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For Immediate Release
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American Public Health Association Concludes 2011 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., November 2, 2011 – The American Public Health Association concludes its 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition today in Washington, D.C., where more than 13,000 public health professionals from around the world met to address leading public health challenges.

The Annual Meeting kicked off Oct. 30 with the opening session that featured former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle; National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis; and administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Pamela Hyde. Video of opening session speakers is available on APHA’s YouTube Channel.

“It’s been an honor to have hosted Annual Meeting in the nation’s capital this year, where thousands of fellow public health professionals came together to share successes, discuss new challenges and explore ways to move the public health agenda forward,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “Annual Meeting is an opportune time to celebrate the meaningful work the public health community does every day to improve the lives of others.”

Centered on the theme “Healthy Communities Promote Healthy Minds and Bodies,” the meeting explored the role communities play in our health and what public health practitioners can do to build healthier, more sustainable communities across the country.

Many APHA members, including those from Ohio, Montana and California, took the opportunity to meet with their member of Congress this week to advocate on behalf of public health. Advocates urged their representatives to protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund and Clean Air Act, and to improve funding for public health agencies.

The meeting provided a forum to address a broad range of significant public health issues, including climate change and health, health disparities, disease prevention, emergency preparedness and more. New research on youth violence, chronic disease among U.S. immigrants, occupational health and safety of construction workers and sugary drink marketing to youth was released at the meeting. Also this week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services unveiled the “National Release of 2020 Leading Health Indicators.” High school graduation and oral health were new additions to this list of public health metrics. An HHS mobile-device application contest was also launched during Annual Meeting to encourage public health professionals to design mobile software programs that reduce the threat of chronic disease and other health challenges.

The 2011 Annual Meeting concludes today with a closing session that will explore the events surrounding the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 100 years ago and discuss the connection that occupational health has with all efforts to promote and protect public health for all. Speakers include Linda Rae Murray, MD, MPH, president of APHA and chief medical officer of Cook County Department of Public Health; David Michaels, PhD, MPH, the assistant secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Administration; and Leo W. Gerard, the international president of the United Steelworkers.

More than 1,000 scientific sessions showcased the emerging public health research and leading advocacy efforts reflecting the broad impact of the field on the lives of U.S. families.

Annual Meeting marked the beginning of the one-year term of APHA president Melvin Shipp, OD, MPH, DrPH, dean of the College of Optometry at the Ohio State University. Additionally, several new distinguished leaders and officers were elected to guide the meaningful work of the Association, including Adewale Troutman, MD, MPH, MA, as president-elect and Durrell Fox; Lisa Carlson, MPH, MCHES; and Paul Meissner, MSPH, as new Executive Board members.

Next year’s APHA Annual Meeting will be held Oct. 27-31, 2011, in San Francisco, Calif. themed “Prevention and Wellness Across the Lifespan.”

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.