American Public Health Association
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Health Administration
Section Newsletter
Winter 2008


Important Dates for You

Important upcoming dates for you


 Are you planning to attend the next APHA Annual Meeting in San Diego?  Mark your calendar!

    Oct. 26-29, 2008 in San Diego

Message From the Chair

Message from the Chair, Tricia Todd, MPH

It’s January 2008, and the temperature where I live here in Minnesota is well below zero degrees.  What does this have to do with health administration or for that matter APHA?  Well, according to Wikipedia “Absolute zero describes a theoretical system that neither emits nor absorbs energy. It is the point at which particles have a minimum energy, determined by quantum mechanical effects, which is called the “zero-point energy.”  Sometimes volunteer organizations suffer from absolute zero or zero point energy.  While Health Administration doesn’t suffer from this situation, there is clear room for more involvement, more energy and more opportunity for Health Administration Section members.

Tricia Todd, Section Chair

Our goal this year is to raise the energy in Health Administration and get more and more people involved in what we do and who we are!  We have a unique opportunity this year because we are celebrating our 100 year anniversary.  As our by-line suggests, “Celebrating a century -- 100 years of excellence”.


What was the world like 100 years ago, and how is it different today?  What will the world be like in 100 years?  During this year, we will explore some of the changes that have taken place, and postulate on changes we will face in the future.


During this year, and at the APHA Annual Meeting, we will share whatever stories, memories, predictions and pictures that you want to share.  Here are some ways you can contribute to our 100 year anniversary:

1.      Tell a story - if you have a health administration or a HA Section story (and pictures would be an added bonus) - they don't have to be long, just memory snippets, maybe about the way work used to be done, etc.

2.      Make a prediction - we're not just looking back, but forward, too.  What predictions do you have for health administration in the future?  It might be a prediction on how we do business or the types of problems we may encounter.  

3.      Share a moving or humorous story, maybe from a past trip to APHA or a session you attended that influenced you in some way.

4.      Create a slogan for health administration or health administrators.

5.      Share a past slogan from the Health Administration Section.

6.  Volunteer to “show your wares” at the Health Administration booth in October at the Annual Meeting of APHA.  If you’ve authored a book, have health administration products, run a company that provides services, or some other product that you would like to promote, consider signing up to work in the booth, and have this opportunity to promote yourself and Health Administration.


So, who do you contact, how do you get involved?  Contact Vonna Henry at or Tricia Todd at Or share your ideas at the Health Administration blog at


To use the blogspot, you can either post your comment by marking the “anonymous” button, but if you do, please sign your post; or you can register with Google and then it will sign your name for you!  It’s a technology adventure!

A few little-thoughts to remind us where we’ve come from.  One hundred years ago…

·     The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47.

·     Only 14 percent of U.S. homes had a bathtub.

·     Only 8 percent of  homes had a telephone.

·     A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost  $11.

·      There were only 8,000 CARS in the United States and only 144 miles of paved roads.

·      The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

·      Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California.

·     The average wage in the United States was $0.22/hour;  the average U.S. worker made between $200-$400/year.

·     More than 95 percent of all births in the United States took place at home.

·     90 percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education.

·     The five leading causes of death in the United States were: 1. Pneumonia &influenza 2. Tuberculosis 3. Diarrhea 4. Heart disease 5. Stroke.

·     The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.

·     Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from HIGH SCHOOL.

·     Coca Cola contained cocaine.

·     Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores.

Plans for the Section in 2008

Celebrate 100 Years of Health Administration
The Health Administration Section is celebrating a century of excellence, and you can get involved.  If you want to contribute ideas, or be part of a committee, contact Vonna Henry at .  Visit the APHA Web page for all the details, but mark your calendar for our celebration on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008 atCroce’s Bar and Restaurant in San Diego, 6:00-8:00 p.m.  More information will become available on our Web page at

Some of the other 100 Anniversary activities that you can get involved in include:

  1. Supporting a student from the APHA Student Assembly.  They will be conducting interviews of Health Administration members who are willing to share their history.  We would like to support the students who conduct this work by setting up a student scholarship to pay for their attendance at APHA next year.  If you are interested in contributing to SEND A STUDENT TO SAN DIEGO, contact Tricia Todd at
  2. Developing a new and vibrant display for the booth in the exhibit hall – if you are artistic, or just want to have fun, let Aja Hardy know, and she will get you connected into the booth team.  Aja can be reached at
  3. Arranging some special history sessions at the Annual Meeting.  If you want to be involved in these activities, please contact Gretchen Sampson at

Explore a Name Change
After much discussion among members of Health Administration, it has been suggested that we consider changing our name to better reflect both the Section membership and the future of public health. The following article was written by Vonna Henry, chair, 100 Year Anniversary Committee.

A name defines and distinguishes us from others. The Health Administration Section will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2008, and has had at least three different names during its existence.

The Section was formed at the APHA Annual Meeting in Winnipeg, Canada in 1908.  Its original name was the Municipal Health Officers Section. The name reflected the membership, which included "municipal health officers, members of municipal boards of health, municipal epidemiologists, vital statisticians, laboratory men, engineers, and others engaged in like technicalities as applied under municipal conditions.”

The name of the Section was listed in various ways from 1909 to 1926 in the APHA Annual Meeting programs. It included Municipal Health Officer Section, Health Officer Section, and Health Administration.

In 1926 the Section name was changed to the Health Officer Section. This opened the Section to new membership, which included more than municipal health officers. The Section continued to identify itself by the identity or position of its members until 1970.

In 1970, the Health Officers Section, recognizing its own changing character, petitioned the Executive Board for a name change.  The name requested reflected the function or activity of members rather than their position. The name was changed to the Health Administration Section.  Under the new name, the Section recruited a broad range of health administrators into Section membership.  The current orientation and focus of the Section reflects the broad professional representation of its membership, including physician health officers, professional health administrators, and academics with an interest in public health administration.

Now the Health Administration Section is considering another name change. One of the greatest recognized challenges in public health and public health organizations is the need for strong and effective managers, administrators and leaders.  Often the same person has to play more than one of these roles at any given time.  While management and administration are similar functions, leadership has a unique role and responsibility.  A definition that was shared at the Public Health Leadership Institute was “management happens within a paradigm; leadership happens between paradigms.”   If that is a definition that we can accept as a Section, then it makes sense for us to adopt a new name for our section that allows our members to be recognized in the many roles that they play.  This will enhance our opportunity to engage more formally in the important discussions related to best practices in administration and leadership, and will allow us to explore the important intersection between the two.   Health Administrator and Leadership is one of the proposed names, other suggestions include Health Management and Leadership.    

Share your opinion about the proposed name change. Should Health Administration ask the Governing Council to change its name? Would a new name better reflect the roles and functions of our membership? Does it matter? How powerful are names and words?  Post your comments at

Let the discussion begin!

The comments received will assist the Section Council in determining if the Section should pursue a name change. If a name change is sought, the Section would propose a resolution at the Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Health Administration Web Page

It is our hope to update our Web page with useful information.  If you have information you would like included on the Web page, please send it to Mike Hill at   Information will be added at the Webmaster’s discretion.  Following are a few new additions to our Web page:

Resources and Links



Management Academy for Public Health         

Emerging Leaders in Public Health                           

The Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)

is a not-for-profit association of university-based educational programs, faculty, practitioners and provider organizations. Its members are dedicated to continuously improving the field of health care management and practice. It is the only nonprofit entity of its kind that works to improve the delivery of health services throughout the world - and thus the health of citizens - by educating professional managers at the entry level.


American Colleges of Healthcare Executives

The American College of Healthcare Executives is an international professional society of more than 30,000 executives who lead hospitals, health care systems and other health care organizations.

100 Year Anniversary

This year, due to our 100 year anniversary, there are a number of people contributing behind the scenes.  You can be one of these. We are a volunteer organization, and there are many opportunities. It just takes your creativity and commitment.  Each newsletter we will spotlight a few of the people who are contributing to the work of the Section this year.


Linda Landesman and Gita Uppal (Gita pictured)

These two ladies are coordinating the efforts of Health Administration to identify people to interview and to capture the Health Administration history.  They are working closely with the APHA Student Assembly and are identifying students who will conduct the interviews that will be made public for all our members throughout this year and during the APHA Annual Meeting this next year. 

Gita Uppal

Aja Hardy

Aja is the Health Administration membership chair.  She served us last year at the Annual Meeting by organizing the Health Administration booth and will be doing so again this upcoming year.  She has tremendous energy and loves to help generate new and exciting ideas.  Aja would love to meet you, especially when you volunteer to join the membership team and have fun at our booth, meeting and greeting people during our 100 year anniversary!
Aja Hardy

David Horn

David is a student at the University of Minnesota, and hopes to combine his interest in becoming a physician with his interest in public health.  David has helped support the creating and uploading of the Health Administration newsletter, and will be serving as the blog master for the new APHA HA blog – at  Or, you can reach David at

Gretchen Sampson

Gretchen has worked hard to get the Health Administration program planned, which on the front end includes identifying the types of programs we want sponsored by Health Administration and identifying and engaging reviewers to choose the program presenters.

Vonna Henry

Vonna is chairing the 100 Year Anniversary Committee and is dedicating a tremendous amount of energy to organizing all the Health Administration Section activities for this year.  She is open to any and all ideas, and would appreciate hearing from members.
Vonna Henry

There are many others who contribute on a regular basis, and we will try to highlight everyone throughout this year.  This Section is successful because of the contributions you make!


Questions, comments, contributions to our next newsletter?  Send them to David Horn at