Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Section Newsletter
Spring 2004

CHPPD Article Submission Guidelines

The following is guidance for Community Health Planning and Policy Development (CHPPD) members who wish to contribute articles for this Newsletter.

The CHPPD section is an avid believer in communication in many forms. To achieve this, we (and all sections) have three newsletters per year with these deadlines:

Winter: January 16, 2004 (DONE);
Spring: May 16, 2004 (DONE); and
Fall: August 27, 2004.

The articles received by the section newsletter editors are entered into an electronic form and submitted to APHA for editing and approval. For the Year 2004, Tom Piper ( is the editor, and Priti Irani ( is assistant editor.

Here are some guidelines for CHPPD section article submission:

1. The content can be related to a community health planning, policy development or related activity or resource. The assumption is that, if the content is of interest to you, other members probably will appreciate it, too.

2. Please keep the articles short, concise, and interesting (no boilerplate), and a paragraph or more, but less than a full page. The file format for articles should be plain text, Microsoft Word or RTF, and for visuals should be .TIF or .JPG.

3. Graphics, photos and charts would make articles more interesting. For example, if your article describes a web page resource, you may want to submit a graphic of the Home Page. If your article describes an activity, an illustration or picture will generally make it more interesting.

4. If you have any questions about articles to submit for the CHPPD newsletter, please contact Tom or Priti.

We will also disseminate the information submitted in the newsletter via the CHPPD website and “listserv”. To join this interactive messaging service, send an e-mail addressed to (note: use the lower-case letter “L”, not the number “one”). In the subject line of the e-mail, type “subscribe comm-hlth-l (see previous note), and leave the body of the e-mail blank. See for more information on all of APHA's listservs.

CHPPD continues to improve our current communication vehicles, and look for new ways to expand information exchange. If you have helpful suggestions, feel free to provide them at any time . . . your participation will only make us more successful

From the Desk of the Webmaster

by Tom Piper

Have you visited our CHPPD website yet?

I asked this question in the last issue. Did you see the Table of Contents for our website (with a brief description of each item's contents):

- Chair's Message (a welcome from Paul Meissner)
- Leadership Roster (name, term and email for every section position and committee)
- CHPPD Member Manual (the comprehensive and definitive section purpose and structure)
- Funding and Job Opportunities (a look at public health possibilities)
Fellowships and Internships (listing with timely information and application forms)
- CHPPD Irreverent Guide (a fun look at our own specialties)
Annual Meeting Activities (backward/forward look at APHA annual meetings events)
- Annual Awards (descriptions and nomination forms for Section/Blum/Kimmey awards)
- Interesting Websites (broad listing of planning and CON-related websites)

We continue to work on making the website more beneficial, entertaining and user-friendly. We need your suggestions, or things you'd like to see on the web, please drop me a line at any. Here are some of the questions we need to answer:

- Website value: what can it do for you or anyone else?
- Features: should anything be added to the list above?
- Opportunities: would you like to contribute to the website?
- Frequency: what would keep you coming back to the CHPPD website?

This is a dynamic opportunity to network with other planners, and learn more about health planning. You can even link with our sister organization, the American Health Planning Association,, for yet another dimension.

Let me know how you are doing, and how we can help your planning life be better <>.

Student Perspective

Hello again from your Public Health Student Caucus (PHSC) liaison to the Community Health Planning and Policy Development Section. I wanted to update you all regarding what's been happening in the world of the Public Health Student Caucus since the last newsletter.

The new PHSC student liaison program has become a priority for the organization, recruiting students to serve as liaisons to all of the APHA Sections. Apparently I have been the most involved of the new liaisons, and was asked to write a piece for the spring PHSC newsletter about my experiences so far within the CHPPD Section. I described how much CHPPD has encouraged my contribution to Section business thus far by involving me in the quarterly leadership conference calls, including me in the membership committee, and appointing me to serve as a Section Councilor until 2005.

I have encouraged other student APHA members to get involved in the Liaison program to develop invaluable leadership experience within APHA, to advocate for the continued involvement of students within APHA, and to help build more collaborative opportunities between PHSC and APHA. I also encouraged student members to choose a primary section affiliation in order to establish a “home” within APHA, and to learn from future colleagues working within their interest areas. I also offered my contact information for students looking to speak with someone further about the benefits of affiliation and the responsibilities of a liaison.

I am also serving on the new members committee at PHSC, and will be involved in the planning of their new member events which will take place in Washington, DC this November. I will ensure through this process that the CHPPD Section is visible at these events and provides the kind of information that will facilitate new membership and participation in the Section. One of these activities was to send out an email to the PHSC mailing list before abstract submission informing its members of the student poster section sponsored by CHPPD this year.

I look forward to working with you all in the upcoming year. Please feel free to contact me ay if you have any suggestions for how to better include the public health student voice in CHPPD and to represent CHPPD to the Public Health Student Association.

Empowering Communities Project Article

Project Goal

To achieve measurable changes in community health requires community leader to assess and understand local health challenges; prioritize community need; develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-based interventions. Started in 2001 with a $153,000 grant funding from the Endowment for Health (, the Empowering Communities Project (ECP); a collaboration of the NH Institute for Health Policy and Practice, the NH Department of Health and Human Services, twelve community-health related agencies and organizations in NH, as well as 14 community collaboratives; strives to equip NH community leaders with data, training, and technical assistance to support implementation of local health improvement processes.

The path we've taken…

Our project began by assessing NH community leader preferences about facilitating easier access to community level data and their training needs for working with data. Feedback was collected via forums hosted by our community collaborative partners, key informant interviews, and a survey. The assessment revealed strong support for a web-based reporting and query system with the capacity to

1) provide community health profiles for a variety of geographic levels of resolution and
2) complete ad-hoc query requests for very specific health information (e.g. number of pregnant teens, 15-19 years-old by Hispanic ethnicity in a given community).

Community leaders expressed the need for training not just about using data to produce information, but about how to use this information to cause positive community change. The use of distance learning and in-person methods, brief (one-hour) formats, and lab-based classes for teaching technical subjects like using data were preferred.

Based upon assessment results, an implementation plan was developed and successfully funded in the amount of $266,000 by the Endowment for Health.

What we have accomplished…

In our first year of implementation, the ECP has developed the following resources to assist NH community leaders:

o NH Health Data Inventory: a web-based inventory of available NH public health data. Website:

o Prove It!: a twelve-hour, lab-based beginner level data course.

o Eight-one hour training modules: Using five different training methods (including four distance learning modes), eight one-hour curriculums on community-requested topics such as evidence-based public health practice, social marketing, and program evaluation have been implemented.

o E-Roadmap to Evidence-Based Public Health Practice: a website to locate data-demonstrated solutions to public health problems. Website:

o Community Health Improvement One-Day Conference: This conference showcased new and enhanced ECP tools and provided a hands-on training on implementing and evaluating a community health improvement process.

o ECP Promotional Materials: including a project website, pamphlet, monthly e-newsletter, and training flyers. Website:

In addition to these resources, ECP is also providing money and staff time to develop the community health profile feature of NH Health Web-Based Reporting and Query System (NH HealthWRQS), a project spearheaded by the NH Department of Health and Human Services.

Where we are going…

We have applied for and received year three funding ($160,000) from the Endowment for Health. With these funds the ECP will:

1) continue to develop new resources (such as a tutorial to support use of the e-Roadmap website and three technical assistance days where community leaders can discuss community-specific issues with a community health expert),

2) enhance and market existing resources (such as expanding the NH Health Data Inventory to include national datasources and conducting presentations state-wide about project resources) and

3) undertake a visioning process to identify our future direction and sustainability funding to achieve this vision.

Acknowledgements: We would like to thank the Endowment for Health for their generous support of this project as well as all our project collaborators for their input and in-kind resources.

Community Health Assessment Clearinghouse: A Resource for Health Policy Developers and Planners

The Community Health Assessment Clearinghouse is a resource for public health practitioners working on assessment-related activities. It provides practitioners with data tools, ideas, and resources for developing effective health assessments.

You may be interested in accessing the web-based Clearinghouse if you want to know:

- What are examples of good community health assessments?

- How can I prioritize public health issues?

Where can I find selective demographic and health data resources?

In New York State, local health departments and many of their community partners are mandated to complete periodic community health assessments. Hence, the Clearinghouse has an emphasis on data relevant to practitioners in New York State. Currently, content on the Clearinghouse is organized under five categories: Assessment, Process, Data, Practice and Resources. It is in process of going through a revision based on the results of a recently conducted usability study.

For more information on the Clearinghouse, contact CHPPD member, Priti Irani at

CDC's Assessment Initiative - Building Capacity for Community Health

By Alex Charleston, Project Manager, Assessment Initiative, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Epidemiology Program Office, Division of Public Health Surveillance and Informatics, Applied Sciences Branch

In northeast Missouri, an adolescent task force was created as a result of a seven-county regional assessment. This task force was awarded funding through the Missouri Hospital Community Interventions Initiative partnership to reduce the high rate of adolescent pregnancy in their region. As a result, this region is witnessing a decline in first and repeat adolescent pregnancies, as well as a decrease in the rates of sexually transmitted diseases among the adolescent population. By performing an assessment, the task force was able to justify funding for a regional health problem.

The ability of the public health system to ensure the health of the U.S. residents depends upon its capacity to accomplish three core functions: assessment, policy development, and assurance. Assessment, by nature of its definition, involves identifying factors that threaten the health of a population and determining whether sufficient resources are available to effectively deal with those threats. Thus, assessment is the foundation of public health practice at the local level and part of a cycle of activities designed to fulfill society's interest in ensuring conditions in which populations can be healthy.

CDC's Assessment Initiative is a cooperative agreement between CDC and state health departments designed to develop and strengthen community health assessment capacity. Funded states work together with local health jurisdictions and communities, developing innovative systems and methods to improve

o access to data

o skills to accurately interpret and understand the data, and

o effective use of data so that assessment findings ultimately drive public health program and policy decisions.

Since its inception in 1992, a total of fifteen states have received support through the Assessment Initiative. Currently funded states (Florida, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington) are working in two primary focus areas, as follows:

1. Community Health Assessment Practice: Developing, implementing, and evaluating tools and methods to improve the capability of local public health agencies and communities to conduct effective community health assessments and use the resulting information to affect public health programs and policies.

2. Data Dissemination Systems: Implementing electronic systems for user-friendly analysis and dissemination of public health data and evaluating of the effect of these systems on primary users.
Although multiple tools and approaches exist to assist state/local health departments in assessing health needs and developing plans to address them, CDC recognizes that each state is unique with regard to organizational structure, legislative requirements, degree of local health department autonomy, and other factors that affect the way in which assessment can be effectively implemented. Instead of focusing on the specific tool that is used, the Assessment Initiative centers on building the capacity and infrastructure necessary to do assessment, taking into consideration each state's individual strengths and limitations and relying on the state Assessment Initiative team to develop and evaluate an assessment process that works effectively in their organizational environment. In this way, grantees are encouraged to work across departmental and programmatic lines, to produce or adapt systems, methods, and tools that best meet identified needs.

For CDC, the Assessment Initiative serves as a test bed for development of these innovative tools and promising practices, which can then be shared more broadly with the larger public health community. Interested CHPPD members are invited to attend the annual CDC Assessment Initiative Conference to be held this September in Atlanta, Georgia, and to join us at the “Developing Unique Community-Based Infrastructure for Assessment” concurrent session at APHA's annual meeting this fall.

More information on these and other events can be accessed at the Assessment Initiatives Web site (

E-Roadmap to Evidence-based Public Health Practice


Minutes of CHPPD Conference Call

Friday, April 30, 2004; 3:00 - 4:20 p.m.

Next CHPPD calls: July 30 and Sept. 24, 2004, 3 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

PRESENT: Monica Chan, Judy Gorbach, Priti Irani, Lara Jones, Patricia Kelly, Paul Meissner, Darrell Montgomery, Harry Perlstad, Tom Piper, Peter Rizik, Islara Souto, Karen Valenzuela, Mara Yarow

1. Committee Updates:

Nominations (Paul Meissner): Successful getting nominations, and was able to convince almost all members to apply. Slate published in the May issue of The Nation's Health. Daryl and Pat Kelley are also on phone call. Two candidates for chair elect and for secretary elect. 2 of 4 for section elect. We have 4 candidates for governing council. Paul wished all candidates well, and hoped even if candidates were not selected, they would continue to work with CHPPD.

Program (Judy Gorbach): Will email Paul with information on number of students participated. Asked for guidance on dealing with one of the invited sessions that had 4 of its five papers reviewed with poor ratings. Members agreed that Judy should tell the chair of the session that their session was not approved, and would ask the chair to talk to the author of the one paper that was acceptable to merge with another session as this author was presenting a similar paper.

Paul suggested developing a program committee (3-5 people) with defined functions, rather than just consult with program chair as is done now. Make up and function of the program committee, and abstract format will be discussed at the business meeting. Judy Gorbach worked with about 100 reviewers, and received between 350-360 abstracts. Judy transferred 16 and will be rejecting approximately 50. The rest will be in poster sessions, round tables and oral/scientific sessions. Each reviewer read between 10 -15 abstracts. Paul acknowledged the strength of this group, and reiterated the need for a strong program committee.

Policy (Harry Perlstad): The Science board and APHA Joint Policy Committee (JPC) met this week. They are developing a way to submit policy statements online starting next year. The online form would ask for title, problem, proposed strategy or solution, alternative to consider, action to be taken etch. This would ensure more consistent policy information. Harry was advised to ensure that in the online process, that there was place for conversation among secondary council. This format would be on a one year of trial. All sections have been asked to review policy in their area, and suggest what should be archived.

Newsletter (Tom Piper and Priti Irani): Tom began by praising the creative work Priti has been doing. Tom and Priti discussed ways to improve the newsletter and webpage. Priti recounted their discussion: Currently has five regular items: Message from the Chair; From the Desk of the Webmaster; From the Public Health Student Caucus; Committee Updates; and CHPPD Closing Thoughts. Some suggestions to consider for next time:

(1) Add 'Headings' to each regular item to make them more interesting;
(2) Explore adding pictures, graphs, charts;
(3) Solicit articles from at least two new CHPPD members (not currently involved in committees) regarding what they do, or resources they have to share;
(4) Explore feasibility of adding information on "networking" opportunities;
(5) Add newsletter deadlines and submission process. Priti will email the conference call participants the guidance developed, and they would be contacting the regular contributors to submit articles by the deadline, May 16th. Editors are sensitive to using mailing lists, and at the same time would like to encouraging networking among members. Talked about problems with the list-serv and ways to use it and fix it. It was stated that we will send out all meeting minutes to all CHPPD personnel. Distribution of information was stated as an issue.

Karen Valenzuela suggested getting information from members on CHPPD member activities within their affiliates. Paul said that someone from CDC would be calling Tom about putting information regarding a conference presentation. Pat Kelly said she subscribed to online letters such as Homeland Security and found the events section interesting. Mara was concerned that putting articles may imply that CHPPD is endorsing events. Monica suggested adding a disclaimer. Paul suggested having a newsletter committee (2-3 people) who would decide what is appropriate. Members requested getting email notification when the newsletter was posted. There was a suggestion to encourage members to join the listserv and to send out at least one postcard encouraging people to check if their email address was correctly listed with APHA. Paul suggested using the blast email route.

Student (Report from Amy Carroll sent to Paul): Sent email to student caucus email. And will have poster session this year. Through Public Health Student Caucus newsletter has written article. Contacted Student Caucus representative and shared that CHPPD would be interested in participating in activities.

Membership: No report. EmyLou Solomon apologized for not being able to participate in the call.

Conference Planning: Peter Rizik volunteered to be the local CHPPD “Party Coordinator”/liaison for the DC meeting. Paul asked if the banner could be mailed to someone in DC. Have stuff for booth? Please let Monica know what CHPPD events members would like to highlight. Monica and Peter were to communicate re logistics. Suggestion to distribute the review and update CHPPD irreverent guide, as it is a good recruitment tool, and the DC conference usually has more attendees. Paul will submit booth registration and ask to be next to Health Administration for booth.

2. Presentation of APHA Initiatives:
Paul said Task Force on Aging was looking for liaison. Peter Rizik volunteered. He will complete the survey by May 10; talk with Judy Gorbach about Aging activities about CHPPD and few other folks. A couple of CHPPD members agreed they were very impressed with the organization of the Task Force on Aging and should be a model for how to run a task force. Peter's responsibilities are to share information from meeting with the Task Force on Aging at the conference calls, and follow-up with information/requests as appropriate

Deadline on Section Awards. Deadline is July 5th. Yukiko Ann Umemoto is Awards Chair. Paul will send it out to everyone on Friday, April 30. Awards given out in past on CHPPD web page.

3. Executive Board Update: (Karen Valenzuela)
Reported that the EB has not met since last meeting on Jan 30th. March conference call was cancelled, as there were no action items. Will be meeting in May in Atlanta, CDC. They recently had a conference call with CDC to comment and provide feedback on recent strategic planning/restructuring effort.

4. Question on nominating process:
CHPPD does not support Epi Section's proposal to open up slate of candidates to unlimited number for the following reasons:

a) We have had just one election year so far under the new election process. While we understand not all questions and uncertainties about the new process have answers yet, we think it's too soon to add even more changes. Let's let the current process work for a reasonable length of time before we make any more changes, particularly a change as potentially confusing as this!

b) Section 3, Article IX of APHA's Bylaws already provides a way for
additional candidates to be proposed to the Governing Council outside of the regular nominating process: "Upon the petition of any twenty voting members of the Governing Council submitted to the Association office no less than 40 days prior to the Annual Meeting, such Nominating Committee shall add to the list of candidates selected by it the name of any eligible candidate for the office specified in such petition..." Thus, if the Epi Section, for example, has a particular nominee they would like to become a candidate but who the Nominating Committee has not included on its slate of candidates, the Epi Section could gather the signatures of 20 Governing Councilors on a petition to the Nominating Committee, which would compel the Nominating Committee to then include this candidate on its slate.

c) The main job of the Nominating Committee is to sift through and choose for candidacy those individuals nominated for Association office --and some years, the list of nominees is quite lengthy! Each year, the Nominating Committee devises its own process and methods for doing this job --i.e., establishes eligibility criteria, minimum thresholds, ranks the nominees, assures diversity, etc.). CHPPD feels that compelling the Nominating Committee to present as broad a slate as possible of what could become an unlimited number of candidates circumvents the process. The Committee should be allowed to do its job.

d) Finally, an unlimited number of candidates would make the campaign process unwieldy and chaotic. Sections and affiliates would be forced to limit the number of candidates permitted to make presentations to their groups in order to preserve enough time to conduct their own business. Candidates could be elected to Executive Board with very few votes (choosing the top three vote-getters) if the slate contained many candidates.

Paul will send in his response on nominating process to Sarah by end of week of May 3.

- Notes by Priti Irani, Secretary
Submitted May 3, 2004