Philadelphia, Pa., November 10, 2009 — In recognition of her extraordinary support and service to APHA by championing the strenghthening of APHA Sections, Betty Bekemeier, PhD, MPH, MSN, BSN, was honored with the 2009 Executive Director's Citation.
Since 2006, APHA Sections have been required to submit a report indicating whether certain goals have been achieved for the year as well as whether criteria are being met in certain areas such as recruitment/retention efforts, business meetings and communication with members. Bekemeier, who serves on the Inter-Sectional Council Steering Committee, has helped APHA Sections start the journey toward a stronger foundation, strategic alignment and accountability.
During her period on the Executive Board as ISC chair, Bekemeier realized the importance of aligning the Section report with the APHA Strategic Map. She invited a member of the Executive Board’s Strategic Planning Committee to join the ISC subcommittee to work together in integrating the map into the Section report. This one action has brought visibility to the strategic map and made Section leaders aware that their Section objectives should run parallel to the map.
Bekmeier has also emphasized that the Section reports should be simple to complete and encouraged what led to the Section reports being placed online via Zoomerang.com. This not only helped Section leaders but also the sub-committee in acquiring accurate and consistent data. Bekemeier also sifted through the data to find patterns within Sections and wrote the final reports, which then gave APHA’s Component Affairs Department more direction as to how to help Section leaders.
A public health systems researcher who examines effective strategies for local and state public health systems to most effectively improve population health and eliminate disparities, Bekemeier is adjunct assistant professor at the University of Washington Department of Health Services School of Public Health and Community Medicine and assistant professor at the School of Nursing. She formerly served as deputy director of the Turning Point National Program Office and has worked in the health field since 1985 when first employed as a surgical staff nurse at the University of Washington Hospital in Seattle.
Her research interests include public health practice system development, public health financing, management of public health practice, public health nursing leadership and public health work force development issues. Her many authored and co-authored publications have focused on such issues as intimate partner abuse in women, public health leadership, social justice in nursing, promoting systems change in public health infrastructure and building sustainable public health systems change at the state level.