Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Section Newsletter
Winter 2010

Chair's Message: And the most exciting CHPPD event in 2009 is . . .

What would you identify as the most exciting activity, event or observation for the CHPPD Section in 2009? Let me know by sending me an e-mail. I will summarize your votes and comments for the next newsletter.

 

‪Was it creating a photo journal on the CHPPD Section’s 40 year anniversary? The Section's 40-year history was related through a photo journal that is available on the CHPPD Insider. We are considering moving the photos to the "About Us" area of the Section Web site. The Section enjoyed a special CHPPD History Session, during which panelists answered thought-provoking questions. The Section also organized a social attended by about 95 members. The CHPPD Section was awarded a plaque by APHA in recognition of its fortieth anniversary. All this could not have been possible without support from the CHPPD members and leadership. Thank you.

 

‪Was it forming issue groups to facilitate diverse member action on community health

From left: HIIT Section Chair Sandra Worrell, MS; CHPPD Section Chair Priti Irani, MSPH; and CHPPD Section Councilor Azzie Young, PhD
issues? The attempt to organize diverse members to work within issue areas worked. The issue groups were small but effective. The “Health Reform” group has written “Public Health’s Critical Role in Health Reform,” and produced a Webinar on the topic. The “Public Health Information Technology” group presented at an oral session organized by the Health Information and Informatics Section.

  

‪Was your favorite activity the Section Photo Journal Demonstration Project? We received 27 proposals in response to our call for applications for the Section Photo Journal Demonstration Project. The Section selected five projects, and the awardees will present their work at the Annual Meeting in Denver. The projects have diverse topics – HIV, green jobs, neighborhood organizing, tobacco control and built environment – and come from around the nation. We are looking forward to seeing the photographs in Denver.

 

‪Or was your favorite activity conceptualizing “Health in All Policies” through at T-shirt/tote bag design contest? One member conceptualized the “Health in All Policies” design, which were transferred onto T-shirts and tote bags. They were popular giveaway item at the Annual Meeting.

 

‪Or maybe conducting Webinars on health reform, the value of prevention and  Healthy People 2020? Last year, the Section coordinated three Webinars, and each of them was attended to capacity. We got to better understand the expertise of members within our section and within APHA. The post-Webinar evaluations were positive. 

 

Perhaps your favorite memories were growing support among Section members? Membership throughout APHA dropped significantly, and it did too for the CHPPD Section, but at a slower pace. Members who selected the CHPPD Section as a second section were significantly higher than other sections. Thank you. We appreciate your support.

 

On a personal note, I did get a valuable piece of information that has helped me tremendously at work. In a post-Webinar evaluation, after the “Measuring the Value of Prevention” Webinar in April 2009, a participant wrote how much (s)he enjoyed the Webinar, and wished we could have included the work by Cornell Food and Brand Lab, and provided a link to a magazine article, which I did read. In September 2009, I was looking for an advisor who could advise us on a grant related to improving participation in the healthy school lunch program, and remembered the article, and contacted the folks at Cornell Food and Brand Lab, who in turn agreed to advise. So thank you to that anonymous person who suggested the article! It has been fun working on the project at work.

 

All my best,

Priti Irani, MS

Chair, CHPPD Section

Congratulations CHPPD Section Award Winners!

Vision Award for Excellence in Health Planning

awarded to Brian Smedley, PhD --
For his work with addressing disparities. Brian wrote on a blog, ”Addressing inequality doesn't take a revolution. We can begin by asking ourselves what kind of country we want to be. If we believe - as most Americans do - that the United States should be a place where everyone has a fair chance to achieve their full potential, then we can focus on achievable policy solutions.”

Henrik L. Blum Award for Excellence in Health Policy
awarded to
Tammy Pilisuk, MPH -- For her work advocating for health reform for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Health Care Reform Principles policy paper. Her proposal to develop national health care reform principles led to the development of this paper. Tammy also spearheaded the development of the "Public Health's Critical Role in Health Reform" proposed policy paper with Medical Care Section.

 
Best Doctoral-Level Abstract Award awarded to Kim Enard, PhD -- For research entitled, "U.S. Healthcare in Black, White and Shades of Brown: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Utilization among Privately Insured U.S. Adults."

 
Best Master's Level Abstract Award awarded to William Babbitt -- For research on access to arsenic-free water in rural Bangladesh: an assessment of potential receptivity of the ARUBA system.

Section Award for Leadership in Student Involvement awarded to Aneesah Latise Akbar-Uqdah, MPH -- For reaching out and engaging students.

Section Award for Participative Annual Meeting Program Planning awarded to Danielle Greene, DrPH -- For engaging members in annual meeting program planning.

 

Section Service Award for Leadership

awarded to Sue Myers, MA, MPH -- For 
 leading the vision and mission process for the section, and facilitating the Webinars.

Section Award for Supporting Continuing Education

to Yukiko Ann Umemoto, MPH, MPA --
For supporting continuing education and the Webinars.

 

Section Award for Supporting Continuing Education

awarded to
Helena M. VonVille, MLS, MPH -- For enabling the Webinar dialogue.

 

 


Section Service Award for Excellence in Communications awarded to Dawn C. Alayon, MPH -- For taking an initiative in communications.

 

Section Certificates of Appreciation

  Marina Anwuri, Organizing CHPPD Celebration Dinner

Ashley Wennerstrom, Organizing CHPPD Celebration Dinner

Robert Griss, Starting Off Webinars with "Healthcare and Civil Rights" 

Shari Kinney, Insightful Policy Reviews

Scott Williams, Reaching Out to Members

Conor, Honorary Youngest CHPPD Member

APHA Leadership Opportunities in 2010

The Nominating Committee for APHA's Governing Council is looking for the following candidates for leadership roles in the organization:

 

  • APHA President Elect (three year commitment, one year each as president-elect, president and past-president)
  • Executive board – three positions available (4-year term)
  • Speaker of the Governing Council (3-year term)
  • Treasurer (3-year term)

The APHA Governing Council will vote to select these officers at the November (2010) meeting, and they would begin serving immediately after the APHA conference (so terms would start Nov. 10, 2010).

 

As I'm sure you know, the next APHA Annual Meeting is Nov. 6-10, 2010, in Denver.

 

Applications are due March 31, 2010 and should include the relevant (attached) one-page form along with resume/CV of the nominee, and any letters of support. The nominating committee will meet May 6 to select the list of nominees for consideration by the Governing Council at the 2010 Annual Meeting.

 

We hope you will be able to think of individuals who would be excellent candidates for the above positions. 

 

Should you or a potential candidate wish further information on these positions, please refer to the job descriptions and nomination form available on the APHA Web site at: http://www.apha.org/about/gov/nominations/default.htm

 

If you are interested in running, we suggest you contact your APHA Section, SPIG, Caucus and/or Forum leadership to solicit their support and assistance with your nomination. 

 

All nominees for the Executive Board are selected from among the membership of the Association, except that the nominees for  Honorary Vice-President may include persons who are not members of the Association.

  

For more information on the Nominating Committee, contact Ida Plummer via e-mail at governance@apha.org.

 

The CHPPD Section had also looking for leadership nominations, and nominations had to be submitted by March 1, 2010 to APHA. Information on these nominations were sent to Section members via e-mails.

Opportunities to Build Experience in Public Health Policy

The economy has taken a toll on everyone in one way or another. I am writing this article to share some ideas on what I’ve learned about networking and how to build experience in the public health profession.   

Informal opportunities – creative networking
Become an APHA member with several different sections or interest groups. Benefits of membership include career, internship, networking and grant opportunities; exposure to a variety of advocacy and policy issues through multiple publications, periodicals, meetings; and information on the latest trends, legislation, and research.

  • Attend the APHA Annual Meeting or meet with someone who has attended to learn about his/her meeting experience.
  • Seek mentoring opportunities from organizations such as APHA, university career and employment services, state employment offices, student associations and alumni associations.
  • Search local and state public health Web sites for opportunities to give and be part of their committee.
  • Become involved in one of the CHPPD ad hoc committees.
  • Participate in CHPPD committee conference calls.
  • Volunteer or advocate at local nonprofit organizations that you have an interest in.  Not all volunteer opportunities take a great amount of your time — some may only require an hour a month. 
  • Join your student alumni association.
  • Become active on a local board of directors (e.g., alumni association, nursing homes).
  • Keep up to date on the latest issues. I subscribe to various listservs from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) at no cost.  Check out http://www.kff.org/email for more information.
  • Sign up and log onto the Joint Center Health Policy Institute Webinars

Formal opportunities – internships, fellowships, and jobs
Ask your advisor for a listing or individually seek externship opportunities with organizations that collaborate with the department/school that you either graduated from or one in your area. Externships are lengthier than a job shadow but less intensive than an internship. Externships provide the student with the opportunity to observe a professional's regular daily activities, potentially conduct informational interviews, and participate in office projects. Other valuable benefits include professional connections and gaining marketable experience.

  • You may also want to check out internship and fellowship opportunities listed at the Kaiser Family Foundation Web site. 
  • Encourage your school to promote internships that can be conducted half the time off-site and half the time on-site and offer opportunities for evening and weekend internships for those who work a non-public health full-time position and attend school part-time. 

How professionals can help students gain experience and/or find a position:

  • Remember what it was like when you were a student or a new graduate? Finding opportunities and jobs can be difficult, and students may need guidance in locating those opportunities because they are just getting into the profession and may not know where to begin. 
  • Contact a local university with a program in Public Health Policy or other public health specialties to see if they have a mentor program for students and/or new graduates. 
  • If possible, offer opportunities for students and new grads to work on a current project that you are working on. 
  • Offer information on where the student and/or new graduate can look for jobs in the field.  
  • Volunteer to help students and new grads with reviewing their resume and offer suggestions on where they can build on their skills.

Professionals helping professionals
Find other policy professionals in your field to get together and discuss the latest issues by e-mail or conference calls.

  • Be available for someone relocating to your area in order to help them find a position or get settled.
  • Help someone understand what experience is transferrable and how to promote their skills.
  • For anyone interested in tobacco policy, I have a contact list of tobacco organizations that I would be happy to provide you. Send an e-mail requesting the list to sschenat@gmail.com

I’ve shared my ideas with you, now I’d like to hear from the students and professionals about how to obtain experience in the field of public health policy. Public health professionals have a passion to help others live a better life in health and improve well-being. Why not help your fellow colleague by offering your knowledge, experience, and assistance by being a mentor or offering internships and networking opportunities to get his/her career off the ground and/or find better opportunities for professional growth so they can help others? Provide out-of-the-box thinking on how people can obtain low or no cost opportunities. How about ideas on where people seeking employment in health care policies can obtain employment? What other areas are you interested in that you can offer to people who are trying to gain experience in health care policy? We need to help one another, and we are our own best resource!

By Sue Schenatzki, MPH
Sue graduated with an MPH in Policies and Administration in 2008 from Indiana University at Indianapolis. She have worked as a state public case manager for two years in long-term care as well as worked for different physicians as a receptionist and medical transcriptionist. She also has person experience with caring for a family member with disabilities. Sue has a personal goal of making changes to laws to assist the uninsured in obtaining access to care when they are just above the poverty level but not enough funds coming into their home to pay for their health care needs.

State Public Health Associations

In October 2009, I attended the Oregon Public Health Association 's annual conference and was incredibly pleased with the turnout and the great information-sharing and networking opportunities. In Oregon, the hot topics included chronic disease management, climate change, aging populations, and rural health inequities. Indeed these same problems plague many communities across the United States.

As we all know, public health is about strategic connections and leveraging resources in an often resource-poor environment. The most important connections are often local, so it is incumbent on all of us to become active in our state health associations, whenever possible.

APHA maintains a list of state public health associations. How involved are you with your state's public health association?

 -- Sami Jarrah, Oregon Health & Science University Foundation

The State Cancer Legislative Database: An Important Resource

Our goal in implementing health policy is to affect change for the common good.  In their 2006 article 'What Does Social Justice Require for the Public’s Health? Public Health Ethics and Policy Imperatives,' Lawrence Gostin and Madison Powers reflect that addressing the social determinants of health through “systematic responses among all levels of government” is the social justice imperative of public health. Through policy we are able to change the playing field for everyone, not just a few select groups.  Therefore, as students of health policy and professionals working in the area of health policy, it is important that we remain informed about policy options that are available to address social determinants of health.

For those looking to bring about social justice in public health through policy changes, there are many valuable databases that can be used to identify models policies and analyze the effect of those policies on public health outcomes. One such database, the National Cancer Institute’s State Cancer Legislative Database, serves as an important resource for research and analysis of cancer-related health policy. NCI has provided summaries of legislation affecting cancer prevention and control since the early 1980s. Since 1989, NCI has monitored cancer-related state legislation and maintained the State Cancer Legislative Database (SCLD) Program.

The SCLD maintains information about state laws and resolutions addressing:

  • access to state-of-the-art cancer treatment
  • breast cancer
  • cervical cancer 
  • colorectal cancer 
  • health disparities 
  • genetics
  • ovarian cancer 
  • prostate cancer 
  • skin cancer
  • surveillance (cancer registries) 
  • testicular cancer
  • tobacco
  • uterine cancer

The SCLD also maintains limited information about state laws addressing general cancer issues, including health-related treatment and access to state-of-the-art treatment, such as clinical trials and off-label drug use.

NCI, with the assistance of The MayaTech Corporation, works to monitor and analyze cancer-related legislation from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Community health practitioners and those working to influence health policy can use this resource to answer questions such as:

  • Which states require insurers to provide reimbursement for screening mammography? 
  • How many states have enacted laws addressing genetic discrimination by employers, and what is the extent of those provisions? 
  • Over the past 5 years, which states have enacted legislation affecting tobacco excise tax rates? 
  • What are the tobacco taxes in each state? 
  • Are states that require insurance coverage for clinical trials in close proximity to one another?

Given the increasing research connecting nutrition to cancer, SCLD will begin tracking limited physical activity and nutrition policies beginning in spring 2010. Policy topics that will be tracked include school-based nutrition policies such as nutrition education, competitive foods, reimbursable meals, and access to fruits and vegetables. Kerri McGowan Lowrey, JD, MPH, manager of MayaTech’s Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis, which supports NCI’s SCLD Program, is pleased to see an expansion of the types of policies monitored in SCLD.  “Legislation that has the potential to improve population health by addressing its most basic determinants, such as adequate and nutritious food, is essential to population level disease control and prevention. As states become increasingly invested in addressing the non-medical determinants of health along with determinants related to the health care system, it is important that policy makers and researchers are able to understand and monitor one another’s work.”

The database could be useful for both seasoned researchers who are members of CHPPD and student members. Several graduate students have used SCLD data for theses or dissertations, either alone, or in combination with health behavior data such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) or the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS).  MayaTech also has produced several research briefs using the SCLD database, which can be found on the SCLD Web site.

Kristi Pettibone, PhD, manager of MayaTech’s Center for Community Prevention and Treatment Research (CPTR) sees an increasing need for evaluating health policy and the effects of health policy on health outcomes. “The usual limitation with policy analyses is trying to understand the time delay between when a policy is implemented and when we can expect to see the effects of policy on health outcomes. Because the SLCD database includes information on when a policy was implemented and any changes that have been to the policy since its implementation, is it a useful tool for examining the effects of policy on community health.”

The SCLD database is just one policy data source that is available for public use. Other policy databases that are available for public use include CDC’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Legislative Database and the State Health Policy section of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Web site.  For more information about MayaTech, visit www.mayatech.com.

By Kristianna Pettibone, KPettibone@mayatech.com

Social Determinants of Health and Policy Development

 

Remember Bill Clinton’s 1992 mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid?” Well it is, but it is also the economy's social impact that has the  most powerful impact on the nation's health. The research into that has been pursued for at least three decades in the U.K., particularly by Sir Michael Marmot and Richard Wilkinson.

 

A new meta study in the British Medical Journal reports that if the gap between the richest and poorest people in the 30 developed countries of the OECD were reduced, 1.5 million deaths per year could be prevented. The findings reveal that people living in regions with high income inequality are more likely to die younger, regardless of their income, socio-economic status, age, or gender. Despite the mounting evidence for the adverse systemic impact of social inequality, this phenomenon remains controversial.

 

In an accompanying editorial, Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson suggest that this is possibly because of the “deep political implications of a causal relation between better health of the population and narrower differences between incomes.” The evidence leads them to conclude that, although the benefits of greater equality tend to be largest among the poor, those benefits seem to extend to almost everyone, and that “a more equal society might improve most people's quality of life.” The factors underlying this are psychosocial stress resulting from invidious social comparisons that are divisive and corrosive, and the erosion of social cohesion.

 

The authors write, “it is now clear that unequal societies have an increased prevalence of a host of social problems, including violence, bullying, teenage births, higher rates of imprisonment, low educational performance, reduced social mobility, low levels of trust, and longer working hours.” They conclude that “it is a task for politicians and policy experts to repair our ‘broken society’ by undoing the widening of inequalities that has taken place since the 1970s.”

 

One of those studies on which this is based is Daniel M. Hausman’s, “Benevolence, Justice, Well-Being and the Health Gradient in which he finds that “for most people the good life lies in close and intricate social ties with others which can flourish only when inequalities are limited. The health gradient suggests that there is a story to be told in which egalitarian justice, solidarity, health and well-being go hand-in-hand.”  

 

Infant mortality is the most commonly used indicator for the quality of a nation’s health care system, and it is an indicator of social inequality as well. In November, the government’s National Center for Health Statistics released a report ranking the U.S. 30th in the world in infant mortality using 2005 data. The U.S. rate was 12th in the world in 1960, fell to 23rd in 1990, to 29th in 2004, and 30th in 2005.

 

The United States also has the greatest inequality in wealth of any industrialized nation. This inequality is unjust in itself, and it also increases the cost of our health care through both depreciated health status and the income gradient that is inherent in the delivery of health care itself. For example, as a multiple of average wage in each nation, physician income is 1.4 in the U.K., 1.5 in Sweden, but 5.5 in the U.S.

 

It’s Neoliberalism, Stupid!

 

What I find remarkable about all well-intentioned pleas to reduce widening social disparities is a failure to address its causes. It is its causes that are controversial, for they are to be found in the neoliberalism that has become an international orthodoxy promoted by those rich in resources, led by the United States over the last three decades.

  

The WHO Commission identifies the problems but not the solutions:

 

Any serious effort to reduce health inequities will involve changing the distribution of power within society and global regions, empowering individuals and groups to represent strongly and effectively their needs and interests and, in so doing, to challenge and change the unfair and steeply graded distribution of social resources (the conditions for health) to which all, as citizens, have claims and rights.

 

Perhaps the greatest question for public health in America to answer in this century is whether and how it will adopt a social medicine agenda to eliminate the disparity between its goals and its means. For decades, it has focused its attention on individuals whose morbidity is taken as a given in a socio-political context also taken as a given, implicitly operationalizing the neoliberal policy model of assignment of responsibility for health status to the individual. Will public health be able to meet its responsibilities for promoting all that is encompassed by the hope and promise of good health and become “politicized” without losing its credibility?

 

The radical difference between private interests and public interests in health and in health policy development has been obscured from voters. The message that needs to be taken to heart by public health is that it is social (including political and economic) determinants driven by a neoliberal agenda that do greatest harm to population health, and so it is incumbent upon public health to confront that agenda, an agenda not for health and health system improvement, but for rapacious health and health system exploitation.

 

It is the empowerment of the population as an imperative of human rights that results in the sought-after benefits of better population health, and these ensue only from good governance. No professionally honest attempt at policy development in light of the social determinants of health can any longer ignore the political determinants of health. 

 

And in The Lancet on Dec. 5, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan wrote:

 

The pursuit of economic wealth took precedence over protection of the planet's ecological health, and over the most vulnerable in society. Fundamentally we are all facing a choice about values: improving lives, protecting the weakest, and fairness. These are the same values that motivate public health, and the health community is a willing partner in addressing this challenge.

 
-- John Steen

The AOA Healthy Eyes Healthy People ® Grants and the NEI’s Healthy Vision Community Awards Program: A Great Match!

The National Eye Institute developed the Healthy Vision Community Awards (HVCA) Program to encourage the creation or continuation of vision-related projects that support the vision objectives of Healthy People 2010. HVCA funding supports community-based organizations, which are awarded up to $10,000 for their innovative eye health education and promotion projects. The funding can be used for a variety of things, such as consultant fees, project-specific supplies, project staff salaries, local travel, and community-based education and promotion activities, but it may not be used to purchase eyewear or ophthalmic equipment.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) Healthy Eyes Healthy People ® program was established by the AOA Board of Trustees to support the vision-related objectives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Health People 2010 goals, which constitute the nation’s public health agenda. The Healthy Eyes Healthy People® program is underwritten by grants from Luxottica and Vision Service Plan. These underwriters have contributed $1 million to 279 projects across the country since the program’s inception in 2004. The HEHP grants are up to $5,000 and do allow purchase of eyewear or ophthalmic equipment. 

The applications for the HVCA and HEHP grants are vey similar, and they may be used in combination with one another. Community-based organizations provide an excellent opportunity for optometrists to help translate the vision objectives of Healthy People into the community action, and also offer a chance for patient education on prevention of not only eye conditions, but also systemic problems.  The combination of funding provided by the NEI’s Healthy Vision Community Awards and the AOA’s Healthy Eyes Healthy People grants can help get one of these programs get started.  For more information visit Healthy People 2010 Special Programs or Healthy Eyes Healthy People®.

By Uzma Zumbrink, MPH, American Optometric Association, uazumbrink@aoa.org

AOA’s Healthy Eyes Healthy People® Program Helping Diabetic Population

Diabetes and its impediments are one of the major public health problems in the United States. The Healthy Eyes Healthy People® (HEHP) program believes in helping community leaders such as optometrists to educate and develop new health-related projects in order to provide better eye health information to their patients. Healthy Eyes Healthy People ® awards those community leaders who have recognized a disparity such as diabetes locally and are doing something to correct the current situation in their communities. The maximum grant award is $5,000 and is meant to further the initiatives trying to develop new projects such as diabetes education and prevention methods.

Diabetes is a complex disease in which the body cannot properly store or use sugar. Excess sugar in the body can lead to circulatory system problems, and eventually eyesight problems. It is, however, a disease that can be controlled through proper education and intervention strategies. One of the aims of the HEHP program is to educate the public about the detrimental effects diabetes can have on the eyes and the most effective ways to prevent vision loss caused by diabetes. According to the American Optometric Association, from 2004-2009, Healthy Eyes Healthy People® awarded a total of 279 grants, 80 of which were aimed at reducing visual impairment due to diabetic retinopathy.

HEHP chart

Vision is an essential part of our lives, and people with diabetes are particularly vulnerable to diabetic eye diseases. These conditions, particularly diabetic retinopathy, can cause vision loss and sometimes even blindness. According to the AOA, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness if it is not detected and treated in time. The disease occurs when diabetics have high blood glucose levels, which can cause an overflow of liquid in the lens of the eye, resulting in irregular vision and damage to the retina. Once the glucose is stabilized, the swelling lessens and the blurriness goes away. Diabetic retinopathy often presents without any noticeable symptoms and can worsen without treatment. Monitoring glucose levels and following the AOA recommendation on receiving a full eye exam with dilation at least once a year can reduce the chance of getting diabetic retinopathy or that it will result in partial or full vision loss. 

Healthy Eyes Healthy People® is trying to lessen the financial burden on the diabetic population by providing free vision screening, treatment and medication. Diabetes is recognized as a major public health problem with far reaching consequences, not just for its adverse impact on the health of Americans, but also for the economic burden it places on the health care system. The Healthy Eyes Healthy People ® program is trying to increase health-related quality of life (HRQOL) by focusing on diabetes and its impact on vision in the diabetic population. Diabetes and its complications have devastating effects on the HRQOL, along with massive strains on economic and social factors.

The AOA has developed a diabetic eye examination report that most optometrists in the Healthy Eyes Healthy People® program use to follow the clinical care guidelines. The HEHP program enables optometrists to see, diagnose, treat and educate patients about reducing visual impairment due to diabetic retinopathy and the prevention of this disease and its complications. Optometrists can help decrease vision loss due to diabetic eye disease by raising public awareness.

By Uzma Zumbrink MPH, American Optometric Association, uazumbrink@aoa.org

No Contesting these Clever Captions

 

Story behind the photograph: I took this photograph about 13 years ago in December from a train in North India.  It seemed to relate well to the  2009 APHA Annual Meeting theme "Water and Public Health". I liked the way the common Indian Mynahs were waiting in queue to drink from the faucet.  I cannot recall if the faucet had a drip, but I would assume so as the mynahs are very intelligent birds.  The lettering is in Hindi and reads "Peenay ka pani," which translates to "Water for drinking.". Growing up in India, I was taught never to drink the water outside the home as it could make me sick.  Now when I return to visit, I am especially careful about not drinking water outside or eating uncooked food. Mynahs belong to the starling family, are monogomous, and some of their relatives like the Hill Mynah are sought after as pets as they make the best talking birds.  The common mynah, I read on the Web, is a serious pest in Australia where it was introduced in the 1860s to control the beetle problem.

Clever captions: We invited APHA Annual Meeting participants to submit captions for the photos, and in return they were given a T-shirt or tote-bag.  When you read the captions, remember that HINI was very much in the news.

"How'd you get here?
I Flu."

"Finally, we can bathe! They only care about pigs now."

"Bathe quick, the humans are coming."

"Even birds need clean water! Save clean water for everyone."

"Aahh refreshing! Even the birds enjoy it."

"Free water for everyone."

"We all deserve clean and drinkable water."

This one was designed for a radio/TV spot featuring Larry, Curly and Moe. Larry say "Yes"; Curly says "We"' Moe says "Can". All say "Have free access."

"Great for resting, not for drinking."

"Seeking echo: Chirping over the well."

"Drinking water - it's universal."

The CHPPD Section Photo Contest was also announced in the Fall 2009 issue of the newsletter.  When I looked back at the issue, the photograph was missed.  I do not know if we forgot to include the photograph, or if it got lost during the editing process.  But none of you missed or noticed it, so we are not apologizing.

By Priti Irani
CHPPD Section Chair