Section Newsletter
Winter 2011

Message from the Chair

Happy New Year, and welcome to another exciting year with the Epidemiology Section of APHA.  2010 included many public health epidemiologic challenges, including: the largest oil spill in U.S. history; the largest egg recall; an earthquake that devastated Haiti, followed by a cholera outbreak killing thousands; and, the first steps of the Affordable Health Care Act.  An epidemiologist can be at the forefront of all of these significant events by planning the studies needed to determine the long-term effects of the oil spill on the social and environmental ecologies; collecting and presenting the evidence needed to energize efforts to pass a stalled food safety bill; and evaluating efforts post disaster related to maintaining safe water conditions after natural disasters.  To be prepared for future challenges, all epidemiologists must participate in training the next generation of epidemiologists.  We must continue to reinforce the epidemiologic work force by mentoring enthusiastic individuals, i.e. those with new ideas and innovative approaches.  It is our responsibility to the public’s health.   

The Epidemiology Section is in the early stages of planning for the year’s activities, thus welcoming participation in all of our committees (Awards, Membership and Communications, Policy, Annual Program, Student).  The Section’s Governing Councilors will also soon embark upon review of proposed policies.  Expertise in all areas of public health are needed to round out and complete the reviews.  Please contact the Section’s GC Whip, Christing Arcari (cmarcari@utmb.edu),  if you can help with the reviews.  The Epidemiology Section has an active Student Committee with a strong group of advisors.  The collaborative efforts of these individuals help to reinforce the importance of service, within one’s career, with professional organizations such as APHA.

Thank you for choosing to be a member of the Epidemiology Section.  I hope you will use your epidemiologic expertise during the next epidemiologic challenge.



APHA Section Booth

During the 2010 Annual Meeting, APHA section booths were housed together in one central location within the exhibition hall as part of the “Section and SPIG Pavilion.”  On behalf of the Epidemiology Section, the Membership Committee organized volunteers to fully staff the Epidemiology Section booth during open hours. Thanks to all who volunteered to serve!


Materials made available to booth visitors during the 2010 meeting included a custom-made two-pocket folder containing information on the mission and facts of the Section, benefits of membership, and a listing of section-sponsored activities at the Annual Meeting.  Detailed Section programs were also distributed that summarized the dates, times and locations of business meetings, Section award sessions, the career panel, as well as the full scientific program.  In addition, 500 foam key chains with the phrase “Epidemiologists Count” were given away to visitors at the 2010 booth.


New this year was the development and display of the “APHA Epidemiology Section Leader and Student Liaison Profiles” booklet, which detailed interesting facts on more than 30 Section leaders and student liaisons.  Leaders were asked key questions such as, “What do you perceive to be the most important benefit of Epidemiology Section membership?” and “What prompted you to become an Epidemiology Section leader?”   The booklet also included leader-specific information on current professional position/title, career background, research interests, and even favorite superhero!


Also on display at the 2010 booth were 10 book titles related to epidemiology, public health, or social justice. These books were donated by publishers exhibiting at the conference and were raffled off to attendees of the Epidemiology Section social that was held at Marlowe’s on Nov. 9.  A big thank you to the following publishers for their generous donations: APHA Pub Mart, Institute for Healthcare Advancement, Johns Hopkins University Press, Jossey-Bass, Oxford University Press, Routledge Books, SAGE Publications, and Springer.


Last, this year the Membership Committee sponsored a poll on “Who is the Mother of Epidemiology”?  The three nominees were Alice Hamilton, Florence Nightingale, and Janet Elizabeth Lane-Claypon.  Write-in candidates were also welcomed.  Booth visitors were asked to read the brief biographies of each nominee and to cast their vote. Results were announced at the Epidemiology Section social.  And the winner was……Alice Hamilton with 42 percent of the votes!


On behalf of the Membership Committee, thank you to all who contributed to or participated in the Epidemiology Section booth activities in 2010.  Hope to see you next year!

Invited or Special Sessions for APHA Annual Meeting

The Epidemiology Section invites the submission of proposals for invited or special sessions (i.e., sessions with invited speakers).

Proposals for invited or special sessions must be submitted by mail or e-mail (no faxes, please) to the program planner. The proposal should be a brief (not more than two pages) overview including the title, purpose, relevance and importance of the proposed session, and the proposed invited speakers and their topics. Include a full mailing address, e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers.


All topics will be considered for invited sessions, however those related to the meeting theme of Healthy Communities Promote Healthy Minds and Bodies will receive priority review.

The proposal should include a detailed schedule with:
o proposed organizer, presider(s), discussant (if any) and invited speakers.
o specific topics with the presenters' full names underlined plus the full names of all authors and speakers affiliations (This should correspond to the abstract submitted online).
o a time schedule within the session (up to 90 minutes total in length, with no individual presentation longer than 30 minutes).

Deadline: invited or special session proposals should be submitted to the Epidemiology Section Program Planner no later than Feb. 27, 2011. Invited or special session abstracts must be submitted starting March 25 through the deadline on April 22, 2011. A complete abstract for EACH proposed presentation must be submitted at the website, with an indication of the invited or special session to which it belongs. An abstract submitted as part of an invited or special session should not be submitted as an individual contributed abstract.

If you have any questions regarding invited sessions, please contact the Epidemiology Section Program Planning Co-Chairperson, Dr. Aaron Mendelsohn, at (301) 448-7969 or


2011 Health Materials Contest

The APHA Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section is soliciting your best health education, promotion and communication materials for the 21st 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 139th APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.  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 the winning material.


Entries will be accepted in three categories; printed materials, electronic materials, and other materials. Entries for the contest are due by March 25, 2011.  Please contact Stephanie Parsons at sparsons@jhsph.edu for additional contest entry information. 


2011 Public Health Practice Award


Epidemiology Section of


Public Health Practice Award 2011

Nomination Form for Individuals and Organizations


In recognition of the importance of state, local and community-based public health action, the Epidemiology Section has developed the Public Health Practice Award.

This award is designed to showcase an organization or individual responsible for a program or project resulting in improved public health.  For awards given to an individual, preference is given to early-career individuals.

Eligibility Criteria:  Organizations or individuals may be nominated.  All nominations for consideration must demonstrate measurable relevance to public health improvement.  An individual nominee must be within 10 years of their terminal degree. An organization may be in existence for any length of time.

Examples of projects that may merit such an award include the improvement of disease surveillance, creative pre- and post-intervention assessments, innovative ways of improving study participation, and/or communication of epidemiologic measures to the participating community. Programs or projects may also be national or international in scope. Nominees need not necessarily have a degree in epidemiology, although the application of epidemiologic methods must be clear. Individuals and organizations will be judged in separate categories. Awardees will receive a nominal monetary award and an inscribed clock with world map that signifies the temporal importance of their work within a global context. Awards will be presented at the Annual APHA Meeting.

Deadline for receipt of nominations: 5 May 2011, 5:00 p.m.

Review Criteria:

1.         Relevance to public health

2.         Measurable public health impact

3.         Role of the project or individual in improving public health

4.         Use of epidemiologic methods

5.         Innovation

Name of Nominee and/or Program:     ______________________________________

Nominee Address and E-mail:              _____________________________________________________________



Documents to Attach to this form:

For Organization-based Nominations:

1.     Written letter of support for the organization. In your letter, state in what capacity you are acquainted with the organization. In addition, clearly state the measurable improvement in public health. Why is this organization innovative in promoting the public’s health?  What were the key indicators and how were they used? 

2.     The responses below to the ‘Public Health Practice Award Nomination Questionnaire for Organizational Nominations.’

3.     Supporting documentation (not required, limited to 25 pages)

For Early-Career Individual Nominations:

1.      CV or biosketch

2.      Relevant publications (if any)

3.      Written letter of support including information on the specific role of this individual.  In what capacity are you acquainted with the nominee?  In addition, clearly state the measurable improvement in public health the nominee has made. Why or how has this individual made a difference in public health practice?  How has practice changed as a result of this individual’s work? 

4.      Supporting documentation (not required, limited to 10 pages)

Please include your contact information, below, so the Awards Committee may contact you if necessary.



Phone:______________________       E-mail:________________________

Nominations should be mailed, emailed or faxed to:

Kristopher Fennie, MPH PhD

APHA Epidemiology Section Awards Co-Chair

Yale University School of Nursing

PO Box 9740

New Haven, CT  06536

Phone:  (203) 785-2057       Fax:   (203) 737-4480   E-mail:   kristopher.fennie@yale.edu


A confirmation e-mail or letter will be sent upon receipt of all materials. 



APHA Epidemiology Section Public Health Practice Award Nomination Questionnaire for Organization-Based Nominations


We would like to know about the specific project conducted by this organization that led to public health improvement.  Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability.


1.   What were the dates (years and months) this project was conducted? ______/______ to ______/______


2.   What was the total budget for this project?   ________________ Dollars (if other than dollars, please state)


3.   Is this budget based on a granted amount?   _____yes    _______no


4.   What was the target population?__________________________________ 


5.   What was the chief health outcome? ____________________________


6.   How was this health outcome assessed? ___________________________


7.   What was the adverse exposure assessed (if any)? _____________________________


8.   How was this adverse exposure assessed (if any)? _____________________________


9.   If an intervention was conducted to improve a health outcome, please state

      a. the type of intervention:   ______randomized trial     _______educational/training program


      b. the target groups for intervention(s): ___general public  ____health educators   __ other, please state:




      c. If applicable, please state number of persons in the general public receiving the intervention_________


10. In one sentence, please state the chief public health impact (if any) of the organization or project you are nominating, or fill in the blanks

      For example: “During the existence of this project, a 20% reduction in the prevalence of childhood obesity occurred within the target population during the two year period.”  OR “This project resulted in a 45% increase in the number of age-eligible women screened for breast cancer in a three month period.”   OR  “Over the last 10 years, our project resulted in the successful remediation of lead-based paints in over 200 homes, resulting in lower serum lead levels.”


This project resulted in a decrease/increase in the____ number or percent of cases OR ____ number or percent of adverse exposures OR ____ number or percent of disease screenings during  a _________ month OR __________year time frame.






11. A measurable public health impact was evident in primary data collected by the organization and could be verified by other existing surveillance information available at the city, county, state and/or national level:

                              _____yes         ______no       _____don’t know         _____not applicable


                  if yes, then state the source of the existing surveillance information: _____________________


12. Briefly, why do you feel the public health improvement in the target population is directly attributable to the work of this organization?












Genomics Forum

The Genomics Forum is an official component of APHA .  We currently have 479 members representative of a diverse genetics and public health community.  Our members are academic researchers, community leaders, nurses, social workers, physicians, genetic counselors, students, advocates and much more from across the globe.  We share a common interest in assuring that genomics is researched and applied responsibly for individual and community health.  We would like to invite you to join the forum, include an article in our upcoming newsletter, share resources, and/or collaborate with us on projects.

Since its inception in 2008, the Genomics Forum has engaged in updating APHA policies on Genomics and Public Health; for example our policy on Genetic Literacy was recently accepted. The Policy Committee is currently focused on cancer genomics.

At APHA, the Genomics Forum has a robust program of oral and poster sessions. We have a special focus on working with other APHA Sections, SPIGs and Caucuses to co-sponsor sessions. Last year, we were able to co-host a special plenary session on how technology can help to reduce health disparities. We also co-sponsored a session on Genome Wide Association Studies with the Epidemiology Section as well as sessions with several other groups.  The Program Committee is currently working on putting together the program for the 2011 APHA Annual Meeting on healthy communities.

The Genomics Forum has many ways to communicate with current members and reach out to potential new members. We have a website, Facebook page and Twitter account where you can learn more about the Genomics Forum and issues of interest to the Public Health Genomics community. The Membership and Communication Committee is currently working on reaching out to members of APHA and creating a networking newsletter along with other projects to improve the Genomics Forum experience.

The Translational Genomics and Workforce Development Working Groups are working together to survey APHA members and Schools of Public Health about needs for education on Public Health Genomics.

The Healthcare Policy Working Group is currently deciding on its priorities for this year so it is a great opportunity for new members. 

The Genomics Forum serves as a venue to explore our diverse perspectives on how this is best achieved through the work of our committees, workgroups, and at our Annual Meeting.

Ways to become involved:

*  Join the Forum (it's free)

* Like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Links can be found at our website.

* Participate in a committee

     Work on updating the APHA policies on genomics and public health

     Help design the annual program at APHA

     Support networking amongst Genomics Forum members and beyond


* Participate in a working group


   Translational Genomics

   Workforce Development

   Healthcare Policy


If you are interested in participating in the Work Groups please Join the Committee here


* Participate in a webinar


Sponsored by the APHA Genomics Forum, Genetic Alliance, and the Center for Public Health and Community Genomics. For additional session information please see the descriptions on the Genetic Alliance Website.


* Submit articles or events


Publish an article or event you are holding in our newsletter or blog by e-mailing Membership and Communications Chair Nicole Exe. Notify our membership about an article or event on our Facebook or Twitter by contacting Nora Isack.

APHA Mid-Year Meeting Registration

Registration Now Open for APHA Midyear Meeting — "Implementing Health Reform: A Public Health Approach"


Registration is now open for APHA’s Midyear Meeting: Implementing Health Reform — A Public Health Approach. Join public health colleagues and partners in Chicago, June 23-25, to better understand the health reform law and its implications from a public health perspective. Gain the tools needed for implementing the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and for improving health outcomes in communities across the country. The early-bird registration deadline is April 15. To register or for more information, visit http://www.apha.org/midyear.