Food and Nutrition Section — 95th Anniversary
APHA’s Food and Nutrition Section was founded in 1917 as the Food and Drug Section at a time when, as John H. Browe, MD, wrote in the May 1965 American Journal of Public Health, “public health began to progress from the exclusive concern with the sanitary aspects of food for prevention of disease to the positive contributions which nutrients make to health.”
The Section was founded just a few years after the introduction of the word “vitamin” into the world’s vocabulary. Lucius P. Brown, who was chief of the New York City Health Department’s Bureau of Food Inspection, joined APHA in 1915 but found the association lacking a group “where food and drug matters could be discussed,” according to a January 1968 AJPH article commemorating the Food and Nutrition Section’s 50th anniversary. Brown then “started to stir up the interest of APHA members in food and drug problems, supported by the late H.E. Barnard, food and drug commissioner of Indiana, and James O. Jordan, head of the Milk Inspection Department of the Boston City Health Department.”
APHA members interested in the public health aspects of food and drug control met in Cincinnati in October of 1916, where Barnard read “New Ideas in Food Control” and said “The food department whose only effort is exercised for the prevention of food adulteration is occupying a minor field, is letting lie fallow or untilled a world of opportunities. Food adulteration is, save for the occasional lapse of ignorant offenders, a thing of the past. Food sanitation is the work of the present, the nutrition of the human family, the work of the future.”
The Section’s topics covered at the APHA Annual Meeting in 1917 reflected concerns with food safety and the nation’s participation in the first World War. Topics included cold storage, the preservation of food and dehydration of vegetables. In 1924, topics such as “The Ripe Olive Survey of 1924” discussed the problem of botulism in canned foods. Others, such as “Teaching Children to Like Wholesome Food” still apply today.
APHA authorized the formation of the Food and Drug Section in December 1916, with Brown chosen as the first chair and Jordan as secretary. The Section’s name changed in 1930 at the APHA Annual Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, to the Food, Drug and Nutrition Section. Two years later, at the Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., the name became the Food and Nutrition Section.
Two APHA presidents have been members of the Food and Nutrition Section: Faye Wong in 2002 and Charles Glen King in 1962. King held the distinction of having isolated vitamin C in 1932, an accomplishment that led to an understanding of the vitamin’s role in disease prevention.
Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section — 90th Anniversary
The Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section formed in 1922 when Evart G. Routzahn founded the provisional Health Education and Publicity Section to engage health workers in understanding the effectiveness of research methods being used and to learn methods of effectively communicating research results. The first Section chair was Lee Frankel, who had been APHA president in 1919.
During the Section’s early years, Routzahn and other sought to create a place where health workers could address two main issues of the time: professionalizing health education as a specialized area in public health and obtaining visibility within APHA and in the field of public health. These concerns, in one form or another, have persisted throughout the Section’s 90-year history. The Section is home to the large Health Communication Working Group that champions the Section’s proud history of developing and enhancing communication strategies in health education.
In 1927, the Section changed its name to Public Health Education and then in 1990 adopted its current name to reflect the inclusion of health promotion in its mission.
Beginning with only three members in 1922, the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section is now one of APHA’s largest sections with more than 3,500 primary members. The Section’s many contributions over the past 90 years include:
· Providing increased attention to health education, health promotion and health communication within APHA and beyond through scientifically sound oral and poster presentations.
· Providing strong leadership through membership on the Governing Council, Inter-Sectional Council and various APHA committees to ensure that the Section’s concerns are represented and expressed within APHA policy.
· Developing alliances with the Society of Public Health Education, the Coalition for National Health Education Organizations and other health education organizations to promote health education, health promotion and health communication.
· Nominating Section members who have served as APHA president, including William P. Shepard (1951), Hugh R. Leavell (1954), Audrey Gotsch (1999) and Pat Mail (2006).
· The Section’s members enthusiastically embrace their past and present and look forward to a healthy future.
School Health Education and Services Section — 70th Anniversary
The School Health Section was formed at the Wartime Public Health Conference in 1943. The introduction to the meeting’s scientific exhibits read, “As befits a Wartime conference, the Twenty-fifth Health Exhibit is streamlined and of the utmost simplicity in its arrangement and décor. Exhibitors are using limited space to bring practical information to health workers.” Programs addressed problems associated with day care of children and utilization of community resources to prevent juvenile delinquency in wartime.
In 1947, the Section surveyed school administrators to find out how school health personnel could assist in the in-service training of other school personnel concerned with health problems or health education of students.
In 1980, after several years of name changes being rejected for length, the Section changed its name to School Health and Services to reflect its broader mission. Annual Meeting sessions that year included one on “Strategies for Health Promotions: Programs that Work,” “School Health Services: Who’s in Charge?” and “Role Delineation for Health Educators.”
The Section focuses on development and improvement of health services, health education programs and environmental conditions in schools, colleges and early childhood care settings and advances public health in all school settings. The Section works to advocate the development of school health education services policies for APHA and the nation, communicate the status of the health education, promotion and service needs of the school-age population to the public and educate the public, health professionals and policy-makers about school health education and services goals. Other efforts include informing other health professionals on the importance of integrating a comprehensive school health program in schools today and investigating issues and solving problems with colleagues related to research in health education, health promotion and services in the school setting.
The Section also discusses health issues related to early childhood, elementary, middle/junior, senior high school and college and university settings, collaborates with other sections to encourage the improvement of the health status of school age populations and supports the continuing education of health education and services personnel for promoting professional standards.
Podiatric Health Section — 40th Anniversary
At their first Annual Meeting sessions in 1973, Podiatric Health Section members described a planning guide for podiatric services to the aged and the role of podiatric medicine in indigent populations. The first chair was Arthur E. Helfand, and one feature of the 1973 San Francisco meeting was a Smoking Cessation Clinic for which attendees could sign up for a “special 5-day plan to stop smoking.”
At the 1977 Annual Meeting, a “perambulation project” was co-sponsored by the Podiatric and Food and Nutrition Sections. Attendees were encouraged to perambulate between the various Washington, D.C., hotels because “walking as regular exercise allows one to improve cardio-vascular fitness, prevent and control obesity, lower blood pressure, tone up muscles, improve digestion…and allow one to appreciate natural and human sights, scents, sounds and scenes.”
The Section now advocates a national, preventive foot health strategy and works to ensure consideration of podiatric concerns in the formation of public health policy. The Section also strives to move the public health agenda forward through advocacy, education and promotion of public health principals in order to establish and maintain a healthy society that views health as a personal responsibility and public trust.
The Section envisions a health care system where each individual is enabled to make appropriate decisions about healthy living through a health care system that is patient-centered where provider and patient partner to make health care choices in order to achieve maximum functional capacity. Members work to improve the relationship between the Podiatric Health Section and the leadership of the American Podiatric Medical Association, increase public awareness of podiatric medicine and the role it plays in medicine and general health and increase the involvement of podiatric medical students in APHA, among other efforts.
The Section’s current public health agenda centers on many aspects of podiatric health, including that of the aging American, foot and ankle care among the indigent and homeless, effects of chronic diseases such as diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, arthritis and obesity on the foot and lower extremity and the role of podiatric medicine in anti-smoking campaigns.
Injury Control & Emergency Health Services Section — 20th Anniversary
The Injury Control & Emergency Health Services Section was formed in 1972, with its first official meeting in 1973. The Section’s first chair was Janice Westaby, and subjects of programs at the 1973 Annual Meeting included “Translating Injury Data into Preventive and Health Care Services,” “Epidemiology and Program Evaluation” and “Legislation and Politics.
In 1982, lacking sufficient members, the Section became a Special Primary Interest Group and then regained Section status in 1993 with Gary D. Lapidus as chair. The Section provides a national forum for professionals in injury prevention, emergency health care services and disaster preparedness to work toward a comprehensive approach to the control of injuries, the services providing during emergencies and the management of hazards.
Because injury and violence surveillance, prevention and preparedness employ skill sets found across many discipline-based APHA Sections, the Section is truly cross-cutting with disciplines such as epidemiology, health education, health administration and biostatics, with maternal and child health and aging and public health and with vision, nursing and others.
The Section educates policy-makers on the impact of injuries, violence and injury-related health disparities, communicates advocacy opportunities to Section members, promotes coding of external causes of injury in medical data and highlights neglected injury, violence and preparedness issues, among other efforts.
The following appeared in the February 1987 Section Newsletter. Can you identify these injury quotes?
1. “Injury is not an insoluble problem.”
2. “No one is injured save by himself.”
3. “This is adding insult to injury.”
4. “Whoever undertakes to hew wood for the master carpenter rarely escapes injuring his own hands.
5. “I do protest I never injured thee.”
6. “It is human nature to hate those whom you have injured.”
7. “Whom they have injured they also hate.”
8. “Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.”
Answers: 1-Injury in America. 1985 2-Erasmus (1465-1536) 3-Edward Moore (1712-1757) 4-Lao-tzu (c.604-531 B.C.) 5-Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet) 6-Tacitus (c.55-c.117) 7-Seneca (c. 4 B.C. – A.D. 65) 8-Confucius (551-479 B.C.)
Southern California Public Health Association — 85th Anniversary
Although the Southern California Public Health Association is celebrating its 85th anniversary as an APHA affiliate, the organization is at least 100 years old. In 1912, more than 100 physicians, most of them Southern California health officers, met in Los Angeles City Hall. CC Browning, president of SCPHA, presided over the meeting that focused on polio, which was then called Infantile Paralysis.
Over the years, SCPHA has worked with its sister organization, the California Public Health Association North, on issues of joint concern. Periods of very close working relationship have included joint committees, joint conferences and joint accomplishments. One of those joint accomplishments was the founding of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy in 1999, whose director had been president of SCPHA and shortly thereafter became the center’s executive director. One of the center’s early activities was to pinpoint for state lawmakers the locations of areas of childhood health problems around California. This led to identification of inappropriate food policies in the schools and eventual strong, new healthful food policies that have been reproduced throughout the nation.
The Southern California Public Health Association has three areas of focus. The first is improving the health of people of Southern California by working with public health and other agencies in health promotion and disease prevention. Affiliate representatives are on the board of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, the advisory committee for the California Health Interview Survey and the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Commission and work with local official and voluntary organizations.
The second area of focus is to provide opportunities for public health professionals to enhance their knowledge through educational offerings at forums and an annual meeting, through electronic publication and through hands-experience in management of the organization. The affiliate’s annual meetings have brought together medical and administrative professionals, students, politicians, media and policy-makers. The meetings bring together cross sections of science and practice as well as multi-sector professionals to present the latest in the public health field.
The Southern California Public Health Association’s third focus is to advocate for sound public health policy. The organization takes a stand on policy issues and has been an advocate for improving the food environment, strengthening local public health and reforming the health system.
The Southern California Public Health Association is proud of its history and looks forward to opportunities for further actions that improve the health of the people of Southern California.