Health Administration
Section Newsletter
Spring 2009

What's Happening in the Health Administration Section

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice – HA Sponsored
The Health Administration Section is sponsoring a Special Edition of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice – the Journal will come out in early 2010.  Some of the topics and authors (all Health Administration Members) include:

  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Kentucky TRAIN Web-based learning system:  An Analysis of the Process, John Williams, DrPH, MBA ; Julia Costich, JD. PhD,;Steve Davis, MD.
  • Eight Practical (and Inexpensive) Ways to Cultivate/Build Leadership Skills in Your Organization Joyce R. Gaufin, BS, Executive Director; Kathy Irene Kennedy, DrPH, MA, Director.
  • Integrating Evaluation into Local Public Health:   An Administrative Issue  Georgeen Polyak, PhD, MS; Kusuma Madamala, PhD, MPH; Laura Landrum, MUPP; Elissa Bassler; Vamsi Vasireddy, MD, MPH, DrPHc; Nicole Stob. MPH. 
  • Public Health's Role in Redefining Care Delivery: One Academic Medical Center's Experience to Embed Prevention into Specialty Practices  Mark J. Bittle, DrPH, MBA
  • The Case for an Undergraduate Certificate in Public Health,  Brian C. Martin, PhD, MBA,; J. Michael Stoots, EdD, MPH; Robert P. Pack, PhD, MPH; Randy Wykoff, MD, MPH & TM; John J. Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, FACOEM, Director, Cumberland Plateau Health District .
  • Understanding and Managing Organizational Change Jon M. Thompson, PhD.
  • Utilizing the Executive WalkRounds Format as a Leadership Strategy to Implement a Hospital-wide Strategic Plan  Marcie Sara Rubin, MPH; Richard K. Stone, MD.
  • Survive and Thrive:  Successes of an Orientation program for Local Health Officials, Vonna Henry, RN, MPH; Ramon L. Bonzon, MPH, CPH. 

The guest editors for the Journal are Health Administration Section Chair Bud Nicola and Past-Chair Tricia Todd, MPH.

Health Administration Webinars


Financial management practices/strategies to identify early warning signs and others to lesson the impact of economic downturns. Including strategies during a recession as well as proactive routine strategies to measure the ongoing financial health of the agency. These PREVENTIVE measures are equally as  important as those implemented during economic downturns.

Also in September:

"Cost Model for Local Public Health"  Sept. 29

Membership Corner 

Welcome to our 56 new members -- we are excited that you have joined this great Section and look forward to getting to know you! 

The membership team is focusing on increasing our membership, and we need your help! If you have any ideas on how we can conduct outreach to recruit new members and also ideas on how to retain our current members, please contact Gita Uppal at

Preparing for the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia – You can be involved too!

  • Are you from Philadelphia…or do you Know Philadelphia? 

We have a host committee of members from Philadelphia.  They have already provided some great ideas and input.  If you are from Philadelphia, or very familiar with Philadelphia, you too can provide your ideas.  Right now we are collecting restaurant reviews from our local hosts.  If you want to submit a restaurant review, please send it to Tricia Todd at  If you have a “must see or must do” for Philadelphia – send that as well!

  • Are you attending the Annual Meeting? 

If you would like the opportunity to meet and greet other Health Administration members, you can volunteer an hour or two at the Health Administration booth.  Please contact Vonna Henry if you are interested in volunteering.  It’s a great way to meet people at APHA!

  • Are you creative?

If you are creative… fill in the blank and submit your suggestion – if your suggestions wins, you will receive a prize at APHA – and your saying will be used at the conference.
“If your organization is ___________________ thank a health administrator”

5K Fun Run/Walk
The Physical Activity Special Interest Group (SPIG) will again be organizing a 5K Fun Run/Walk at the 2009 APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. James F. Konopack, PhD, PAPHS, E-mail:

Article from a Member

Case Study:  Medical Society Administrators Conduct Operational Assessment

Contributed by Jennifer J. Jones, Plexus Consulting Group


A professional medical society with several hundred on staff and over 125,000 members has seen its membership begin to decline and its available assets decrease.  Previously, the society had real estate and investments that covered any of its losses.  However, when the stock market declined in September 2008 the society was faced with loss-making operations.  This almost 100-year-old organization needs to maximize its staff and financial resources to increase its perceived membership value, focus its efforts only on the most profitable and high-quality products, and ensure that its staff is working most efficiently to this end.  In today’s economy, this situation is being encountered by many not-for-profit entities - including  various hospitals, community health organizations, health associations and research foundations.

The society also seeks to increase effective cross-departmental communication among its membership, marketing, and product development staff.  The organization lacks synergy across departments where they are currently operating in isolation, and where the staff is not necessarily operating according to the organization’s overall strategic plan.  In order to ensure the organization’s viability, the society needs more efficient, focused staff operations and a reduction in its duplicate and misinformed efforts.  Therefore, the society also seeks to increase effective cross-departmental communication among its membership, marketing, and product development staff.


The society’s administration conducted an operational assessment to promote staff productivity, membership recruitment and retention, and effective marketing and product development.  They specifically examined the following factors:

  1. Staff Activities and Attitudes
  2. Cross-Departmental Efficiencies
  3. Membership and Stakeholder Needs
  4. Membership Value
  5. Product Value and Profitability

The assessment facilitated a fact-based, consensus-building approach by considering staff, member, and stakeholder responses.

Balancing more efficient staff activities with the most valued products and stakeholder needs allows the administration to maximize its staff and financial resources and eliminate time spent on non-value added activities. 

From the early phases of the research, the society was able to determine the products of most value to its stakeholders, as well as opportunities for future growth in programs and product development.  Furthermore, the society’s administration and staff were able to see the state of cross-departmental communications and staff activities based on staff responses.

To improve efficiency and revenue generating opportunities, new allocations of staff and financial resources were then balanced with stakeholder needs, based on the research and best practices from organizations that have experienced similar situations.


Based on the findings from the operational assessment, the most profitable products were kept, while those determined to be less valued based on the research were re-evaluated.  Additionally, data concerning the communication across departments and staff time spent on non-value added activities was applied for improved operational functioning that maximized staff productivity, and inherently the financial capital of the organization.  Finally, the areas stakeholders identified as potential opportunities for growth and preferred member benefits were incorporated into future strategic planning and departmental activities. 

The medical society’s administration was able to ensure that energy and resources being used internally matched what the external world needed and wanted from their society.  This promoted the organization’s continued viability, particularly during these evolving economic times.

Contributed by Health Administration Member:
Jennifer J. Jones
Plexus Consulting Group
(202) 777-8904 direct
(202) 785-8940 main

If you would like to contribute to the Health Administration Newsletter, please submit articles to Tricia Todd at

Letter from the Chair

May 26, 2009
Health Administration Section
Note from the Chair: Sharing what we learn
Bud Nicola, Chair, Health Administration Section

As health administrators and managers we shape our current activities to achieve longer term goals. It’s important to take time away from day-to-day demands to think strategically about the direction of the organization and a longer view of our aspirations and plans to get there. This is usually done in a strategic plan. For those of you who have not looked at the Health Administration Section’s most recent strategic plan, here are the vision and mission statements from that plan:

The APHA Health Administration Section will be a cutting edge forum for public health administrators providing timely and reliable information on the best practices of health administration and by providing interactive networking and mentoring opportunities and skill building for members and future members.

The mission of the APHA Health Administration Section is to promote the public's health by advancing the quality and practice of health administration.

There are many ways to provide timely and reliable information on the best practices of health administration. Sharing knowledge through our scientific sessions at the APHA Annual Meeting has certainly been a principle focus of the Section. And this year’s scientific sessions promise to once again be a rich source of stimulation to improve your management practice.

Another way of improving a knowledge base is through measurement and thoughtful reflection about our best practices – and the sharing of this learning through publication. A number of Section members are now working on articles for a special issue of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice to be published in April of 2010. Here’s a preview. Articles will include: overviews of management theory in the areas of competencies for evidence-based decision making and organizational change; integrating evaluation into local public health; cultivating leadership skills in your organization; using executive WalkRounds format as a leadership strategy; using the Web-based learning management system,  TRAIN, to improve system effectiveness; looking at the case for an undergraduate certificate in public health; integration of prevention into specialty practices in tertiary health care centers; using financial indicators to improve the overall management of health departments; improving the competencies of governing boards; and the use of strategic planning to improve organizational effectiveness. The issue will also include expert commentaries from the sages of our field.

Yet another way of sharing this knowledge is something we will be scheduling over the remaining months of this year: Webinars focused on some of the most current and pressing topics of the day.

These are only a few of the ways that Section leaders and members are working to help improve the practice of health administration. Let me know what you want to work on.

APHA Announcements

The 2010 APHA Public Health Fellowship in Government
is now open and accepting applications. This is the third year that APHA has offered this fellowship. APHA is looking for candidates with strong public health credentials who wish to spend one year in Washington, D.C. working in a congressional office on legislative and policy issues related to health, the environment or other critical public health issues. 
The fellowship will begin in January 2010 and continue through December 2010. The fellowship is designed to provide a unique public policy learning experience, to demonstrate the value of science-government interaction, and to make practical contributions to enhancing public health science and practical knowledge in government.  Applications and additional information are available at  The application, including CV and three letters of recommendation, are due to APHA by June 22, 2009.   
 All candidates must:

  1. be APHA members.
  2. have five years of experience in a public health position.
  3. have a graduate degree in a public health discipline. 

Please forward this information to anyone who you believe may be eligible and interested. For more information, contact Susan Polan, Associate Executive Director of Public Affairs and Advocacy at APHA, at  or (202) 777-2510.


Public Health CareerMart -- over 1,000 jobs listed!
APHA has created the Public Health CareerMart to be the online career resource center in the field of public health.  Here, you’ll find only qualified, industry professionals.

Job seekers, instead of searching through hundreds of sites looking for the perfect jobs in public health, you will find it all at the Public Health CareerMart Career Development Center at

Employers, instead of being inundated with stacks of unrelated, irrelevant resumes, you’re much more likely to find the candidates with the skills and experience you’re looking for — and spend less time doing it!  After all, where better to find the best public health professionals than the association that represents them? 

Public Health CareerMart  is a member of the National Healthcare Career Network.

Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Manual
APHA is proud to announce the release of "Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention: A Guide for Public Health Practitioners." This manual provides public health professionals with information, skills and tools needed to conduct screening and brief intervention (SBI) to help at-risk drinkers reduce their alcohol use.  Download the manual for free:

Help Make America the Healthiest Nation in One Generation
Let’s face it – as a nation we’re not nearly as healthy as we should be. Compared to other developed nations, we’re lagging far behind. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With your help, we can make America the healthiest nation in just one generation.
As a central component of this year’s National Public Health Week (NPHW) observance, APHA launched an exciting, new viral video campaign. The Healthiest Nation in One Generation video tells the story of the many ways that public health touches our lives. Nearly 25,000 people have already viewed the video online, and the numbers continue to grow each day. If you haven’t checked out the video, watch it today and be sure to share it with your colleagues, family and friends. And stay informed by visiting – NPHW 2009 is over, but our campaign to make America the healthiest nation in one generation is just beginning…
 We all have to do our part. What will you do?

Online Survey
APHA want to know your opinion on whether you would use an online version of the "Control of Communicable Diseases Manual."  Help us by taking a survey at  We appreciate your input.

New Book On Disability Studies
"Disability and Public Health," published by APHA, is now available. The publication is an important and overdue contribution to the core curriculum of disability studies in public health education. It is a particularly timely book because, as our nation ages, disability is an increasingly significant interdisciplinary area of study and service domain in public health. Visit the APHA online bookstore at  APHA members can also take advantage of a 30 percent member discount whether ordering online or via our toll-free number, (888) 320-2742.

New Walking Guide
 In celebration of National Public Health Week (NPHW), the Podiatric Health section in conjunction with the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) introduced the  user friendly Walking Guide. This concise aide is available at ( or on the Podiatric Health section Web site.

The Walking Guide is podiatry's contribution to Building the Foundation for a Healthy America, this year's theme for NPHW.  Podiatry is uniquely positioned to assure that the public's health is maintained through our knowledge base to keep America walking. Our guide is a double-sided handout that we encourage distributing to the public. Additional consumer information is available on foot health at