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Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Section Newsletter
Winter 2009

Chair's Message: CHPPD Section Needs Your Help

Damaged trees from December ice storm
From my window, I see the fallen tree limbs from the Dec. 12, 2008 northeast ice storm. It was the worst ice storm in 25 years. We lost power for two days, but we are very appreciative that we have a warm house to live in the rest of the year. In the health policy arena, there appears to be a thaw. A new administration, coupled with the fact that we are in the midst of a recession, makes one wonder if it presents a unique window of opportunity for health system reform. Do you sense the excitement, the hope, the impatience?

A group of Section members is working and collaborating with at least one other section to articulate the CHPPD Section (and possibly APHA) position on Health System Reform.  Please do contribute your ideas in the CHPPD-APHA Collaboration Projects wiki initiated for this purpose. You are also invited to participate in a free Webinar on the Role of Community in Health System Reform  on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 3 – 4 Eastern Time. We would appreciate receiving registrations by Thursday, Feb. 5, so we can send you access information in time.

On behalf of the Section, I thank Sue Myers, past chair, who worked with Section members to articulate a vision and mission and initiated the innovative Webinars. Many members, including Helena Vonville, Darrel Montgomery, Bob Griss, John Steen, Anne Umemoto, and the panelists and participants worked with Sue to make the Webinars successful.

A CHPPD member told me that the 2008 San Diego Annual Meeting was the best she had attended in the last 20 years. She says maybe it was combination of the weather, the pace, the quality of presentations; she could not identify the specific reason. None of the CHPPD Section chairs were able to attend the Annual Meeting in 2008. Special thanks to Chair Elect Amy Carroll-Scott, past membership chair EmyLou Rodriquez, Student Chair Ashley Wennerstrom, past program co-chair Roy Grant, Program Co-Chair Danielle Green, Policy Chair and Governing Council Whip Shari Kinney, acting photographer Lynn Kotranski, past Webmaster Tom Piper, Newsletter Editor Elizabeth Schiffman and all the members for coordinating Section activities at and before the event. Congratulations to Azzie Young for leading APHA members in crafting a Call for Education and Research into Vitamin D Deficiency/Insufficiency.  Now Azzie’s question becomes: We have a Vitamin D APHA policy on the books. How do we translate this into national policy?

Dan Gilbert, in his entertaining book Stumbling on Happiness, takes the bold step of fulfilling his psychologist’s vow, which is to complete the sentence: "The human being is the only animal that…". Psychologists who finished it with "can use language" were proven wrong by chimpanzees taught to communicate with hand signs; those who finished the sentence with "uses tools" were shown to be off the mark by chimps using sticks to extract tasty termites from their mounds. Dr. Gilbert says: The human being is the only animal that thinks about the future. He makes a distinction between acting like you think about the future, such as in a squirrel conditioned to bury food for winter, and actually thinking about the future, such as if a chimp were to turn down a Fudgicle because it already looks too fat in shorts.

I appeal to your human side. Thank you to those of you who have committed to lead the Section.  The Section still needs help. Contact Chair-Elect Amy Carroll-Scott before Feb. 7 if you are interested in being nominated for Section and Governing Council positions.  To be nominated for APHA leadership positions, contact Karen Valenzuela and Ann Umemoto before March 22. Also, please join the CHPPD Insider wiki and tell us how we can influence the future of our community’s health.

Regards,                                                                                                                               Priti Irani, Chair,


Congratulations to CHPPD Section Awardees!

The CHPPD Section wishes to congratulate all of its award winners for 2008!  Awards were presented at the 2008 Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Roy Grant, MA, was awarded for his commitment and dedication as the Section program chair since 2006.  Being the program chair is one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks in the Section.  Roy is a good organizer, is not easily overwhelmed, works to accommodate an ever-changing agenda, and has a sense of humor.  Roy is the director of research for The Children's Health Fund in New York City.

Tom Piper, BArch, is awarded for his guidance as immediate past chair, Webmaster, and photographer for the Section.  Tom is exploring and introducing new opportunities in communication and technology.  He has built a foundation for a healthy Section and is the Section representative on the Inter-Sectional Council.  Tom is the director of Missouri Certificate of Need.

Azzie Young, PhD, proposed an APHA policy to Call for Education and Research into Vitamin D Deficiency/Insufficiency. From Azzie, we have learned the importance of investing in building relationships with experts from other sections. Azzie is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mattapan Community Health Center, Boston.


Photo courtesy of Dawn Alayon
Erika L. Chapman BS, MPH Candidate, received her bachelor of science degree in 2002 from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Following graduation, Erika worked in the private sector providing employment services for those living with disabilities and then with the Healthy Families Early Intervention Program, supporting at-risk children and their families prenatally through age 5. Erika currently works for the Indiana State Department of Health in the Division of HIV/STD/Viral Hepatitis as the Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator. She will graduate in May 2009 with her Masters of Public Health from Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Public Health with a concentration in behavioral health science. Her areas of interest include the behavioral correlates to the transmission of infectious diseases, particularly resistant bacteria, and the elimination of global health disparities.

Photo courtesy of Dawn Alayon

Jennifer Mendel is a third year PhD student in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She received her undergraduate degree from Tufts University in Massachusetts, with majors in biology and community health. After graduating, she was employed at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she worked to help clinics in the city improve screening and treatment for mental illness and drug addiction. Currently, she is a participant in the Johnson and Johnson Community HealthCare Scholars program. She is also the 2008-2009 recipient of the Nancy A. Robertson scholarship in Injury Prevention. Jennifer’s dissertation research focuses on the use of street outreach workers for youth violence prevention. Her academic interests include the evaluation of policies and programs aimed at helping young people become healthy, productive adults.

February Webinar on Health System Reform - Register Now

The APHA Community Health Planning and Policy Development Section

Children playing in wading pools in a neighborhood recreation center. Photo by Jim Gathany, CDC Public Health Image Library
of is coordinating a free Web conference, The Role of Community in Health System Reform? on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Five speakers will present perspectives on a collaborative policy proposal with other sections. They will present community health planning from the medical and from the public health/community perspectives, opportunities for action with time for discussion. For more information, or to register, visit

How Can CHPPD Members Be More Involved In The APHA Policy Process?

The development of current, relevant, and science-based policies has always been a priority of APHA.  APHA urges Sections, SPIGs, Caucuses, and Affiliates to review the current list of APHA policies, and begin to develop more updated/sound position papers or resolutions, which can replace the outdated policies currently in the database.  The proposed topics for review in 2009 can be found on the APHA Web site. 


The “best” policies, those that are the most useful in advocacy efforts and are likely to be adopted by the Governing Council are policies that: (1) are well-documented and based on sound science; (2) are not time bound to any specific legislation; (3) direct APHA to take on external actions; (4) and are supported by multiple Association units. 


In order to prepare a policy for APHA our section should develop a clear, concise and succinct resolution.  Drafts of proposed position papers should identify a public health problem and present an objective summary of the situation and possible solutions rather than focusing on a specific preferred solution.  Authors are encouraged to be thorough and objective with the aim of educating and informing.  APHA uses a modern, international format, where supporting evidence is presented in paragraph form with action steps listed in clause form.  A resolution does not include extensive background information or discussion relative to the issue; rather, it contains pertinent facts that justify the call for defined action. 


What’s the next step for CHPPD members? 

We should develop a task force specific to the development of new policies and addressing archived APHA policies.  This group should meet monthly, identify top priorities, and begin to develop policies based on the standard APHA format. 


Who will lead the CHPPD policy development group? 

Governing Council members will assist members in the development of policies and conduct monthly meetings. 


When will the CHPPD policy development group get started?  

Members that are interested should review the environmental planning policy that could be revised and archived.  A member of the Section will also have to contact the original developer of the policy. 


All suggestions for revisions should be emailed to, by Feb. 4, 2009 or soon after.  The policy will be revised and sent to the group by Feb. 6, 2009 in preparation for the Feb. 17, 2009 submission date.  So CHPPD members, get ready to be active in APHA policy, follow the goals of our section, and make a change in our communities!


By Crystal Piper, MPH, MHA, PhD, University of South Carolina,

Let's Nominate CHPPD Section and APHA Leaders!

Let's nominate leaders!  CHPPD and APHA are looking for new leadership in the next two months. Please consider nominating yourself or a colleague for these positions.


CHPPD Opportunities.  The CHPPD Section is currently seeking nominations for two Section Councilors and six Governing Councilors. Section Councilors guide CHPPD activities and provide an excellent way to become more involved in the Section.  Governing Councilors are CHPPD’s representatives to APHA’s governing body and vote on APHA policies and leaders at the annual meetings. More information on the positions and nomination forms is available online. For additional questions, contact Nominations Chair and Chair-Elect Amy Carroll-Scott. If interested, please submit nominations forms to Amy by Feb. 7.


APHA Opportunities.  Each  year as the terms of members serving on APHA's several boards and committees come to an end, we have the opportunity to promote our fellow Section colleagues as nominees to fill these vacancies. Indeed, CHPPD has a distinguished history of its members serving in leadership positions: Walter Tsou as APHA President (2004) and Executive Board member, Suzanne Nichols and Karen Valenzuela as Executive Board members, Tom Piper and Paul Meissner on the Intersectional Council (ISC) Steering Committee, and Ann Umemoto on the Equal Health Opportunity Committee, as well as a host of others.  APHA is now accepting nominations for appointments to 15 of its boards and committees, including positions for president-elect and Executive Board members. A full list of open positions and nomination forms are available online. Please let me know if you have questions or would like assistance with the nomination process. Send your completed nomination form (for yourself or a colleague you're nominating — make sure you have their permission to nominate them!) to Karen Valenzuela and Amy Carroll-Scott and we'll forward them to APHA as a Section nomination.  The deadline for submitting nominations to APHA is Tuesday, March 31.


By Karen Valenzuela, CHPPD Governing Councilor,

Maintaining the Momentum in 2009

The 2008 APHA Annual Meeting in San Diego provided an exciting

CHPPD Student Committee Chair (2008) Ashley Wennerstrom (far left) with Student Award Winners Jennifer Mendel (middle) and Erika Chapman
opportunity for student CHPPD members to meet one another and to make connections with professionals in the public health field.  It also inspired many students to become more involved in the Section’s mission to promote health planning, policies and practices that promote health equity, community empowerment and social justice.  This year, the CHPPD Student Committee hosted its first ever scientific session comprised solely of student work.  Aneesah Akbar-Uqdah was responsible for organizing the session, and Ashley Wennerstrom served as the moderator.


CHPPD student members enthusiastically attended a variety of sessions as moderators, presenters and attendants.  Motivated by their experiences, some have taken on new leadership roles within the Student Committee. Here is what a few members have to say:


“While it is difficult to attend every session you want at the conference due to other priorities, it is a great place to network with professionals and other students. I had the opportunity to moderate a session, which I really enjoyed.  I thought the awards dinner was great.  It was an opportunity to interact with people one on one and relax a bit in the midst of all the excitement of the Annual Meeting.”    – Joe Schuchter


“It was a pleasure to attend APHA for the second year in a row.  I enjoyed participating in the awards ceremony and getting to know the members of the section.  For me, the San Diego trip was more enjoyable due to the fact that my fellow classmates attended with me."    – Dawn Alayon


The Annual Meeting provides a great opportunity to network with other public health students, health professionals and organizations/agencies.  Although it’s hard to attend everything you’re interested in, it’s great to learn about what’s worked and what hasn’t.  I was able to attend sessions relevant to my work, which is great because there’s always something new to learn each year.”    – Marianne Cadiz


CHPPD Student Session                    Photo courtesy of Lynn Kotranski

“I had the privilege of moderating the student session.  I was very impressed with the caliber of the student’s work.  The session was well attended, and the presentations inspired an interesting discussion.  I also had a fantastic time at the Section’s awards dinner.  It was wonderful to meet fellow Section members in person and finally match faces to the voices I’ve heard on so many conference calls.”    – Ashley Wennerstrom


The Student Committee hopes to take advantage of this motivation and actively participate in helping to plan events for the CHPPD Section, as well as another student session for this year’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia!


By Aneesah Akbar-Uqdah, Student Committee Chair, and Ashley Wennerstrom,


Research and Teaching in the Dominican Republic: A CHPPD Member’s Sabbatical Experience

Duarte Avenue, Santo Domingo         Photo by Alfredo Maiquez for Lonely Planet.
During the spring of 2008, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend my sabbatical in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  This opportunity was possible due to a Fulbright lecture/research grant.  The Fulbright Program  was established in 1946 with the aim of increasing understanding between people from the United States and other countries through the exchange of people, knowledge and skills.  The program, sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, provides funding for students, scholars and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools in over 150 countries worldwide.


My lecturer assignment consisted of teaching a course on health promotion in the medical school at Iberoamerican University (Universidad Iberoamericana-UNIBE) in Santo Domingo.  My research endeavors included a study on health policies for the prevention of childhood diabesity.  Diabesity is a term used to describe the association between obesity and type 2 Diabetes (Astrup & Finer, 2000).  The study conducted involved a review of 102 clinical charts, as well as focus and nominal groups with 39 health care providers at a tertiary level hospital specializing in nutrition, diabetes and endocrinology in Santo Domingo (Instituto Nacional de Diabetes, Endocrinologia y Nutricion).  The results of this study will be soon presented in an article submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, as well as at national and international public health conferences.


My sabbatical in the Dominican Republic not only was a very enriching academic experience, but it was also an unforgettable cultural one.  If you are interested in obtaining additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me at


By Helda Pinzon-Perez, PhD, RN, MPH

Associate Professor, Department of Health Science

California State University, Fresno

Many Opportunities to Get Involved With CHPPD

Dear Colleagues,


As we prepare for the 2009 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, we want to remind you of the many different ways that you can get involved with your section.  To start with, we want to hear about your work in community health.  Visit to learn how to become a presenter during the 2009 meeting.  


Remember that the Feb. 13 abstract submission deadline for CHPPD is quickly approaching, so get your abstracts in ASAP.  On that same note, why not help us review the submitted abstracts?  By becoming an abstract reviewer, you determine which proposals are of the highest quality and greatest interest in community health.  Your contribution ultimately shapes CHPPD’s program during the Annual Meeting.  If you are interested in reviewing abstracts submitted to the Section, please let us know.  Simply send Danielle or Ijeoma an e-mail indicating your interest in becoming a reviewer, along with three to five areas of specialization.  Those who review abstracts may even be extended opportunities to moderate a session during the Annual Meeting. 


Finally, as we celebrate CHPPD’s 40th anniversary, remember that your participation today will help shape our tomorrow.  How about getting involved in planning for the upcoming 40th anniversary celebration; participating in conference calls to keep up to date and provide your feedback; submitting articles to the APHA newsletter; attending CHPPD meetings and socials in Philadelphia?  This is your section, and you have an opportunity to shape our next 40 years.  Get involved!!!


We are looking forward to hearing from you, and ultimately meeting you in Philadelphia!


Danielle Greene, DrPH

Program Chair
Phone: (212) 442-3051
Fax: (212) 442-3156


Ijeoma Nwachuku, PhD

Program Co-Chair

Phone: (626) 574-2486
Fax: (626) 462-2688

Healthy City Brings GIS Technology and More to the Los Angeles Public Health Arena

Frustrated by government decisions based on political expediency rather than community health and well-being, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, United Way of Los Angeles, the USC School of Social Work and the Advancement Project partnered to create Healthy City. Healthy City (HC) seeks to foster data-driven planning, where public health decisions are based on evidence. To this end, Healthy City has four primary scopes of work.


First, HC maintains a public Web site which serves information and referral professionals, policy-makers and researchers in providing better community and health outcomes for low-income and under-served families. With this Web site, caseworkers and health professionals can quickly look up health services based on the distance from the patient’s or client’s residence or place of employment. Detailed service information, such as client eligibility, languages spoken, application procedures, and more, are listed. Health researchers can quickly retrieve vital statistics by ZIP Code, and, for example, view concentrations of areas with proportionally low birth weights, or areas with high numbers of homicides.


Second, HC provides Web assistance to local health organizations that vary in size from small community non-profits to large government departments and philanthropic institutions. Notably, the organization has built Web sites for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH) and First5 Los Angeles. The former site allows DMH staff to track resources in the department geographically, while the latter allows First5 to track grants to health organizations, map out areas being served by these grants, and utilize available demographic and health data to inform their strategic planning.


Healthy City's website allows users to create maps according to their specific needs
Third, HC provides direct research assistance to local health organizations. HC provided maps and statistics to the Mayor’s office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development as it investigates the most effective measures to reduce gang violence in Los Angeles. For the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation, HC created an early child need index, based on factors such as proportion of teen births and child care spaces available to assist in identifying high-need areas that could be candidates for a new Educare child care center in California.


Finally, HC partners with local community-based organizations to conduct community-engaged mapping exercises designed to draw out a community’s knowledge in ways that could be used to advocate for its health objectives. For example, the organization has worked with the Los Angeles Urban League to discern areas with public safety issues in their immediate neighborhood. HC produced wall-sized maps and moderated a discussion where residents could demarcate where they felt unsafe, as well as those built-environment issues (bad lighting, graffiti, excessive garbage, etc.) that might contribute to unsafe feelings in those areas.


Currently, HC is assisting the California Endowment in efforts to monitor its statewide, health-related giving, and hopes to continue to expand the Web site to a statewide platform. If you have any questions or comments about Healthy City, please feel free to contact us at


Chris Ringewald, Senior Research Analyst,

Health for All in America

* The full version of this article (including citations) appears in the June 2008 issue of The American Health Planning Association's Health Planning Today.

Since 1977, WHO-Europe has promoted a strategy for health policy based on ethical values and human rights, a movement known as Health for All. It is a call for equity, solidarity, and participation, with a broad intersectoral vision of health designed as a blueprint to guide its 52 member states in developing their national health policies. This is combined with a legal framework comprising international human rights treaties, instruments, norms and standards. Together it constitutes an approach considered to be ethical, values-based governance. The Health for All Policy Framework was first produced in 1980 and last updated in 2005. Its 1998 iteration describes three core values reflecting moral values already current in its member states: “health as a fundamental human right; equity in health and solidarity in action; and participation and accountability.”

The Health for All approach promotes a vision of health that extends far beyond patient care to include prevention activities, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and those health determinants found in the physical, social and economic environment that affect health, most notably poverty. On page 16, the report declares,

“Since poverty is a major source of health inequity, a Health for All policy should address poverty reduction, ensuring that the health system is responsive to poor, marginal and vulnerable population groups. From a Health for All perspective, action on poverty and other health determinants is considered properly intersectoral, with the health sector playing a leading role.”

It advocates activism in public health:

“Social parameters such as income, housing or education have a great effect on health status, and health equity depends substantially on the implementation of appropriate policies in all public sectors. As a consequence, health sector policies and programmes that seek to improve the health of all citizens should consider collaborating with any relevant actor, whether inside or outside the government, and whether concerned primarily with social, educational, environmental or legislative issues.” (p.45)

There is a growing consensus among the [American] electorate that we need to “reform health care,” but no consensus has yet developed about how to do that. Let that not be seen as precluding a major advance. Medicare was passed in 1965 without ever having achieved the support of a majority of the American people. What is required is courageous, visionary political leadership. We must see that the individual freedoms we cherish need the protection of a collective approach on a societal level, that we all have a right to share in that protection, and that public health has a value for us far greater than the sum of its parts. Benjamin Mason Meier and Larisa M. Mori articulate these ideas well in their article, “The Highest Attainable Standard: Advancing a Collective Human Right to Public Health”:

“…If individuals are bearers of a human right to health, societies then become the only possible bearers of a collective right to public health, with the collective right necessary to fulfill the individual right. That is, the individual and public components of health rights are not mutually exclusive but rather are interdependent. In a globalized world, the collective enjoyment of public health is a precondition for an individual human right to health, with public health programs addressing the collective determinants of health outside of the control of the individual. The discourse of collective rights can be used to supplement individual rights in affirming the inherent equality and solidarity of all people.

“Without public health and the lives it protects and promotes, no other rights would be possible. Whether caused by an individual lack of curative care or a collective lack of public health, the resulting morbidity and mortality suffered represents a gross violation of human rights. Public health is a vital component of health rights, without which states could not assure the health of individuals.”

By John Steen, Consultant in Health Planning, Health Policy, and Public Health,

NOTE: This article is a follow-up to The Vision of Health in the 21st Century , which appeared in the CHPPD Fall 2008 Newsletter.

Review: Phase I Report of the Recommendations for the Framework and Format of Healthy People 2020

The Phase I Report of the Recommendations for the Framework and Format of Healthy People 2020 identifies a vision and mission statement, and an ecological action model that emphasizes life and developmental stages. In many ways it is similar to Healthy People 2010 with its vision of a society in which all people live long, healthy lives. The Phase I report acknowledges that clustering life stages is not always age-determined, and envisions allowing users to track objectives by user-defined groups as related to issues such as parental disparity, obesity, or growth. The criteria for identifying these objectives will be in the Phase 2 report.

The Phase I report sums up the history behind Healthy People, and sets the foundation with the intent of being clear, communicative and transparent. Three mechanisms were used to gather input for the Phase I report: a public comment Web site, six regional meetings across the United States between March and May of 2008, and oral comments to the advisory group at one of its in-person meetings. The report also has a well-referenced glossary.

Chart courtesy of Healthy People Phase I Report 

There are at least three areas that could be clarified or improved in the Healthy People 2020 process and report.

1. Need to evaluate selected aspects of Healthy People 2010 to better understand how objectives are and are not achieved. 

On page 17 of the report, it reads: Although no comprehensive evaluation of the Healthy People initiative has been conducted, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) launched a study in 2002 to examine how Healthy People 2010 was being used. The study's overall conclusions were that Healthy People 2010 is a visible, practical tool that is being used by public health agencies at the state and regional levels. Barriers to usage were also identified, including a lack of implementation tools that could be used to achieve the objectives, and resource constraints.  In Appendix 7, the lack of a comprehensive evaluation of Healthy People 2010 was not identified as a challenge, hence no proposed approach for Healthy People 2020 is addressed. A thoughtfully conducted evaluation for selected issue areas that meets pre-determined criteria would be an invaluable resource.

2. Seek more clarity on how public health and medicine can work together. 

The primary focus of Healthy People 2020 is primary prevention and health promotion, while its secondary focus is health care. It is unclear what opportunities there are to bridge the work between primary prevention, health promotion and health care because the boundaries in communities are not always distinct. How will the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) 14 Prevention Quality Indicators be complemented by objectives in Healthy People 2020? PQIs can be used with hospital discharge data to indicate ambulatory care-sensitive conditions resulting in hospital admissions that could have been avoided, at least in part, through high-quality primary or outpatient care.

3. Identifying secondary audiences may undermine the community engagement process. 

While it is very helpful to understand who the primary and secondary audiences are, how useful is it to explicitly identify a secondary audience? Would it be sufficient to just state the primary audience with the understanding that other audiences are secondary? Does identifying secondary audiences, make those in this sub-group feel like second-class citizens and undermine their engagement?

Comments related to Healthy People 2020 can be posted at  Also, the CHPPD Section is working to organize a Web conference tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, April 1, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST, and we invite you to participate.  Please hold the date, and updates will be posted at

By Priti Irani, MS                                                                             CHPPD Chair,

San Diego 2008: A Member's Experience

Members having fun at a business meeting
Like thousands of other public health-involved professionals, I attended the APHA Annual Meeting this past October in San Diego.  It was one of the best APHA conferences I have ever attended, and I have gone to the majority of the meetings since 1983.  I asked myself what made this conference so different from others so that perhaps I could learn from it for future meetings. 


Obviously, the weather was a key factor.  Being sunny and warm both enabled and encouraged participants to go outdoors during session breaks and for needed decompression time.   The

A seagull enjoying the harbor views
convention center’s multiple outdoor terraces with tables and chairs made it so easy to walk outside and view the adjacent harbor.  Maybe I was projecting, but it seemed that everybody was smiling!  The physical layout of the convention center, vis-a-vis the location of the participating conference hotels, also made the multiple daily commutes between hotel and convention center much easier than when hotels and the convention center are very spread out from each other.   For me personally, I was still full of energy after two full days of the conference because of the easy "commute."  


Another great thing about APHA is that there are multiple opportunities to network — both to meet new people and to catch up with former colleagues.  Some people that I used to work with in

A visitor to the CHPPD booth
Philadelphia are now working in California, and this was a great time and venue for reconnecting.  Being part of the program is always rewarding and engaging, and I was a session moderator and presenter this year.  Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I was asked to be the "official" photographer for CHPPD at the 2008 Annual Meeting.  This afforded me the chance to go to most of the business meetings, the Governing Council, the awards dinner, and make multiple stops by the CHPPD booth.  It was a good way to see so many people, to observe firsthand how much commitment there is to our Section, and to feel part of it and the larger convention effort.  Next year in Philadelphia — my home town! 


By Lynn Kotranski,


* The photos in this article were all taken by Lynn Kotranski at the 2008 Annual Meeting.

19TH Annual APHA Public Health Materials Contest

The APHA Public Health Education & Health Promotion Section is soliciting your best health education, promotion and communication materials for the 19th annual competition. The contest provides a forum to showcase public health materials during the APHA Annual Meeting and recognizes professionals for their hard work.

All winners will be selected by panels of expert judges prior to the 137th APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.  A session will be held at the Annual Meeting to recognize winners, during which one representative from the top materials selected in each category will give a presentation about their material.
  Entries will be accepted in three categories; printed materials, electronic materials, and other materials. Entries for the contest are due by March 27, 2009. Please contact Kira McGroarty at for additional contest entry information.

Student Essay Contest: Reforming the Nation's Health Care System  is now accepting entries for its Annual Essay Contest, giving undergraduate and graduate students a chance to win a prize of $1,000 by writing an essay addressing the elements of health reform that President Obama's team should focus on in 2009.



President Obama has stated that reforming the health care system is one of his top priorities, and there is broad interest from policy-makers and the public in making a change. During the campaign, he outlined a framework for reforming health care. The essay should cover: what elements of his plan should be prioritized given the current economic crisis, what elements are most likely to garner support and which ones will be most challenging and why?



* Eligibility - Submissions will be accepted from undergraduate and graduate-level students enrolled in a university-based, degree-granting program at the time of submission.

* Essay length - Essays must not exceed 1,000 words in length and must be original work, prepared by one author only.

* Essay submission - Entries must be submitted online only. No emails will be accepted.

* Deadline - All essays must be submitted by March 2, 2009, 5 p.m. EST.

* Judging - Graduate and undergraduate entries will be judged separately by a panel of professionals with experience in health policy and politics.


Winners will be notified by May 1, 2009.


For complete contest details, and to submit your essay, visit, a free online resource from the Kaiser Family Foundation, offers a wide array of research and policy resources designed to complement health policy training.  The site has several tutorials and issue modules that are useful resources for students preparing their essays.


Additionally, more resources on health reform are available through the Kaiser Family Foundation’s main Web site.


The Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation dedicated to providing information and analysis on health care issues to policymakers, the media, the health care community and the general public.  The Foundation is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries.