Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Section Newsletter
Winter 2005

Message from the Chair

Welcome to a new year and new opportunities. This is the beginning of my two-year term as Chair of the Community Health Planning and Policy Development Section (CHPPD), and I am already envisioning new challenges and visions for our growing Section. At over 1,700 members, we are one of the larger sections (over 6 percent of total APHA membership), and certainly the most diverse.

Many thanks to Paul Meissner, immediate Past Chair, for the hard work he has committed over the past couple of years, particularly since he served two years in what he thought was a one-year term (last year this Section decided to join other sections in extending the term of our officers to two years to maintain continuity and build on experience). I am very pleased to have his continued support, as well as that of Chair-Elect Sue Myers in this time of transition.

In fact, I am very fortunate to have the confirmed support of our CHPPD leadership group of over 30 members who volunteer to assist in many activities throughout the year. In a Jan. 7, 2005, business meeting of this group, we talked about many Section interests, and took action to confirm our formal leadership positions including Section Council, Governing Council, Committee Chairs, and Activity Liaisons as shown in the list at the end of this article (a few positions haven’t been filled yet, and volunteers will be accepted on a first-come first-serve basis, so contact me immediately if you would like to increase your involvement).

We had many important things to discussion, particularly the Call for Abstracts due on Feb. 10, 2005 (with special recognition for student submissions this year), APHA Executive Committee activities, membership services, the New Orleans Annual Meeting, and an emphasis on awards to recognize outstanding achievements in section contributions, plus excellence in health policy and health planning practice.

Communication has been repeatedly discussed as one of the most important things that we can work on this year. This can take many forms, from local state interaction to annual face-to-face conference contacts. Meanwhile, we want to continue to develop our valuable communication vehicles such as the newsletter, e-mail exchanges, listserv dialogue and Web site service. Member input is an important feedback to help us respond to needs, so it is vital that we hear what you have to say and how we say it.

Stay in touch, and drop me line if you have ideas or just want to leave a greeting: <>. Communication is a two-way street and a scenic drive.

Related Files:

Award Nominations for the APHA Annual Meeting

Monica Chan receiving an award from Paul Meissner 
Monica Chan receiving a Past-Chair award from Paul Meissner at the 2004 APHA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.
Each year, the Community Health Planning and Policy Development Section accepts nominations until April 30 in order to present three awards at its Annual Meeting:

• the Henrik L. Blum Award for Excellence in Health Policy;
• the James R. Kimmey Award for Excellence in Health Planning Practice; and
• the Section Service Award, which is given to a Section member who has made a significant contribution to the Section's operations and/or other activities.

These awards are presented at an Awards Ceremony during the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association. All Section members are welcome and encouraged to submit nominations for any of these awards.
Visit <> to review the descriptions of each award, as well as their respective nomination forms. In order to e-mail your nomination, you may copy-and-paste the appropriate form from this Web page into an e-mail message, fill in the blanks, then send it in. Or, you may click of the appropriate title in each award to download a PDF version of the nomination form, print it, type or legibly print the nominee information, then fax it in.
Please e-mail or fax completed nomination forms to either:
• Ann Umemoto, Award Chair, at <>, fax: (914) 997-4501, or
• Tom Piper, Section Chair, at <>, fax: (573) 751-7894.
If you would like more information regarding any of the awards, call either Ann at (914) 997-4496, or Tom at (573) 751-6403.

Staffing the CHPPD booth at the 2004 APHA Annual Meeting

Tom Piper and Toni Pickard staff the CHPPD booth a 
Tom Piper and Toni Pickard were part of the many who staffed the CHPPD booth at the 2004 APHA conference in Washington, D.C.

APHA abstract for CHPPD Section due by Feb. 10

The deadline for abstract submissions for CHPPD is Wednesday, Feb. 10. If anyone wants to do an "invited session" you need to contact Judith Gorbach at <> at least by Feb. 2 with a "concept" paragraph of your session.

Nomination for CHPPD

According to APHA staff, we will have vacancies after November 2005 for two Section Councilors, and five Governing Councilors. Please nominate colleagues to these officer positions by completing the nomination form, which must be sent in by Friday, Feb. 18 to Paul Meissner, <>, (718) 920-7802.

Related Files:

Membership Deployment Simplified

Having just returned from our first Executive Board meeting of the year, I have good news to report! Executive Board members agreed that in order to get much broader participation in membership deployment, a few changes are needed immediately. They include:

  • Speaking in plain English. Of about 65 APHA leaders queried in mid-January about membership deployment, many said they didn’t know what the term means. Membership deployment refers to the process we use to solicit nominations for individuals to serve on APHA’s many Boards and committees (Action Board, Equal Health Opportunity Committee, AJPH Editorial Board, Constitution and Bylaws, etc.) and for making appointments to them. The Executive Board agreed that if so many members didn’t understand the terminology, we should change it. The agreed-on new term is ‘leadership appointment process.’

  • Communicating better. A majority of those queried also said they knew too little about the leadership appointment process to participate meaningfully in helping to identify good nominees to fill vacancies on our Boards and committees. The Executive Board agreed that, using a variety of methods like The Nation’s Health (see p. 5 of the December/January issue), Executive Board liaisons to the sections, caucuses and SPIGs, and more personal contacts, we would make increasing the number and quality of nominations to fill vacancies a higher priority. Board members also agreed that improving communication with nominees both prior to and after making leadership appointments was important.

  • Selection will be thoroughly researched and better informed. APHA’s Constitution gives the Executive Board the responsibility for making leadership appointments. The President-elect, assisted by the Executive Director and staff, after reviewing all the nominations, makes recommendations for leadership appointments to the Executive Board. Though the Board can question or reject any of these recommendations, as a practical matter, the issue is usually a consent agenda item not subject to discussion unless a Board member requests the item be removed from the consent agenda. The Board agreed that the selection committee must ‘do its homework’ and make the most informed decision possible for every appointment, including contacting Committee Chairs and others to gather additional information when needed.

Executive Board members acknowledged that leadership appointments are a primary opportunity for interested members to become more engaged in APHA, and present a way to identify, nurture and mentor tomorrow’s leaders. Improving the leadership appointment process is critical to APHA’s ongoing success and future.

This year’s deadline for submitting Board and committee nominations is April 15. The leadership appointment nomination form and more information about vacancies can be found in the ‘members only’ section of APHA’s web site at <>. CHPPD members need to be thinking NOW about who among us we’d like to nominate to which Boards and committees. Those interested in serving should let our Chair, Tom Piper, know.

CONTEMPORARY PLANNING ISSUES: The Federal Trade Commission & Certificate of Need Regulation

In July 2004, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a joint report titled Improving Health Care: A Dose of Competition. Described as advisory in nature, ostensibly, it offers recommendations on how to “improve the balance between competition and regulation in health care.” The authors say they want “to inform consumers, businesses, [and] policy-makers on a range of issues affecting the cost, quality, and accessibility of health care.” Except for more effective enforcement of antitrust laws, which falls within the scope of the agencies’ responsibilities, the report seeks to effect change by influencing the views and conduct of others, particularly national and state policy-makers.

Eliminating certificate of need (CON) regulation is only one of several problematic arguments and recommendations presented. It is the only recommendation that has gained much public attention, but the issue is given only cursory, dismissive consideration in the report. The overall thrust of the report is to encourage movement to a “consumer driven” health care system that relies on market forces to determine costs (prices), access, and quality. CON regulation and planning is seen as an obvious obstacle to this goal, but the report also cautions against:

· Over-reliance on health insurance;
· The system-distorting effects of Medicare and other “administered pricing” schemes;
· Economic cross-subsidies within the system;
· Government-imposed service mandates;
· Attempting to control prescription drug prices;
· Permitting collective bargains by physicians, and generally; and
· Any other action or process contemplated, in the pursuit of other (perhaps larger) social goals and interests that might limit competition or the full application of market forces.

Criticism of CON regulation in Improving Health Care is not surprising. Given the FTC raison d’etre of promoting free markets and unfettered competition, and its longstanding opposition to CON programs, little else could be expected. Nevertheless, the unsupported conclusion that CON programs “pose anticompetitive risks” and “risk entrenching oligopolists and eroding consumer welfare” is little more than doctrinaire posturing. Similarly, the recommendation that States with CON programs “reconsider whether these programs best serve their citizens’ health care needs” is gratuitous. State legislatures do this regularly, often annually.

The information you have just read is the first page overview of the 15-page critique prepared by the American Health Planning Association after careful contemplation of the FTC/DOJ report last year. The outline below is the Table of Contents for the entire paper:

I Overview
II Context & History
III Nature of the FTC Critique
IV Allusive Arguments
V Related Opinions and Findings
VI Supportable Report Findings and Recommendations
VII Problematic Report Findings and Recommendations
VIII Arguments Against FTC Assertions and Assumptions
IX Arguments in Favor of Planning and CON Regulation
X Conclusions

In order to obtain a copy of the entire paper, go to <> and select the “FTC/DOJ Critique by AHPA”. The final words of the report capture the ideology of CHPPD and many other planners and policy developers (emphasis added):

“The stated FTC goals of market efficiency, consumer control and informed stakeholders have been integral to community-based health planning for more than 40 years. The community has always been, and remains, an integral part of the planning, development and regulatory processes. The principal difference between FTC beliefs and assumptions, and those favoring planning and targeted regulation is how best to manage the tension between public and private interests, and between short-term and long-term perspectives and incentives. AHPA has always believed in the importance of community-oriented health care services and systems, and encourages ongoing reassessment of health planning and CON regulation to ensure they remain responsive to technological change, evolving health care practices, and community values and needs. The Association will continue to support these principles and practices.”

Call for Papers on Race and Genetics

The American Journal of Public Health, in collaboration with the National Minority Health Leadership Summit, intends to publish a collection of manuscripts on Race and Genetics in Public Health. We are interested in soliciting focused primary data and important review or commentary manuscripts concerning the relationship between race and genetics in determining health and health care.

Emphasis will be directed at manuscripts that examine this subject in the context of the national effort to understand and address racial disparity in health care. Full (180-word structured abstract, 3,500-word text, up to four tables/figures) and brief manuscripts (80-word structured abstract, 800-word text, up to two tables/figures) in the journal format of “Research and Practice” are welcome.

All manuscripts will undergo standard peer review by the AJPH editors and peer referees as defined by the AJPH policy. To be considered for inclusion in this theme issue, manuscripts must be submitted by April 1, 2005, using the online submission system at <>. The AJPH Web site provides instructions for authors, including specific guidelines for various types of manuscripts.

Please indicate at submission that your manuscript is intended for this call for papers by selecting “Race and Genetics” under the Theme Issue menu. For additional information about this theme issue, please contact the guest editors at <>.

Guest Editors:

Michael J. Fine, MD, MS
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Pittsburgh

Stephen B. Thomas, PhD
University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

Said A. Ibrahim, MD, MPH
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Pittsburgh