San Francisco – October 31, 2012 – The American Public Health Association concludes its 140th Annual Meeting and Exposition today in San Francisco, Calif., where more than 12,500 public health professionals from across the country and around the world came together to present the latest research and explore new strategies to address today’s leading health challenges.
The Annual Meeting commenced on Oct. 28 with the opening general session that featured addresses by U.S. Rep. and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Gail Sheehy, best-selling author and journalist, Reed Tuckson, MD, executive vice president at UnitedHealth Group and APHA president Mel Shipp, OD, MPH, DrPH. Video of opening session speakers is available on APHA’s YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/aphadc.
“APHA’s Annual Meeting provides a unique platform to celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of the public health community over the past year and explore new ways to advance our collective goals of improving health, preventing disease and eliminating health disparities for all,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA “It is a privilege to be surrounded by such passionate public health champions dedicated to moving the public health agenda forward in their communities and across the country.”
APHA’s Annual Meeting is recognized as the largest public health gathering in the world bringing together some of the most influential health advocates, researchers, practitioners and other specialists.
Centered on the theme “Prevention and Wellness through the Lifespan,” the meeting focused on the importance of environmental, social and behavioral issues that impact health at all stages of life.
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. A wide array of new research related to this year’s theme was released to coincide with the meeting, including presentations on the following health topics:
· Military veterans with history of heavy alcohol use more likely to seek treatment, report better overall health;
· Emerging biomarker links social inequities to poor health;
· Spending on aging medications exceeding that of some chronic disease treatment;
· Smartphones a new risky avenue for sex among teens; and
· Pre-teen literacy a strong predictor of pregnancy in U.S. teens.
Social media facilitated a robust conversation among attendees and those following the meeting remotely. Throughout the week, more than 8,500 tweets were generated using the Annual Meeting’s official hashtag #APHA12.
The 2012 Annual Meeting concludes today with a closing session that will focus on incarceration, justice and health. Angela Davis will provide the keynote address on her research into prison systems around the world and the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial and gender justice.
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 incoming APHA president Adewale Troutman, MD, MPH, MA, CPH, director of Public Health Leadership and Practice at the University of South Florida. Additionally, several new distinguished leaders and officers were elected to guide the meaningful work of the Association, including Joyce R. Gaufin as president-elect, Thomas Quade, MA, MPH, CPH, as executive board chair and Lisa Carlson, MPH, MCHES as the new vice chair.
Next year’s APHA Annual Meeting will be held Nov. 2-6, 2013, in Boston, Mass., and is themed “Think Global, Act Local: Best Practices Around the World.”