About Us

ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing public health agencies in the United States, the U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia, and over 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, formulate and influence sound public health policy and ensure excellence in state-based public health practice. ASTHO's primary function is to track, evaluate, and advise members on the impact and formation of public or private health policy which may affect them and to provide them with guidance and technical assistance on improving the nation's health.

State and territorial health agencies advancing health equity and optimal health for all.

ASTHO’s mission is to support, equip, and advocate for state and territorial health officials in their work of advancing the public’s health and well-being.

Strategic Plan (2018-2021)

Our Membership

ASTHO’s voting membership includes the chief health officials for each U.S. state and territory, as well as the District of Columbia. In addition, a non-voting membership category has been established for ASTHO Alumni to encourage past state/territorial health officials to continue contributing to excellence in state and territorial public health by sharing their knowledge, experience, and expertise on key public health issues.


The ASTHO Assembly of Members, composed of the entire voting membership of ASTHO, is the organization’s policy formulating body. Traditionally, the Assembly of Members meets in formal session once a year at the ASTHO Annual Meeting.

The ASTHO Board of Directors is the organization’s administrative body. The Board of Directors is comprised of the officers of the Association (president, president-elect, immediate past president, past president, and secretary-treasurer), ten regional directors, two territorial directors, the chairs of the Senior Deputies Committee and Affiliate Council, and one Alumni Society representative. The ASTHO Board of Directors meets formally on a quarterly basis.

Program and Policy Areas

ASTHO participates in a number of grants, contracts and cooperative agreements with federal agencies and receives foundation support for special projects. Through these program activities, ASTHO works to fulfill its mission to help state/territorial health agencies develop and implement programs and policies in public health priority areas. ASTHO projects facilitate collection of relevant information and sharing of ideas and experiences, create dialogue with outside organizations, represent the states at national forums on health, and identify best practices in public health. ASTHO policy committees provide strategic direction for these projects. Staff members produce newsletters, resource lists, reports, and toolkits that assist states and territories to develop public policy and promote public health programs.

Policy Development and Advocacy

ASTHO staff works with members to formulate and present public health posi­tions and recommendations to Congress, the Administration, and other national organizations. ASTHO policies are generated through position statements and resolutions from ASTHO members and affiliate groups, legislative review, committee statements, endorsement of public health coalition statements, and consensus conference recommendations. The Government Relations staff coordinates advocacy efforts associated with ASTHO’s federal legislative priorities, which are set by the Government Relations Committee. Advocacy includes ASTHO Hill Day in March, legislative action alerts, and member testimony before Congress. Learn more »

ASTHO Affiliates

ASTHO engages the expertise of a formally linked network of organizations dedicated to the concerns of state/territorial health departments. There are currently 20 affiliated organizations representing directors of divisions within state/territorial health departments. These associations function independently, yet cooperatively with ASTHO to develop and promote sound public health policy.

Alumni Society

Former state health officials remain active in the public health policy arena through membership in the ASTHO Alumni Society, an exclusive membership group within ASTHO available only to former SHOs. Membership in the Society provides an opportunity for alumni to stay informed as well as to share their knowledge, experience, and perspective on public health issues. Society members participate on internal committees and represent ASTHO on various external taskforces and boards. Members receive all ASTHO publications, access to secure on-line contact information, and discounted member registration rates for ASTHO’s Annual Conference.