Clinton County Health Department as a new member.
The Clinton County Health Department serves more than 20,000 residents of this rural community northeast of Kansas City. The department is led by administrator Blair Shock with oversight from an elected Board of Directors.
Clear COVID Messaging
The One For All MO campaign encourages all public health agencies and partners to use a single set of consistent, clear messages to reduce confusion and help Missourians make the best possible decisions about their own health and protect their communities from COVID-19.
The campaign is a partnership between MOCPHE and Missouri Foundation for Health. Core key messages, tools, and templates can be used by all Missouri public health agencies and partners.
Start sharing the message! Learn more at OneForAllMO.com.
MOCPHE Annual Report
As leaders in the field of public health, MOCPHE members have worked tirelessly during the COVID pandemic to provide guidance, develop sample policies, advocate for local public health, and provide education about proven public health prevention methods.
MOCPHE joined other public health leaders and stakeholders to form the Coalition for Healthy Missouri Communities. It led the One for All Missouri public information campaign. It worked with #HealthierMO, George Washington University, and Harvard University on research and data collection projects to inform public health system transformation efforts that support a healthier Missouri for all residents.
Read MOCPHE's 2020 Annual Report to learn additional ways the organization and its members have engaged over the past year to help assure Missourians achieve better health outcomes.