White House Author
Natalie Pawlenko is the Director of the Office of Local Public Health for the New Jersey Department of Health where she is leading a statewide effort to streamline and coordinate public health data collection and analysis. Through her work, State and local public health professionals will have real-time ability to make data-driven decisions to help prevent and respond to public health events. Ms. Pawlenko has spearheaded reform of the public health reporting system in New Jersey. With more timely information, local health departments are better prepared to address emerging health issues and prevent future issues. For the past nine years, Ms. Pawlenko has provided leadership in public health quality improvement, emergency preparedness and regional planning, helping New Jersey’s 95 health departments work smarter on behalf of New Jersey’s nearly 9 million residents. Ms. Pawlenko’s efforts are helping to provide low-cost technical solutions to New Jersey’s local public health departments, allowing them to identify cost-effective ways to improve their public health services. With funding from the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, New Jersey’s National Public Health Improvement Initiative has successfully reduced the lag time between testing and reporting influenza results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2-to-3 weeks down to 2-to-3 days.