Health Administration
Section Newsletter
Spring 2008

1. Important upcoming dates for you

Registration is now open for the APHA Annual Meeting Oct. 26-29, 2008 in San Diego.  Visit the APHA Web page at to register.

  • Health Administration 100 Year Anniversary Event – Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Join your old friends, make new friends and celebrate with the Health Administration Section at Croce’s Jazz Bar and Grill, Corner of Fifth & F, downtown San Diego


Please register below to attend this event by going to the Health Administration page on the APHA Web site.-

After you register you will receive a confirmation of your participation.



2. Message from the Chair, Tricia Todd, MPH


Health Administration Fundraising Report

In May 2008 I issued a challenge to Health Administration Section members to raise money to send some students to the APHA Annual Meeting.  These aren’t just any students; these are the students that took part in the Health Administration Living History project sponsored by the Health Administration Section in honor of our 100 Year Anniversary.  Many of you may have been interviewed by these students.  Linda Landesman and Gita Uppal have been coordinating the project, and you will see the results of the students' hard work at APHA.


You hopefully received the letter with the fundraising challenge.  I agreed to match the first $500 that the Section raised.  I have received $310 to date.  I would actually like to write my check for $500, so I continue to encourage you to challenge me, even if it means supporting the students with a $10 commitment.  One way to do this is to remember back to the time when you were a student in graduate school.  If you think things are expensive for you today, despite the economic challenges of today, it felt even more expensive as a graduate student!  To contribute, see the last page of the newsletter for the form and information where to send your check!


3. A Student's Perspective of Health Administration


It’s never easy to be the new kid on the block.  Everyone studies you with curiosity, or they ignore you, almost as if you are invisible.  I noticed this when I was a relative newcomer to Health Administration, and I noticed it after I’d been around awhile.  This is not unique to Health Administration; this is common human response to change, particularly when that change is about including new people in a group, club or organization.  Last year at our business meeting a young, energetic student showed up and asked some provocative questions.  When I found out that the Health Administration Section did not have a student liaison, I requested the Julie Nguyen, that young student, be our representative.  I asked Julie to also write a newsletter article about her experience as a young newcomer to the Section.  Following are her thoughts and perspectives.  Thank you, Julie; a good reminder to all of use that if we want to grow the Section, and prepare for future leadership, we need to begin by embracing the young new faces in our own Section and help them understand what we do!



My Perspective as a Student at my First APHA Annual Meeting

By Julie Nguyen

Student Assembly Liaison to HA


Before the Conference


I wanted to, in a sense, “go into the field” when I joined APHA. I thought to myself, what better way to learn about all of the different facets of public health than to join an association?  I became aware of the importance of associations to me, not only through the writings of classic authors such as De Tocqueville but also as a useful avenue for my personal growth.   With that in mind, I talked my sister into sponsoring me to attend the 2007 conference in D.C.


I wasn’t exactly sure what the conference encompassed, but my friend told me that the conference was huge.  I had never been to a professional meeting and did not really know what to expect.  My friend’s forewarning to the size of the conference couldn’t quite encompass the vast array of activities that occurred at the conference.


The Conference


I came alone to the conference, welcomed with an e-mail from the Student Assembly. I knew that I was both a member of the Student Assembly, and the Health Administration Section, therefore, I was a little confused about where to start.  While the Student Assembly welcomed me, the newsletter that followed didn’t provide me the necessary direction. I only planned meetings on the weekend since my schedule only allowed me to be there for half of the conference. I decided to attend one Student Assembly meeting, and then plan out my days according to the Health Administration meetings. I had hoped that the HA meetings would introduce me to the numerous faces of the HA Section.


I attended a “meet and greet” with the Student Assembly, and several business meetings with the HA Section, and still planned to attend the expo and some scientific sessions. I came to meetings, questioning everything from the creation of the organization to what exactly people did in the organization.  By the end of the conference, the breadth of the organization through its diverse sections and constituents provided a positive lasting impression despite the numerous questions that ran through my mind.  Some of those questions still remain today.


After the Conference


My professor often says that public health is the “just do it” profession, but in that spirit, I’m still not sure of what we just do for public health.  I saw and heard many candidates speak on their positions during the business meetings, which contributed to the organization itself.  I felt, however, that there the concentration of our efforts were on the candidates for the next year, so much that for a new member like me, I wasn’t sure what the Section did during the rest of the year.  I honestly can say, I still don’t know what we do. Even with a little more involvement, it seems as if we are concentrating much of our effort on the 100th year anniversary.  While important to celebrate, what we do besides the Annual Meeting eludes me.  How do the members of the HA Section contribute to APHA, or just public health in general through this Association?  In addition, what is the student’s role in all of this?  How do we, as students, contribute to APHA and public health?  What is the link between the HA Section, the Student Assembly and APHA?   I am unsure of the goals that we have identified collectively and what role students have as well as what they have accomplished for the Section.  I hope that all of you reading this can not only guide me through my position as Section liaison, but also give effective, constant feedback to both our section and the Student Assembly.


We Welcome your Thoughts and Responses – send your comments short or long to Tricia Todd at 

4. Are We Relevant?

I welcome your thoughts and responses to Julie's very provocative questions in her article.  I too would like to add my own response, which follows. This response is a reflection of my own experience as a relative newcomer to the Section, combined with a couple of recent experiences.

I recently had the opportunity to coordinate and teach a public health one-week review course at the University of Minnesota, aimed primarily at students who were considering taking the first-ever public health credentialing exam.  Five faculty members, one from each of the core areas, spent a morning reviewing one of the five core areas of public health:  

  • Biostatistics;
  • Environmental Health Sciences;
  • Epidemiology;
  • Health Policy and Management; and 
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences.

I was responsible for health policy and management, and had a morning to review the content from the health management and policy core course.  It seemed logical to use the 10 core competencies to guide the structure of the course.  Those competencies include:

1.       Identify the main components and issues of the organization, financing and delivery of health services and public health systems in the United States.
2.       Describe the legal and ethical bases for public health and health services.
3.       Explain methods of ensuring community health safety and preparedness.
4.       Discuss the policy process for improving the health status of the population.
5.       Apply the principles of program planning, development, budgeting, management and evaluation in organizational and community initiatives.
6.       Apply the principles of strategic planning and marketing to public health.
7.       Apply quality and performance improvement concepts to address organizational performance issues.
8.       Apply systems thinking to resolve organizational problems.
9.       Communicate health policy and management issues using appropriate channels and technologies.
10.     Demonstrate leadership skills for building partnerships.

Preparing for the course was an incredible challenge for a number of reasons, not the least being the amount of real information behind each one of these competencies.  After preparing for the course I started asking myself the relevance these competencies have to the Health Administration Section of APHA.  I also wondered what role the HA Section has in relation to each of the competencies. 

  • What is our Section’s role in assuring the public health work force is kept updated on the financing and delivery of health services in the public health system of this country?
  • What is our Section’s responsibly in challenging or supporting the legal and ethical bases for public health and health services? 
  • How are we as a Section contributing to the identification of methods that ensure community health safety and preparedness?
  • Are we as a Section contributing to the policies that improve the health status of the population? 
  • What is our role in using the principles of program planning, development, budgeting, management and evaluation and encouraging their use in organizational and community initiatives? 
  • Are we promoting the principles of strategic planning and marketing in public health? 
  • To what extent does our Section apply and promote quality and performance improvement concepts to address organizational performance issues? 
  • Are we encouraging systems thinking to identify and resolve organizational problems? 
  • Do we communicate health policy and management issues using appropriate channels and technologies? 
  • And, maybe most importantly ,are we demonstrating and modeling leadership skills for building partnerships? 

These competencies were created to define what a student graduating from an accredited school of public health would be capable of upon graduation.  In that spirit, these competencies define the core work of health management and policy.  To what extent should the future direction of the Health Administration Section mirror and compliment these competencies? 

Almost five years ago the Health Administration Section underwent a strategic planning process.  Out of that process came some important goals for the Section:

  • Goal I  Increase member engagement and expand membership, with special focus on diversity of age, ethnicity and geography.
    • Why?  Because engaged members contribute multiple perspectives, and provide us with greater opportunity to find innovative solutions to complex challenges in health administration.
  • Goal II Improve health administration practice through education, research, networking and mentoring
    • Why?  Because we don’t quit learning when we get out of school.  Some of the best learning we do is on-the-job and from others.  Identifying lessons learned and sharing them is an important aspect of belonging to a professional association.
  • Goal III Influence internal and external policies that promote best practices in health administration
    • Why?  Because best practices allow health administrators to be more efficient and effective.  However, best practices are always changing; a best practice today may not be a best practice in a new culture, or a new environment.  Creating opportunities for dialogue about existing practices and new practices is essential for the growth of the profession.
  • Goal IV strengthen the HA Section ability to meet our goals and contribute to APHA’s overall goals
    • Why?  Because infrastructure is essential to getting things done.  We as a Section need people – committed individuals willing to give their time.  We also need enough structure (roles, responsibilities, goals etc.) to allow volunteers to take on tasks and complete them.

The goals set for the Health Administration Section are still relevant today.  However, there is room for discussion about how we meet those goals.  At this year's Annual Meeting there will be plenty of opportunity for our members who would like to share their opinion to do so.  In the next newsletter you will find a list of opportunities for sharing your perspective.

In the meantime, you may also submit a comment regarding articles in this newsletter to be included in the next newsletter.  To do so, please include your comments, your name and contact information and submit it to Tricia Todd at by August 1, 2008.

5. Getting Involved in Health Administration


We are looking for people to serve as co-chairs or chairs for any of the following committees.  If you are interested in being on a committee, or perhaps serving as a chair or co-chair, please contact Bud Nicola, MD, MHSA, FACPM, at  If you are a young professional and want an opportunity to learn new skills, be mentored and get connected nationally to other professionals like you, this is a great opportunity!


It’s easy to get involved in the Health Administration Section – the key words are "I’ll do that!"


Join a committee

It’s just an e-mail address away!  Send a note to any of the committee chairs and let them know you are interested in being involved.  We love new energy and new ideas! 



Do you have ideas about what the Health Administration Section can do to serve its members?  This committee is responsible for serving and generating new members of the Health Administration Section.  They will work closely with the 100 Year Anniversary Team, and welcome people with ideas for helping members get engaged!

Committee Chair:  Aja Desiree Hardy MBA, MPH/IHSM,


Newsletter and Web

This committee is more than its name!  It is really responsible for all the communications activities of the Health Administration Section.  If you like working on Web pages, finding new and fun ways to communicate, writing articles and generating information for both members and non-members, this is the place for you!

Committee Chair:  Bud Nicola, MD, MHSA, FACPM,


Policy Development

If you like policy -- creating it, analyzing it, critiquing it -- this is the committee for you.  APHA as an organization is responsible for public health policy at many different levels, from designing resolutions that describe the organization's stance on issues, to engaging members as activists to support public health legislation.   If you like politics, policy and public health, this is the place for you!

Committee Chair:  Marcia Levy Rosenstein, MPH, MPA,  



Are you an idea person?  Do you like teaching, creating programs that are thoughtful and innovative.  This committee is responsible for generating the APHA Annual Meeting program.  This next year is the Health Administration Section's 100 Year Anniversary – so this program will be shaped in part by that exciting opportunity.  The theme for next year’s conference is “Public Health Without Boarders.”  Can you think of a more pertinent topic for health administrators?  Many of us work across local, state and international boarders – if this sounds like something you would like to help shape, this is the committee for you!

Committee Chair:  Gretchen Sampson, RN MPH,


100 Year Anniversary

Yes, it’s a celebration!  But it’s also a walk throughout history.  If you are a history buff, this might be the place for you.  If you like to design special events, this might be the place for you.  If you like history and special events, this is most certainly the place for you!

Committee Chair: Vonna J Henry, RN BSN MPH,



If you want to have a say in who should be recognized as leaders in the field of health administration, this is the committee that works to identify, nominate and present awards to deserving people.  Please contact Joyce Gaufin if you are interested in this committee:


Minority Access

If you are passionate about issues of equity and access, this committee is responsible at many levels to assure that the Health Administration Section is addressing topics including health disparities, equal access to health care, access to education and professional opportunities.  This very important issue needs creative and passionate people to identify specific steps APHA and Health Administration can take to address these issues of social justice.   

Committee Chair: Nelson Adekoya at


E-mails listed in this document are for you to use!!!!

Your involvement is just a click away!



Fundraising Letter Sent to all members May 16, 2008


Dear Health Administration Section Member,


The Health Administration Section of APHA is celebrating its 100 Year Anniversary.  You are receiving this letter because you are, or have been, a member of the Health Administration Section.  This is an exciting year.  We are recognizing the 100 year anniversary of the Health Administration Section.


As chair of the Section, I am inviting you to contribute to our 100 Year Anniversary Fund.  The fund will be used to pay for a variety of things related to the Anniversary.  Initially, I would like to support the students who have contributed their time to interview leaders from the Section who have played a large part in our history.  In addition, we would like to create a Centennial book, and perhaps create a living history using videography.  All of these things cost money, and while I appreciate the economic times we are facing, I am still requesting your support for this one-time event.


To show my commitment, I will match the first $500 the section raises. 


If you are willing to contribute to the 100 Year Anniversary Fund, please complete the following and submit it according the instructions below.  You can choose to be recognized for your commitment on the form.  You will receive a confirmation of your donation that allows you to use it as a tax deduction as well.


Thank you for considering this opportunity and supporting the history and the future of health administration!


With sincere thanks,


Tricia Todd


Tricia Todd, Chair,

Health Administration


Please complete and submit to

Tricia Todd – Health Administration

2943 McKinley Street

Minneapolis, MN 55418







£       Yes, I would like to contribute financially to the 100 Year Anniversary

£       Enclosed is a check made out to APHA – Health Administration Section – 100 Years

£       Yes, you can recognize me on your Web page and in your program

£       No, please identify me only as anonymous


When I receive your gift, I will send you a receipt.  Would you like to receive the receipt?

£       By mail

£       By e-mail




£       No, I am unable to contribute financially, but would like to contribute in other ways.  I am available to

          £       Work at the Health Administration booth

          £       Provide a raffle prize

£       Serve as a session moderator

£       Other: ________________________________________________________________







Your name: