Health Administration
Section Newsletter
Fall 2011

Public Health and Equity Principles for Transportation

APHA has recently released a list of 10 Public Health and Equity Principles for Transportation. These policies recognize the various impacts that transportation policies can have on public health — they can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, asthma, obesity and mental health disorders — especially on vulnerable populations, including the elderly, the poor and individuals with disabilities. We believe that if transportation policies are reviewed and evaluated with these principles in mind, we will be better able to ensure that health and equity are well-represented. By holding transportation policies to a stated set of standards, we can encourage a transportation system that supports health, and direct funds to programs that improve health, equity and well-being. It is essential that other organizations — at the national, state and local level — demonstrate their support for these principles by joining us as signatories. Please sign on here to show your organization’s support for these essential principles.

APHA Annual Meeting

From Oct. 29 – Nov. 2, 2011 join us in Washington, D.C., for the APHA 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition. Our section will have a strong presence at the meeting. View the sessions sponsored by our section by visiting the interactive Online Program ( ). Search the program using keyword, author name or date. Don’t forget to stop by our new Section and SPIG Pavilion (Booth 3073) in the Public Health Expo next to Everything APHA. For more information about the Annual Meeting visit

Win a free Annual Meeting registration!
Forward the contact information for new companies or organizations that you would like to see included as exhibitors at the Annual Meeting to Priya Bose, Meetings and Exhibits Coordinator, at Anyone submitting a qualified lead for potential new exhibitors will be entered into a drawing for a free full registration. Get to know our exhibitors before the meeting on our Virtual Expo (

Drexel University Online

APHA is pleased to announce a new collaboration with Drexel University Online. Under this program, APHA members and their families are eligible for special tuition discounts of up to 25 percent when they enroll in any of Drexel’s online courses.  Drexel University Online offers a wide range of courses in a flexible online format, including CEPH-accredited programs in biostatistics and epidemiology. Please see the APHA partnership page for more details (

Any agreement entered into between Drexel University Online and an APHA member, employee or family member, is with Drexel University Online and not with APHA.  APHA does not endorse any products or services displayed or referred to in conjunction with this partnership and is not responsible

Remembering Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH

Barbara Starfield, MD MPHDr. Barbara Starfield is best known for the stunning re-emergence of primary care that has produced demonstration programs in nearly every state in the country.  But for many years, pediatrician Dr. Barbara Starfield was one of the few people doing research on children’s health services and tackling the question of how to reduce inequalities in child health.  Her work on this subject  was also groundbreaking. Dr. Starfield and her work were remembered at the annual Health Services Research update session held late Monday afternoon at the Grand Hyatt.    

Dr. Starfield served on the Institute of Medicine Committee that published Children’s Health, the Nation’s Wealth in 2004.  Pediatrician Christopher Forrest will speak of the seminal work she did to conceptualize children’s health and health outcomes, which had a formative influence on how we think about care for all children.  Her work stimulated a broader, person-oriented view of the child that led to the IOM Report.   

Martin Sepulveda, MD, from IBM will describe the impact her later work had on private sector employers in generating support for a health system that rests on a strong primary care foundation. She compared countries of the world for their health outcomes including patient satisfaction and their primary care attributes.  Countries with better primary care systems had better outcomes and better satisfaction at lower costs. Dynamic leaders have taken that message and are instigating change. 

She passed away this summer in the eighth decade of her extraordinary life at the age of 79. 

Mona Sarfaty, MC Section Chair

RUTH ROMAN, The Incoming 2012 Section Chair

Ruth RomanRuth Roman has been involved in the field of HIV/AIDS for over 20 years.  She first joined APHA/HA in 1986 as a student, keeping her membership for a couple of years before becoming inactive. After rejoining APHA and HA in 1996, she has remained active. Before the 139th Annual Meeting Ruth shared with me her views of the Health administration Section’s role within APHA and her priorities for the coming year.

Georgianne: With your years of experience can you tell us your views of public health and health reform as it is today?

Ruth: Wow, this is a "large" question -- let me see if I can respond concisely.  First, I would say that there is probably nothing more rewarding than working in public health and as challenging. There have been many areas within public health that have grown since I first entered the field in 1987; increased role of community health workers and peers; the impact of our aging population on resources; terrorism and bioterrorism, and the declining health care workforce. One thing that must remain constant is public health's focus on addressing the needs of those who are underserved, uninsured and those experiencing health disparities at all levels.

Working in the field of public health has meant that you are committed to helping those with limited or no resources access high quality health care and removing the barriers to access.  Health reform is a means to this end.  In my view, ultimately, the goal of any health reform initiative should be to increase access to high quality health care for vulnerable populations - the poor, the elderly, the young, and those on the outskirts of society. It is true that a secondary goal is to reduce or contain costs in order to make health care more affordable for all members of our society.  However, the first priority has to be access to care regardless of cost. This is our challenge and one that, as a wealthy nation, we must accept

Georgianne: How do you view the HA’s role in APHA? 

Ruth: I believe that HA's role within APHA is one of providing input and expertise to APHA in areas related to public health leadership. HA has the ability to provide a unique perspective on a majority of public health issues we are currently facing due to our broad administrative experience. In addition, due to the many years of experience within our section, we are able to provide valuable insight into the implementation of new public health issues and their impact on the delivery of health care to underserved and vulnerable populations.

Georgianne: What is your main focus for this year? What are your goals for this year and how do you plan to accomplish them?

Ruth: I can't say I have one main focus; instead I have a few interlocking priority areas I would like to focus on this year. Specifically, I would like to work on increasing our visibility within APHA as an important resource and continue our efforts to collaborate with other APHA sections and members and harness our experience and to foster increased communication among our members outside of the Annual Meeting. Over the past two years we began these efforts with our work on policy position papers and our increased outreach to students and other sections and/or caucuses - efforts which I would like to continue to grow. Communication within our Section remains a high priority as it can lead to increased participation from our members. We as a Section need to continue to provide a venue for our members where they may learn and share experiences on relevant topics with cross-cutting impact on public health administration, which they can translate into practice as public health administrators.

Georgianne: Has your background in infectious disease promoted urgency or a sense of “patience while implementing a plan” while working with the different issues that our Health Administration Section tackle?

Ruth: Working in infectious diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, has given me an understanding of inclusiveness when implementing a plan, model of care or course of action.  We have learned over many years that the best and lasting plans are those that include various facets of the community not just those directly involved in health. Most importantly is the inclusion of those affected in developing any plan as there is no one better equipped to identify their needs and possible solutions. So, I would say that my field of expertise has provided me with a sense of patience with determined purpose. We should be inclusive of the opinions and ideas of our members while at the same time leading the section purposefully to accomplish our goals.

Georgianne: What drives you to continue your work with the HA section?

Ruth: First and foremost is the dedication from the members.  It has been an absolute pleasure to work with some of the HA members, and I can say that our interactions have been insightful, uplifting, informative and supportive. The members of our Section are our biggest treasure, and I am fortunate to be a part of such dedicated and caring individuals. Second, is the potential impact we can have right now as the specialty of health administration cuts across all facets of public health and the skills of health administrators are increasingly needed. Health administrators have a lot to offer public health and the HA section members as well.


PHACT: Call for Federal Public Health Funds at Work in Your State

In addition to attending town hall meetings this year, APHA would like for you to share a story about why public health funding is important in your community or state. Preferably, the funding would come from one of these three sources:
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  2. Health Resources and Services Administration
  3. Prevention and Public Health Fund
 Examples can provide:
  • An approximate estimate of the amount of the funding received
  • Location of the program (City, state)
  • A summary of the program/intervention (PH issue and intervention being used)
  • Any examples of positive outcomes to date
Make all submission to or email us at
Thanks for taking action to protect public health!

A note from Mark Bittle, Section Chair

Mark BittleFrom the Section Chair:
Hello Friends:

The summer is officially coming to an end. I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable summer. These past 6 months were difficult for many either as a result of the struggling economy or the variety of devastating natural disasters that have impacted so many parts of our country. As public health professions, many of you have dedicated your lives to helping people and communities in need. Due to the events of the past year, the helpers may, in fact, be the ones in need of help. Our thoughts are with you all.

With all the discussion around the events of the past months, Health Care Reform and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) are far from the spotlight, a distant memory for some. The APHA recently held a mid-year meeting in Chicago to discuss the challenges and implications of the recently enacted law. Joyce Gaufin, Executive Board member for the APHA and a very active member of the Health Administration section attended the meeting as the HA designated representative. Her impressions from the meeting were presented to your section’s leadership committee at our July conference call. With her permission, her report will be posted to the HA website for our membership.

A subcommittee of the HA membership is actively working on a 3 year strategic plan for the HA section. In part, the plan will help to assure the Section is meeting the needs of its members. As it relates to the ACA, the HA Section is discussing how best to partner with APHA leadership to help shape the implementation and be a resource to all Sections and members of APHA.

Following the HA Section’s values of Vision, Leadership, Strategy, and Action, several key themes from the mid-year meeting are presented here.


One of the repeating messages throughout the conference was that we must always remember that we need to describe public health in a way that our partners, communities, and others can understand.  We must focus on words that can instill passion and create movement for change.  An example that illustrated this was the use of the term “take away your freedom,” which is often used by opponents of HCR as a means of making people afraid of HCR.  “Freedom” is a very value laden term.  We must develop greater advocacy for public health. To that end, we must work together to create a national framework on public health prevention and wellness, and develop a model for measuring and reporting health status for the nation.


As health administrators and managers, our members are well-positioned to bring this dialogue into our communities and agencies. The HA section can support all APHA sections, caucuses, SPIGS – any member of APHA to develop coalition-building skills. True health reform will require new partnerships capable of linking resources and people across multiple organizations and industries guided by a common vision and goals. The HA Section can facilitate the creation of this model by first joining together as an organization, tapping into the vast expertise within the HA Section and with others across APHA to develop the necessary framework.


Health reform requires a transformation, a shift from a medical care for individuals to a health care orientation for the population. As Joyce Gaufin reported, Julie Eckstein, from the Center for Health Transformation asked if the debate is about better health or health for a lower cost.  Elements of the discussion include understanding/defining: a) individuals and their health, including social determinants and personal responsibility, b) creating healthy a community for people trying to be healthy and what it takes to be a healthy community, c) ensuring that evidence based care is the standard and how health information technology is inextricably linked to achieving this goal, and d) financing for care; [it is] not if we cover care, but what we are willing to pay for. The HA Section can and should guide a focused discussion to elaborate a meaningful strategy and series of connected strategic objectives related to the above.


In order to be successful, the HA Section can guide a collaborative series of development efforts to define systems in health care and the necessary skill sets for the new health care environment. Action is needed to train the future public health work force. John Lisco (CDC) described “one of their greatest challenges is bridging the gap between what we do now and what we will do in the future” in reference to the number of training programs available. In addition to workforce development, health care administrators will need support to move beyond the rhetoric. Identifying and sharing best practices, funding and performance improvement will remain key areas of focus for the HA Section in support of all APHA members.

Many have referred to the U.S. health care system as fragmented and socially unjust. As health care administrators we must work to strengthen the relationship between all elements of the “system” and be the elements of change our nation deserves.

On behalf of the HA Section, I want to thank Joyce Gaufin for attending the Mid-year meeting and representing the section admirably. I also want to thank all the members of the HA section, the leadership team and many volunteers for their support of our Section. Be sure to check out our website and our presence on Facebook and Linked-in.

Mark J. Bittle, DrPH, MBA
2010-2011 Chair
Health Administration Section

New members are welcome to contact any of the chairs of the subcommittees to learn more about opportunities to volunteer and network through the health administration activities and programs.

The Health Administration Subcommittee chairs contact info:
Communications: Mr. Raed Mansour
Award/Networking: Ms. Gita Uppal
Program committee: Program Committee – Drs. Vasireddy and Bezhold
Membership Committee – Ms. Vincent
Newsletter – Ms. Georgianne Mitchell
Policy – Mr. Michael Hill

Let APHA Host Your Public Health Career Day at the Annual Meeting

Employers, this is your opportunity to meet thousands of public health professionals and qualified candidates for hire. Job seekers, here is your chance to market your resume, meet recruiters and sign up for a professional career coaching session, either an individual or group session. Advance your public health career and find new prospects with APHA’s Public Health CareerMart. Find out more:

APHA's Public Health Buyer's Guide Links Users to Industry Products  is designed specifically for public health professionals, allowing easy search of vendors from a link on the APHA website’s home page, Within the Public Health Buyer's Guide, public health professionals will be able to easily locate products and services unique to our industry without the clutter of general Internet search engine results.

Check out APHA's Advocacy Track at This Year's Annual Meeting

APHA will host a one-day advocacy track of sessions during the 2011 Annual Meeting in D.C. on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011, and all APHA members are encouraged to attend to sharpen their public health advocacy skills. For more detailed information regarding the particular sessions, refer to the 2011 online program ( and enter the session number to see the list of planned speakers and topics to be covered. Attendees will be eligible for CE credit.
  • “Nailing your policy: Creating APHA’s policy buddy system,” Session 3007.0, 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.
  • “Media Advocacy: Breaking through the crowded news cycle,” Session 3119.0, 10:30 a.m.
  • “The Who, What & How of Advocacy,” Session 3216.0, 12:30-2 p.m.
  • “Mobilizing a public health campaign,” Session 3318.0, 2:30-4 p.m.
  • “The Role of Social Media in Public Health,” Session 3417.0, 4:30 p.m.