Boston, November 6, 2013
— The American Public Health Association concludes its 141st Annual Meeting and Exposition today in Boston, Mass., 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 began Nov. 2 with the Opening General Session, featuring addresses by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, famed Roe v. Wade attorney Sarah Weddington and internationally acclaimed epidemiologist Michael Marmot. Video of the opening session speakers is available on APHA’s YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/aphadc.
Additionally, APHA launched its new brand that reflects its historic past and more strategically positions the organization for the future. Announced during APHA’s 141st Annual Meeting and Exposition in Boston, the “new APHA” features an updated logo and a new tag line: For science. For action. For health.
“We’ve developed our new tagline to reflect these values and to act as our rallying cry,” said Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director at APHA. “We’re for science because we will conduct and learn from cutting-edge research and promote best practices; for action because together our collective voice will drive changes in our health system and put innovative policies and programs into practice; and for health because together we’re for the health of all people in all communities.
“APHA has been behind all the greatest public health advances for the past 140 years and I’ve got to tell you, we’re just getting started. Together we will build a movement for public health. Today we start the quest to be the healthiest nation in one generation. I ask you to join us.”
APHA’s Annual Meeting is 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 “Think Global, Act Local,” the meeting focused on the best public health practices around the world and highlighted population health interventions and outcomes in communities across the globe.
The meeting provided a forum to address a broad range of public health issues, including its first Social Media Lab, co-hosted by APHA and AIDS.gov to give attendees one-on-one training to meet their personal needs. APHA also hosted more than 50 sessions dedicated to the Affordable Care Act, an on-site navigator from the Boston Public Health Commission and a “Codeathon” joining tech developers and public health practitioners to help create health innovations.
Additionally, 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:
· Combination of acetaminophen and alcohol — even in light doses — increases the risk of kidney dysfunction by 123 percent;
· Firearm injuries in the U.S. cost $18.9 billion in hospital resources between 2003 and 2010;
· When public health funding increases, infant mortality and deaths from preventable diseases decrease at equal rate;
· Cancer screening numbers for foreign-born Americans shows importance of “lawful presence” as defined by ACA;
· On-the-job exposure to environmental tobacco smoke among Massachusetts workers; and
· Massachusetts 2007 law suggests ACA will improve racial/ethnic health but not reduce health disparities.
Social media activity among attendees and remote followers was pronounced. Throughout the week, more than 17,800 tweets were generated using the Annual Meeting’s official hashtag, #APHA13, more than doubling the 2012 Annual Meeting’s hashtag total.
The 2013 Annual Meeting concluded today with a closing session that focused on the health of Native people along with strides health advocates are making in Canada’s Aboriginal population. Native people suffer disproportionate rates of poverty, homelessness, unemployment, infant mortality and poor health outcomes, but interventions are closing in.
More than 1,000 scientific sessions and roughly 600 exhibit booths showcased the emerging public health research and leading advocacy efforts reflecting the broad impact of the field on the lives of U.S. families.
The Annual Meeting marked the beginning of the one-year term of incoming APHA president Joyce Gaufin. Additionally, several new distinguished leaders and officers were elected to guide the meaningful work of the Association, including Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH as president-elect; Gail Bellamy, PhD; José Ramón Fernández-Peña, MD, MPA; Ella Greene-Moton; and Barbara Levin, MPH, MD.
Next year’s APHA Annual Meeting will be held Nov. 15-19, 2014, in New Orleans, La., themed “Healthography: How where you live affects your health and wellbeing.”