Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Section Newsletter
Fall 2009

Chair's Message: At 40, Reconnecting with the Past to Guide the Future

In November, the  Community Health Planning & Policy Development Section turns 40. We share milestones with our colleagues in the Epidemiology Section observing its 80th year, and with the Vision Care Section observing its 30th year. This year is special also for Chair-Elect Amy Carroll Scott, and her husband, Cobb, who had their first son, Connor Salvatore Scott on August 13. Congratulations to the Scott family!

What does 40 years mean for a Section? Turning 40 for the Section means we have an opportunity to reconnect with the past to guide the future. As a Section, we are lucky to have several of our experienced leaders. Walter Tsou, Paul Meissner, Lynne Kotranski, Linda Quick, Karen Valenzuela, Tom Piper, John Steen, Anne Umemoto, Monica Chan, Sue Myers, and Judy Gorbach continue to be involved with the Section, and be more than advisors.

Among the CHPPD Section’s strengths is student involvement. Two months ago, we asked the leadership team, that is members who participate in the bi-monthly conference calls, if they knew how students are involved with the CHPPD Section. We were surprised to learn that our leadership group did not really know.

Students keep the Section running smoothly. Scott Williams is coordinating membership engagement; Aneesah Latise Akbar-Uqdah helped coordinate a “public health career” section with the Student Assembly at the annual meeting program planning session; Erin Knight has been reviewing the proposed policies; and Ashley Wennerstorm is coordinating the CHPPD Section 40th Celebration at the Annual Meeting with Marina Ansuri, who just got a job, and both the Section newsletter editors, Sami Jarrah and Elizabeth Schiffman, are graduate students. It is also notable that Sami in his first month of involvement designed the Section brochure.

It was in Philadelphia that the CHPPD Section was born 40 years ago. We will be celebrating the 40-year milestone with about 100 colleagues over a dinner on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 8:00 p.m.  We were in Philadelphia four years ago when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and APHA had to change the venue, and reschedule the meeting. This year, we are in the midst of recovering from a recession. Many members are unable to attend the meeting due to budget cuts. Fortunately, being part of APHA and the CHPPD is more than about participating in the Annual Meeting.  We will be thinking of you.

This year, the theme for the Annual Meeting is "Water and Public Heath: The 21st Century Challenge." I think of the destruction caused by wind and water during Hurricane Katrina, and the destruction caused by wind and lack of water in wildfires raging in California this year. I also think of suffering caused by drought in California, Ethiopia and in many part of the world; deaths due to diarrhea in Asia and Africa, and importance of sharing and sustaining water for life.

In 1999, when the Section turned 30, then Chair Patricia A. McGeown wrote, "We’ve heard a lot about health care reform, although we’ve yet to experience it. We’ve seen the upward spiral of the number of uninsured." As we learn about the Section’s history, we will find that we have grown in numbers, and diversity, and yet much is unchanged.

What do you think we will say about our experience with heath reform in 2019?

By Priti Irani, Chair, CHPPD Section,

Hurricane Katrina Brought Us Together -- CHPPD Can Too

New Orleans, the fascinating mess of a city that I proudly call home, is divided along neighborhood lines.  Perhaps it is an accident of colloquial evolution or a reflection of just how community-centered New Orleanians are. Rather than identifying where we live, we talk about where we stay. For example, I stay Uptown, an area bounded by Broadway Street, the Mississippi River, and Claiborne and Jackson Avenues. 

But Uptown is not simply where I reside. I truly stay in my community by choosing to shop, eat and play within a few blocks of my home. If it were not for attending school and working downtown, I, like many New Orleanians, would rarely leave my neighborhood.  This fierce loyalty to our communities, I have learned, is both a hindrance and an asset to efforts to improve access to quality care for the epidemic depression and PTSD that have plagued our city’s residents since Hurricane Katrina’s landfall over four years ago.

As a public and mental health professional in New Orleans, and in

other communities, I often work exclusively within the confines of the agencies and the neighborhoods I call home. Heavy workloads, lack of funding or narrow agency missions force us into toiling in isolation, with little contact with outside organizations whose aims may complement our own. But in recovering from the disaster of 2005, which destroyed New Orleans’ already inadequate mental health infrastructure, we have been forced to do what may appear simple, in theory, but is novel in practice: collaborate. 

Through the REACH NOLA Mental Health Infrastructure and Training Project, one of the projects that I have the pleasure of managing at the Tulane University School of Medicine Office of Community Affairs and Health Policy, we have united diverse agencies with unique strengths including academic institutions, a neighborhood association, several community health clinics, and a counseling and training center. Our goal — to implement a community-wide system of collaborative care that improves access to quality mental health care by integrating the work of primary care physicians, psychiatrists, counselors, and even community health workers — would be ambitious in any community, but is even more so in New Orleans, with its history of neighborhood isolation and its current recovery challenges. By building on the strength of each agency, employing community-participatory methods, and fostering local leadership, in just over a year, we have managed to deliver 80,000 client services, train nearly 350 mental health professionals in evidence-based practices, and, most importantly, create collaboration between providers and agencies that may have otherwise continued to work alone.    

It is not my love for my work that inspires me share this story, but rather the parallels I see with CHPPD. Just as this mental health project has brought together a diverse and talented group of stakeholders around a common, challenging goal, CHPPD also unites students and professionals working to address myriad major public health issues. In a system where our positions are often funded to focus on disease-specific programs, we all face the danger of becoming isolated and so enmeshed in our work that we forget we are not trying simply to increase vaccination rates, promote cancer screening or prevent heart disease. Rather, as public health professionals and students, we are charged with the enormous responsibility of fostering social justice by addressing the determinants of health. But we cannot reach this goal without collaboration.        

I have heard many CHPPD members acknowledge correctly that participation in our section is a tremendous professional development opportunity, as it expands our connections to others in our field. But CHPPD is a much more powerful tool. It is a mechanism to facilitate novel partnerships and to form a nationwide network of allies whose jobs may be quite different from our own, but whose ultimate goal — to improve the conditions that prevent optimal health — is the same.

By Ashley Wennerstrom, MPH, CHPPD Past-Student Committee Chair,

Pilisuk’s Doodle Wins “Health in All Policies” T-shirt Design Contest

Tammy Pilisuk
CHPPD member Tammy Pilisuk, MPH, of the California Department of Health, said that she doodled the design on her notes as members discussed the contest at a conference call in May, but was too embarrassed to send in her design.
The winning design
With some gentle encouragement, Pilisuk redrew her design neatly, scanned it and submitted it, and won the prize of $300. Pilisuk’s design has been printed on 40 T-shirts and 40 tote bags and will be distributed at the 2009 APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Congratulations, Tammy!

Selected Photo Journal Projects to Debut in Denver in 2010

In Spring 2009, the CHPPD Section put out a call for members for a photo journal demonstration projects. Awardees were asked to develop a photo journal of digital photos of 5-10 photographs with captions that illustrate the impact or historical context of health planning and policy development on communities. In all, 27 strong applications were received, and reviewed by three CHPPD Section members. Among these, the Section reviewers selected five projects. These five photo journals, when completed, will be presented at the 2010 APHA Annual Meeting in Denver. A detailed description of the five projects is available

Using Story-Telling to Explain the Need for the Navajo Nation Commercial Tobacco-Free Act 2008 by Braden Nez, TEAM Navajo,, Arizona (USA).

TEAM Navajo, the Navajo Nation community, and several key tribal Council Delegates, will be introducing the Navajo Nation Commercial Tobacco-Free Act of 2009 in October. This legislation has received nationwide attention due that fact that if this legislation passes, it would not only be one of the most comprehensive tobacco control policy in the United States, but it would provide the impetus for other tribal nations to pass such policies on their own sovereign lands. Using a story-telling form, TEAM Navajo will develop a digital photo journal about this very important process.

Braden Nez (front row, 1st left, kneeling with red and white checked shirt) with Team Navajo members


Jillian Penrod

How Visual Cues in the Built Urban Environment Influence Health-Related Behaviors

by Jillian Penrod, University of South Florida College of Public Health,, Florida (USA).

Jillian will tell a story of how the built environment uses visual cues to encourage health-related behaviors. Low-income urban populations have a different experience than those awarded more resources. She will catalogue the experience of a low-income Tampa community, specifically food availability, access to physical activity, transportation, and other aspects of communities that were planned without considering health objectives.


Michelle Teti

 Sharing Stories to Inform Prevention: A Photo Journal Exploration of the Challenges and Strengths of Women Living with HIV/AIDS by Michelle Teti, MPH, DrPH,, Drexel University School of Public Health, Pennsylvania (USA).

The proposed project will give five Women living with HIV/AIDS the opportunity to act as photojournalists, to tell the story of the women's daily strengths and challenges, and explore how to address and acknowledge the role that their complex life experiences play in their sexual decision-making more effectively in HIV prevention programming.


Emma Tsui

Green Job Training in Baltimore

by Emma K. Tsui, MPH, PhD Candidate, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,, Maryland (USA).

Since the economic downturn and the slowing of construction in Baltimore in late 2008, JOTF has worked to develop a short training course to jumpstart graduates in green construction. This course caters to program graduates who have trouble securing jobs and results in a green building certification. The photo journal will tell the story of the progression of one class of students through JOTF’s green building certificate class.


Newark’s Face of Health Disparities by Marielos L. Vega, BSN, RN, New Jersey Medical School, Department of Family Medicine,, New Jersey (USA).

Poverty remains a consistent problem in Newark, N.J., despite its revitalization in recent years. In 2007, a new model of engaging residents through Super Neighborhoods was initiated. Marielos will partner with representatives of the 10 established Super Neighborhoods to document Newark’s Face of Disparities. 

Marielos Vega (third from left) with University Heights Super Neighborhood Coucil Members, Newark, New Jersey

Submit Photo or Photo Caption by Nov. 2 to Win a “Health in All Policies” T-shirt or Tote Bag

Add a caption to a photo, or submit a photograph, to CHPPD by Monday, Nov. 2, 2009, 5 p.m. EST that symbolizes “health in all policies,” and you could win a  “Health in All Policies” T-shirt or tote bag. The three best captions and three best photographs will win a "Health in All Policies T-shirt or Tote-bage.

With your submission, please include your full name, mailing address, e-mail, phone number, indicate whether you prefer to receive a tote bag or T-shirt.  If you would prefer a T-shirt, please indicate adult size (S, M or L).  Tote bags and T-shirts will be mailed only to a mailing address in the United States.  You do not need to be an APHA member or CHPPD Section member to apply.

Submit today!

Register for the APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition

Register for the meeting and make your hotel reservation soon (advance registration closes Oct. 2, housing closes Oct. 9). Note: Presenters must be individual members of APHA to present their paper(s) and must register in advance for the meeting. Session organizers and moderators are also required to be members and pay the appropriate registration fee. Hope to see you in Philadelphia!

2009 CHPPD Business Meetings

All are welcome to attend the Section's business meetings at the 2009 Annual Meeting.  We hope to see you there!

Session #




Sunday, Nov. 8,  10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

CHPPD Strategic Issues


Sunday, Nov. 8,  2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

New Member Orientation and Student Committee Meetings


CANCELLED – Listed in online program.  Meeting merged with Session 227.

CHPPD Business Meeting – CANCELLED


Sunday, Nov. 8,  8 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

CHPPD 40th Anniversary Celebration and Awards Dinner


Monday, Nov. 9, 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Candidates Forum (hosted by APHA’s Inter Sectional Council)


Tuesday, Nov. 10, 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

CHPPD Section Policy Focus

CHPPD's Annual Meeting Program Looking Great!

The Community Health Planning and Policy Development program is set, and it’s looking great! We look forward to four full days of education, networking and presentations. We have over 50 scientific, poster and roundtable sessions, and hundreds of individual presentations therein. We will be delivering a variety of topics, including Health Care Access and Barriers, Health System Reform, Crime Prevention and Prisoner Reentry, Social and Mental Health Needs, Health Information Technology and Public Health Informatics, Health Literacy, and Transportation Policy. The sheer breadth of our program is evidenced by the range of other APHA sections and groups who are co-sponsoring us, including Genomics, Equal Health Opportunity, Environment, Family Violence Prevention, Maternal and Child Health, Ethics, and Community Health Workers. Take a peek at the full program online and don’t forget that 2009 marks CHPPD’s 40th year. We look forward to celebrating our anniversary with you.


Danielle Greene, DrPH, Program Chair, and Ijeoma Nwachuku, PhD, MPH, Program Co-Chair,

Represent CHPPD at Booth in Philadelphia


Can you help out for 30 minutes at the CHPPD booth? As was done last year, the coordinators will attempt to pair each regular member volunteer with a student member of the Section. This matching received rave reviews from students and members alike in the past, as the matching allowed student members to get to know more about the Section and APHA, and make important career contacts.

This year, the Section will be offering 10 student stipends of $60 for students who staff the booth for at least two hours. The stipends will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please note, the student’s social security number will have to be submitted with the check request for the stipend as required by APHA audit rules.

The CHPPD booth will be in the Main Exhibit Hall, and the proposed hours are:



Sunday, Nov. 8

2:00 p.m. -  5:00 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 9

9:30 a.m. -  5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 10

9:30 a.m. -  5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 11

8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

To volunteer, or for more information, please contact Scott Williams or Aneesah Latise Akbar-Uqdah.

An Exciting Career Guidance Opportunity

APHA Career Guidance Center

Don't miss this opportunity! Sign up now for a one-on-one or a group session with a professional career coach at the APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition. These coaches can guide you in strategizing the next phase of your career and help you define your goals. Select a 45-minute individual session or a 90-minute group session. The group sessions are designed according to your career needs. To see which session best fits for you, please read about each coach's experience and education before setting an appointment. If you have never experienced coaching before, this is a wonderful introduction to what may become a useful service for your career!

Three New Books from APHA Press Available in Philadelphia

APHA Press has three books in production of interest to epidemiologists and other health professionals that will be available at the Annual Meeting: Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Control, 3rd edition, by Patrick Remington, Ross Brownson and Mark Wegner and two books by Steven S. Coughlin, Ethics in Epidemiology and Public Health Practice, 2nd Edition, and Case Studies in Public Health Ethics, 2nd edition.

New Councilors Join CHPPD Section

Patricia Peretz, MPH
Governing Councilor

Peretz, who serves as a program manager at Columbia University Medical Center, has served in multiple leadership roles in APHA including co-founder and co-chair of the CHPPD Student Committee. In her position, Peretz guides a hospital-community partnership aimed at reducing the burden of asthma on local families through culturally relevant programs and services. Peretz is also active in the Harlem Asthma Network, the New York City Asthma Partnership, and the Public Health Association of New York.

Ngina Lythcott, DrPH, MSW, RN, BA
Governing Councilor

Dr. Lythcott serves as the Associate Dean for Students at the Boston University School of Public Health and has been involved in improving the public's health for more than 35 years. Dr. Lythcott believes that public health efforts must include the engagement of the local community in meaningful participation, from the initial planning process through evaluation, in order to be effective.

Shawn Kimmel, PhD, MA
Governing Councilor

Dr. Kimmel, who serves as policy director of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, has spent his education and career focused on the development of community capacity for engaging in policy advocacy. Dr. Kimmel also holds a leadership position in the Community-Based Public Health Caucus. Through his experience and training, Dr. Kimmel hopes to help the Section emphasize the importance of approaching public health policy work from the perspective of community-based organizations, with attention to their research and policy skills, capacities and needs.

Yasamin Brown, MPH
Governing Councilor

Brown serves as the director of School-Based Health Centers at the Jewish Renaissance Medical Center in New Jersey. Throughout her education and career, Brown has worked on programs as diverse as pediatric asthma management, educational lectures for young men who have sex with men, and travel-related illness prevention among Newark's immigrant community. Brown's interest in maternal and child health led her to volunteer as the chairperson for the Fundraising Committee of Newark’s 2005 Infant Immunization Week.

Mary E. Riner, DNS, RN
Section Councilor

Dr. Riner serves as Associate Professor of Nursing at Indiana University in Indianapolis and has been an active member of APHA throughout her career. Dr. Riner believes that community health planning occurs through effective partnerships that include diverse perspectives. Having served as president, treasurer, and member-at-large of the Indiana Public Health Association and Treasurer of the Kansas State Nurses Association, Dr. Riner will actively support the section’s important work on influencing knowledge and action in reducing health inequality and promoting health as a civil right.

Ashley Wennerstrom, MPH
Section Councilor

Wennerstrom serves as program manager at the Tulane University Schoolf of Medicine after having served as Chairperson of the CHPPD Student Committee. At Tulane, Wennerstrom manages the REACH NOLA Mental Health Infrastructure and Training Project, a community-academic collaboration that seeks to address depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in New Orleans communities by offering expert-led training programs and follow up activities to improve mental health access, quality of care, and outreach. 

Joseph Schuchter, MPH
Governing Councilor

Schucter is an epidemiologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital's Child Policy Research Center and has served as a student representative to the CHPPD Policy and Resolutions Committee since 2007. In his own community of Cincinnati, Schuchter serves on two city-wide committees, the Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committe as well as a local Housing and Zoning Committee. Schuchter hopes to help CHPPD identify cross-cutting themes which most impact community health, for example issues related to equity and the built environment, all the while ensuring the Section's work remains informed and concerted.

Karen Valenzuela, MPA, MA
Governing Councilor

Valenzuela serves as the Local Health Liaison to the Washington Department of Health's Office of Drinking Water and has served four years on APHA's Executive Board. Prior to serving on the Executive Board, Valenzuela chaired APHA’s Nominating Committee, the Committee on Affiliates, and represented the Washington State Public Health Association on the Governing Council for six years, as well as serving on a number of APHA committees and working groups. Valenzuela's experience provides her with a good understanding of how to get things done in APHA, what challenges face our organization, and the role of the Governing Council in APHA’s structure, decisions and actions.

Join Philadelphia Committee on City Policy for Discussion on Food Access & Community Development

On Tuesday Nov. 10, 2009 at 6:00 p.m., the Philadelphia Committee on City Policy will host a panel discussion on the topic of “food access and community development.” The event, to be held at the Center for Architecture, across from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, will feature some leading figures in Philadelphia’s nationally celebrated initiatives to address issues of fresh food access in urban areas.

Food access is one of the most important public health issues facing inner city communities today. When neighborhoods lack access to fresh, healthy foods, they are more likely to suffer from diet-related diseases and childhood obesity. For many residents the choice is to travel long distances to places that may not be accessible by public transit, or shop locally at corner stores that often carry mainly processed, pre-packaged foods.

Food access and nutrition issues heavily overlap with other policy areas like community development and economic investment. In some urban neighborhoods, residents do not feel safe going outdoors, limiting their access to healthy food and fitness opportunities. If an inner-city community is successful in attracting a supermarket, that community may be faced with the issue that supermarket operators often desire “big-box” stores with large parking lots. This type of retail design might adversely affect the character of an urban main street.

There are other critical issues relating to the overlap between food access and community development. Which types of fresh food outlets are appropriate for urban areas? How can stores be designed to contribute to local vitality and create employment opportunities? Will these stores adequately cater to local cultural foods? In what way can community groups and business associations take a leadership role in attracting fresh food retail? How can perceived and real cost barriers for locating supermarkets in low-income neighborhoods be overcome?

Philadelphia is a fascinating case study because the city has recently been recognized as a national leader for efforts to bridge the food access divide. At the same time, it is one of the only cities critically looking at the overlap between the public health and community development sides of the food access equation.

Rated in the nation’s top-ten cities for “Local Food and Agriculture” by SustainLane, Philadelphia is home to numerous urban farms, food co-ops, community gardens, farmers markets, and an agricultural high school. The City recently released its GreenWorks Philadelphia plan, setting a course to make Philadelphia the “greenest city in America.”

When Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced an increase to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, he made the announcement at Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. When President Obama and his secretaries for Agriculture and Commerce kicked off the “National Conversation on the Future of Urban and Metropolitan America,” they did so in a new grocery store in West Philadelphia, starting with a conversation on community food access.

Garnering much buzz is the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, a state program that provides funding support to bring supermarkets to under-served communities. This effort, administered by the Food Trust, in partnership with the Reinvestment Fund and the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, was recently awarded the Pioneering Innovation Award by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program was also recently featured in The New York Times.

There are other organizations looking at linking these food-related initiatives to community development goals. The Philadelphia Urban Food and Fitness Alliance, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and administered through the Health Promotion Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania, formed a grassroots coalition, bringing together residents and experts to create a Community Action Plan to increase access to fresh, local food and areas for play and recreation.

In West Philadelphia, the Center for Culinary Enterprises, to be developed by the Enterprise Center Community Development Corporation, will convert a vacant supermarket into a cutting-edge facility providing kitchens for rent, and affordable resources, training, and education for culinary entrepreneurs.

The issue of suburban-style supermarkets in urban areas is one that Philadelphia has tackled head on. In response to concerns about the design of several new urban supermarkets, the Community Design Collaborative hosted its Infill Philadelphia initiative focusing on urban food retail design. Some of the region’s top architects and designers created prototypes for a supermarket, corner store, and large-scale food co-op, focusing on real-life sites, working with developers. This initiative took a step forward in connecting food access and community design in a productive way.

Food access is an important public health issue, indelibly connected to local community development, economic growth, and urban planning and design. Philadelphia’s success will surely rely on the ability of its local organizations and stakeholders to bridge these issues and develop interdisciplinary, comprehensive solutions.

Please join the Philadelphia Committee on City Policy for a discussion on “Food Access and Community Development,” to be held on Tuesday, Nov.10, 2009, 6:00 p.m. at the Center for Architecture (1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia).


Panelists will include:

  • Yael Lehman, MSW - Executive Director, The Food Trust
  • Vanessa Briggs, MBA, RD, LDN - Executive Director, Health Promotion Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania
  • Donald Hinkle-Brown - President, Lending and Community Investments, The Reinvestment Fund
  • Elizabeth Miller - Executive Director, Community Design Collaborative

The discussion will be moderated by Gregory Heller, Managing Director for Economic Growth and Community Revitalization, Enterprise Center Community Development Corporation.

By Gregory Heller,

CHPPD Member Assumes Important New Role With New York City Dept. of Health

Andrew K. Goodman, MD, MPH, an esteemed member of APHA’s Community Health Planning and Policy Development Section, is the recently appointed deputy commissioner for the Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The HPDP Division addresses many of New York City’s leading health problems, including smoking, obesity and teen pregnancy, and has responsibility for key initiatives to protect the health of women, infants, and children and minority populations.

Andrew Goodman
Goodman joined the New York City Department of Health as a preventive medicine resident in 1983 and has since held a number of positions including director of the Environmental Epidemiology Unit, assistant commissioner for Community Health Promotion, and associate commissioner/director of Community Health Works, a program designed to promote and support the development of comprehensive community-based prevention programs. More recently, he was associate commissioner and director of the East and Central Harlem District Public Health Office (DPHO), an office established to improve the health of residents of East and Central Harlem. Goodman has served on numerous local, state and national expert advisory committees, including those addressing childhood lead poisoning and childhood asthma.

Former NYC DOH Deputy Commissioner Stephen Schultz, a friend and colleague, remembers Dr Goodman as a true visionary and public health advocate, describing him as a "dogged advocate….always embracing the community in public health initiatives." Under Goodman’s leadership, the East and Central Harlem DPHO focused on mobilizing community residents and organizations to better address public health priorities through collaborations with other government and community based partners to coordinate program activities. The community is encouraged to utilize the DPHO as a local resource center for public health information, technical assistance and training.

One of the many initiatives community-level programs to help improve the lives of residents living in Community Districts 10 and 11 the DPHO launched during Goodman’s tenure is the Asthma Initiative consisting of comprehensive community-based programs, education, surveillance and evaluation.

Goodman attended Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and completed a pediatric residency at the Residency Program for Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. He received a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University School of Public Health, and was elected as a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine on Jan. 26, 1994.

He is married to Roslyn Murov, a pediatrician and child psychiatrist at Abbott House and has three children; daughter Sarah is a recent graduate of Columbia Law School, son Jordan a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania and daughter, Sadie of Brooklyn.

The CHPPD Section congratulates Dr. Goodman on his promotion!

By Barbara Gilbert, Donna Patris, and Danielle Greene

Perlstadt Receives Fulbright Lecture Award

CHPPD member Harry Perlstadt, PhD, MPH, has received a Fulbright Lecture Award.   He will be at Semmelweis University in Budapest Hungary for spring semester 2010, lecturing on U.S. Health Care Politics and Policy and on the History of Public Health and Epidemiology. Perlstadt is a professor in the Department of Sociology at Michigan State University. 

The CHPPD Section congratulates Dr. Perlstadt on his award!

CHPPD Member Makes Waves With New Health Care Blog

Brad Wright
APHA and CHPPD member Brad Wright has started a new health care blog "Wright on Health." According to Wright, "the goal is to make health policy and health services research more accessible to the general public by translating complex concepts into understandable messages for the lay person."

Wright acknowledges that his blog should be taken with a grain of salt. "Sometimes, it gets a little humorous, but I think that helps people to connect with the material," he says. Still, there’s plenty of great substantive material for health care practitioners, policy-makers, and wonks.

In less than a month, Wright on Health has been featured twice by the Kaiser Health News’ Blog Watch, listed as "Best of the Web" by the GoozNews, and included in the August 6 edition of the Health Wonk Review. Wright is currently in talks with The Huffington Post and expects to be cross-posting his material on the popular internet news site by the fall.

For now, you can visit Brad’s blog at He invites you to contact him at to suggest possible topics for the blog and is actively soliciting pieces from interested guest contributors. "I’m not the only one with a few bright ideas," he says, "I know that the APHA membership has a lot to offer, and I hope that they will get involved."

By Brad Wright, PhD Candidate,

Community Participation as Necessary for Social Justice

Now that we have learned how difficult, and misguided, it can be to try to spread democracy throughout the rest of the world, we may be better able to spread some here.

The need to refocus our resources and energies at home has raised health care to prominence once again, and that is surely a good place to start. Democratizing the delivery of health care was once before made a national goal when it was implicit in the community health planning promulgated by the National Health Planning and Resource Development Act of 1974, the first and last Public Law passed to facilitate a national health planning policy. At that time, it was seen as good government – stewardship of publicly owned resources that was best carried out by involving ordinary citizens in their own communities to participate in making some of the key decisions about health care delivery. It was also good planning in that it was planning with communities, not just for them. The willingness of government to collaborate with communities sent a powerful message to everyone, one that strengthened democracy. The lesson it seems we need now to relearn is that democracy is about equity, and equity cannot be given to communities, it must be developed out of their own engagement in equitable processes of decision making.

Any national health care system that would serve the best interests of its constituents for greater equity in health must have health promotion through primary care as its fundamental priority. The full benefits of primary care require social justice with community participation and empowerment, and that was precisely the health policy ratified by WHO member states in the Declaration of Alma-Ata in 1978. The fourth article of the Declaration stated that, "people have the right and duty to participate individually and collectively in the planning and implementation of their health care," and the seventh article stated that primary health care "requires and promotes maximum community and individual self-reliance and participation in the planning, organization, operation and control of primary health care." In 2000, the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, working in close collaboration with WHO and many others, drafted and adopted general comment 14 that requires health systems to include institutional arrangements for active and informed participation in strategy development, policy making, implementation, and accountability by all relevant stakeholders, including disadvantaged individuals, communities, and populations. General comment 14 stands as the world’s most authoritative operational understanding of what constitutes a right to health.

Knowledge Is Power

The role of government is to ensure the conditions in which people are able and encouraged to work in association with each other to produce the society that best suits them. Communities are entitled to the right to identify and frame those issues that most concern them, and to advocate for solutions satisfactory to them. Health is a special dimension, for while communities hold the key to the conditions for health, health itself is a property of individuals. Recognition is given to this when the aim of medicine is seen to be that of informing the judgment of its autonomous patients in making decisions that guide their care. For government health planning, the community is the patient served by public health, but the ultimate beneficiaries are still autonomous individuals whose judgment about conditions of health must be informed as well as respected. A government that respects its constituents solicits their opinions and judgments.

At the policy level, accountability for health and for all the disparate influences that threaten it may be shared by giving the public a formal role in decision making about health system priorities and resource allocation. What is thus being shared is information, and information empowers people when it gives them real control over the decisions that affect their lives. This is the essence of democracy, and it requires that private plans be made public information in a process that encourages civic discourse and deliberation on their merits. In this manner, accountability for access, quality, and safety is shared between the public and the government, the patient and the provider, at all levels in the total healthcare delivery system.

Empowerment of people by their government is a prerequisite for social justice. Government agencies must share their information and decision making power with communities and respect public opinion. When government planning becomes community planning, there is greater accountability for the appropriateness of that planning. Seen as appropriate, the plans can be expected to foster public support for greater funding of public health.

Despite the vigorous national debate on "health care reform" that has been a constant for the last two years, no presidential candidate, and no subsequent political initiatives, have addressed how reform might encourage the people themselves to take part in shaping health care planning and implementation. The promise of "health care reform" must be to give us a just system of health care, and that cannot be accomplished in a democracy without its constituents seeing that they have a stake in how it works in their communities. Perhaps the Institute of Medicine Committee on Assuring the Health of the Public in the 21st Century said it best: "Realizing the vision of healthy people in healthy communities is possible only if the community, in its full cultural, social, and economic diversity, is an authentic partner in changing the conditions for health."

By John Steen,

* A full-length version of this essay, along with references and citations, is available.

Proposed Core State Preconception Health Indicators Released for Public Comment

In August, a proposed set of Core State Preconception Health Indicators was released for public comment by the Initiative’s Working Group on the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Web site. The Core State Preconception Health Indicators Initiative Working Group was convened by the Public Health Work Group of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preconception Health and Healthcare Steering Committee, and is a voluntary collaboration of program and policy leaders and epidemiologists from seven states - California, Delaware, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas and Utah.

Representatives from the seven states worked to develop a final list of 45 Core State Preconception Health and Health Care Indicators within 11 different domains:

  • General health
  • Social determinants of health
  • Health care
  • Reproductive and family planning
  • Tobacco, alcohol and substance abuse
  • Nutrition and physical activity
  • Mental health
  • Emotional and social support
  • Chronic conditions
  • Infections
  • Genetics and epigenetics

These indicators are meant to allow states to uniformly define, collect, and report on data relevant to the health status of women between the ages of 18 and 44 years. The working group recognizes the set of indicators is not perfect and represents only a starting point. Future efforts will be needed to improve this set of surveillance indicators as more data about the impact of preconception health and health care programs become available. There are currently no nationwide surveillance systems that specifically collect data from reproductive-age women. 

Comments were requested by Sept. 4, 2009, but continued to be accepted on the eb site past this date.