Section Newsletter
Spring 2005

Message from the Chair

The Epidemiology Section is reorganizing its business meetings and socials for the Annual Meeting in New Orleansin order to reduce conflicts with other activities going on and to better accommodate travel schedules. All business meetings are open to Section members. We need your input! Planned activities include:

Sunday, Nov. 6
Business Meeting #1 - 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (coffee, water and juices provided)

Agenda items: Meet the APHA national office candidates; discuss policy hearings to be held later in the day; introduce Governing Council (GC) ‘shadows’; work on the Section strategic plan and mid-year leadership meeting to be held in Washington D.C., 2006.

Business Meeting #2 - 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. following the New Connections Continue to meet with APHA national office candidates. Closed door (section member only) debate of national candidate positions; receive feedback on hearings from Governing Councilors (GC); provide input to GC before GC meetings.

Monday, Nov. 7
Awards Session – 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 8
Business meeting #3 - 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Come learn about the positions in Section leadership, active workgroups, and how you can influence the largest section in APHA.

Epidemiology Social — off site (site not selected yet — suggestions are MOST welcome!Contact me at: <spatrick@usd.edu>.
Student tickets discounted. This is for FUN and an opportunity to meet with other epidemiologists from across the nation. Celebrate our profession.Buy tickets at the Section booth.

Please check the final APHA schedule and Web site for room locations and any schedule changes.
In addition, a new Epidemiology Section Web site is under way and will be available for roll-out this summer. Please check the APHA Web site for links to the new site and listserv.

The Annual Meeting can be a very overwhelming experience, especially to newcomers.By participating in Section activities, you will be able to connect with other epidemiologists through scientific exchange or the opportunities to socialize or through activities as a new or continuing member on a Section workgroup. We value your suggestions and look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

Epidemiology Section Solicits Student Participation in Governing Council Activities

Do you want to see public health and epidemiology in action? Do you want to participate in the translation of epidemiology to public health policy? Do you want to learn more about APHA governance? Do you want to get involved with the APHA Epidemiology Section? If so, participation in the APHA Epidemiology Section’s Student “Shadow” program may be for you.

Students selected to participate will “shadow” an Epidemiology Section Governing Council member at the 2005 Council and Epidemiology Section business meetings during the APHA Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The Epidemiology Section will cover registration costs for the meeting.

What is the APHA Governing Council?

The Governing Council (GC) is a "Congress-like" body composed of elected, volunteer members from APHA Sections, SPIGS and affiliate public health organizations that meets once a year at the APHA Annual Meeting. The GC debates and enacts policy resolutions that guide the development of APHA policy activities during the year, and elects APHA Executive Board members and other volunteer leaders of the organization including the APHA President. During the year, the Executive Board provides more direct oversight of the work of the Executive Director and other APHA staff.

What is it like to be a Governing Council Member?

James A. Gaudino, MD, MS, MPH, summed up his feelings this way, “As a Governing Council member from the Epidemiology Section, a physician and a scientist, I see my and my fellow councilors' responsibility to make sure that final APHA policies are based on the best scientific evidence available and are ethically sound.” Sarah L. Patrick, MPH, PhD, current Chair for the Epidemiology Section feels that, “serving on the Governing Council is a tremendous learning opportunity, plus you can insert epidemiologic evidence into the policies of the organization."

Application Requirements

If you are interested, please send to Howell Sasser via e-mail at <Howell.Sasser@carolinashealthcare.org> or fax (704) 355-1880) the following information by July 22, 2005:

  1. Name, e-mail address and telephone number

  2. School

  3. Degree program and degree sought

  4. Expected graduation date

  5. APHA Membership Number

  6. A brief statement (No more than 250 words) describing yourself and why you are interested in the program

  7. A letter of support from your graduate advisor

  8. A letter of reference from someone other than your graduate advisor

Selected students will be notified via email no later than Aug. 1, 2005. A maximum of two students will be selected.

If you would like more information, please contact Howell Sasser via e-mail <Howell.Sasser@carolinashealthcare.org> or Christine Arcari at: carcari@wisc.edu>.

Christine Arcari PhD, MPH, and Howell Sasser PhD

Mervyn Susser to Receive Rema Lapouse Award for 2005

Mervyn W. Susser, Sergievsky Professor of Epidemiology Emeritus of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Faculty of Medicine, will receive the Rema Lapouse Award for 2005. Regarded one of the preeminent epidemiologists in the world, Susser has distinguished himself in numerous areas of scientific research over six decades.

Susser was born in Johannesburg South Africa, where he received his medical degree from Witwatersrand University in the early 1950s. He also completed a doctorate in public health in London. He began his research career at the Alexandra Clinic and University Health Centre, an African township outside Johannesburg. In collaboration with Zena Stein, his spouse and colleague, Susser initiated clinical epidemiological studies and epidemiological studies of obstetrics and reproduction. In the mid-1950s he joined the faculty at Manchester University Medical School, where he established his reputation in the areas of mental retardation, psychiatric disorders, and child development.

In 1966, he came to the United States as Professor and Head of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s School of Public Health. Here, his research focused on large scale studies of the epidemiology of nutritional effects on child development in New York’s Harlem and in the Netherlands. Another focus was research on miscarriage and related studies of reproduction. In 1978, Susser became Gertrude H. Sergievsky Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the newly endowed Sergievsky Center at Columbia University. During this period (1978-1990) his research centered mostly on neurodevelopmental epidemiology and reproduction. In the mid-1980s, he and Zena turned their attention to Africa and the HIV pandemic. In 1999, he was scientific director of the Africa Center for Population and Reproductive Research in rural South Africa.

Mervyn has authored more than 400 articles, approximately ¾ in peer-reviewed professional or scientific journals. There have been 12 books on such topics as: sociology in medicine, community psychiatry, prenatal development, and causal theory. From 1992 to 1998, he served the Association as Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Public Health.

During this distinguished and remarkable career there have been numerous honors: awards (Belding, Milbank Memorial, Human Rights, Distinguished Service, John Snow, Haven Emerson, Lilienfeld, 75th Jubilee); honorary degrees; memberships, fellowships; consultantships (WHO, PAHO); honorary professorships; visiting professorships; keynote addresses; special lectures; symposia; auditorium dedications; and a festschrift. In 1996 he was named senior member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.

He is well known also for his many outstanding personal qualities; an engaging speaker, a charming personality, and a gentle and kind man. He has also been recognized for his mentoring of colleagues and students. The Rema Lapouse Award Committee (comprised of Elizabeth Jane Costello, Ronald C. Kessler, Nan Laird and Anthony Kouzis) representing the APHA’s Mental Health, Epidemiology, and Statistics Sections is delighted to announce his acceptance of this prestigious award. I hope you will be able to attend the APHA Annual Meeting to meet Mervyn Susser and his family at a special session on Nov. 7, 2005, where he will present the 34th Rema Lapouse Lecture.

Congress of Epidemiology 2006


The 2006 Congress of Epidemiology is promising to be a very exciting meeting.  Each of the 18 participating epidemiology societies is planning a symposium showcasing the substantive area of their society. The range of substantive areas is very broad, from international health to pharmacovigilance to pediatrics to public health practice to environmental health to epidemiologic methods.  In addition, abstracts are being solicited on a wide range of topics reflecting this range of substantive areas.  Thus, the 2006 Congress will truly showcase the breadth of epidemiology. 

To facilitate participation by students in this important meeting, the Program Committee is actively seeking funding for travel awards (any help in this regard would be greatly appreciated!).  We plan to award 50 travel awards to students who present their research at the meeting.  Applications for the awards will be concurrent with abstract submission.  Watch the meeting Web site <http://http://www.epicongress2006.org> for details.  We also plan to have some scholarships available for students to participate in pre-meeting workshops.

Important Dates

  • Oct. 15, 2005      Last date for submission of proposals for symposia

  • Feb. 3, 2006       Last date for submission of abstracts

  • June 20 -21, 2006      Pre-meeting workshops

  • June 21-24, 2006       2006 Congress of Epidemiology!

If you are interested in helping with the Congress, have an idea for a symposium, breakfast round table or special event or would like to help fund student travel awards, please feel free to contact me. Betsy Foxman, Program Chair, 2006 Congress of Epidemiology bfoxman@umich.edu.

You Can!


Announcing the You Can! Celebration


The Administration on Aging (AoA) encourages You Can! partners to join in celebrating ways for older adults to be active and healthy this September.  Holding a local You Can! Celebration can help you spread the word about the importance of healthier lifestyles...and it can be fun!

During any seven-day period of September, AoA invites You Can! partners to create You Can! Celebration activities.  These are activities where participants can make a pledge and engage in healthier lifestyle activities. If they see how easy and enjoyable it can be, hopefully they will continue the nutrition and physical activity behaviors and help others to improve their health, too. 

All community partners that sign up and complete the contest entry form have a chance to receive awards.  The contest will culminate with a ceremony in the Washington, D.C., metro area in October, where the best entries in leadership categories will be recognized. 

For more information visit: <

If your organization wants to participate and is not yet a You Can! partner, you can enroll at <http://www.aoa.gov/youcan>

Opportunity: People Needed to Staff Epidemiology Section Booth at APHA Annual Meeting

The Section booth received a facelift last year with a new colorful display. This year we are not only enhancing materials, but also creating promotional pamphlets for new Section activities and events. Help promote the Section and its activities by volunteering to staff the Epidemiology Section booth in the Expo Hall during the APHA Annual meeting in New Orleans.

For more information and/or to volunteer, please contact Robin Taylor Wilson via e-mail at: <rwilson@hes.hmc.psu.edu>.

Student Travel Stipend for ACE Annual Meeting

The American College of Epidemiology is sponsoring a travel stipend for 10 students to their annual meeting in New Orleans, Sept. 17-20. Eligibility for the stipend is not contingent upon ACE membership.

For more information, please contact Janet Arrowsmith-Lowe via e-mail at: arrowsmith@zianet.com>.

Conference Announcement

Promoting Healthy Communities for Children: The Physical and Social Environments
September 26-27, 2005
University of Minnesota, Earle Brown Center, St. Paul Campus

 What is the purpose of the conference?  From conception through adolescence, children are disproportionately affected by exposure to environmental risks because they have greater physiological and psychological vulnerabilities during stages of rapid and formative development, and they have less power to influence and shape their environment. 

This conference will examine critical aspects of the environment as they affect the health and well being of children and adolescents, organized around three broad themes:

§        the natural environment – including the quality of our air, water, and soil; exposure to lead, mercury, and environmental tobacco smoke;

§        the built environment – including buildings, transportation networks, and urban/suburban/rural planning and development; and

§        the social environment – including social processes and conditions related to economic and political power and decision making; human connections at an ecological level, such as social capital; family relationships; safe schools; and discrimination.


Given its ecodevelopmental perspective, the conference will be organized to examine the diverse social contexts in which children live, work, and play during the following stages of life:

o       Preconception/fetal development/1st year of life

o       Preschool period – ages 1 – 5

o       School age


Who should attend?  This conference is intended for a multidisciplinary audience, including public health and clinical researchers and MCH professionals (especially MCH epidemiologists), graduate students, and community organizers/program developers.

Primary sponsor:  University of Minnesota Maternal and Child Health Program, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health

Co-sponsors: University of Minnesota College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota Medical School, University of Minnesota School of Nursing, University of Minnesota School of Social Work, Sustainable Resources, and the Institute for Trade and Agriculture.

For further information:  Registration will begin in July.  Information will be available on the Maternal and Child Health Program website:  <http://http://www.epi.umn.edu/mch>.  Registration fees will be minimal and continuing education credits will be available.  Scholarships will be available for those who are unable to pay the registration fee.