American Public Health Association
800 I Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001-3710
(202) 777-APHA • Fax: (202) 777-2534 •

Health Administration
Section Newsletter
Winter 2011

From Section Chair Dr. Mark J. Bittle

Happy 2011, members and friends of the Health Administration Section!

We hope that you are enjoying the first weeks of 2011 and are as enthusiastic as our Section leadership is about another productive and active new year. We have assembled another top section leadership team in the HA Section who are certainly looking forward to working with our members to enhance the role of health administration in public health. With your guidance and involvement our goal is to provide useful information and tools to support you and your work in the year to come.
Our continuing focus on Vision – Leadership – Strategy – Action is the foundation for the exciting work of 2011. One of the major efforts under way is planning for the 2011 Annual Meeting. Looking ahead, we hope to see you in Washington, D.C. Our members are leaders in their field, and we hope that many will wish to share their successes and lessons learned. See our Special Call for Abstracts here: Remember, the submissions deadline is Feb. 18, 2011.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to be an abstract reviewer! You are an essential element to the success of our 2011 program. The HA Program Committee is indeed grateful and honored that so many are willing to assist in this task. For those who volunteered you will be receiving more information electronically. Speaking from experience, the process is very easy. It is also fascinating in terms of the opportunity to review the many great abstracts submitted by members of our Section and other sections on HA-themed topics.

Of course, our Section is active in many other areas where we encourage and need member participation. Some of these activities include expanding our communications outreach, policy development – this year focused on public health accreditation and work force development – nominations for leadership positions, and identifying deserving recipients of our prestigious HA awards. Finally, articles for our HA Newsletter are always welcomed. Please share your successes and lessons learned with your colleagues. Those with brief articles, announcements, photographs, or reports that might be of interest to the membership of our HA Section should e-mail our Web Page Editor Michael Hill ( and our Newsletter Editor Georgianne Mitchell (  You can also follow us on Facebook; just go to our HA Section home page at the following Web address and click on the Facebook link at the bottom of the page. Your posts are welcomed!

Finally, if you are looking for a way to help support our Section, please consider a making a financial donation. All funds raised through the HA Section will be targeted to supporting students, Annual Meeting scholarships, and programs that enhance public health leadership. APHA will soon provide a website for you to target your donation to the Section of your choosing. We hope you will consider making a small contribution to the HA Administration Section. On behalf of our membership co-chairs Angela CJ Vincent ( and Geneva Garner (, please encourage your colleagues to consider joining the Health Administration Section as their primary or as a second level membership.

Interview with Linda Young Landesman, DrPH, MSW

By Georgianne Miller Mitchell, MHA

Dr. Linda Young Landesman took the time to answer a few questions about her background and how she came to be so active in APHA. Dr. Landesman has been a member since 1990 and very active in her 20 years of volunteer service with us. This past week she took the time to tell us about the opportunities that have afforded her the experience that has benefited APHA.

Question: Looking back at your career, what positions have you held that you feel allowed you the opportunity to practice health administration?

Working in academic medical centers as a clinician taught me how the health care system operates and served as the foundation for my work in management.  I begin my career practicing social work in southern California for 10 years.  My first professional job was working with women alcoholics as they detoxed at the designated county hospital in Los Angeles.  Later at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, I helped the families and their children who suffered from cystic fibrosis.  At that time, 50 percent of cystic fibrosis patients died before age 8, and home treatment was yet to become the norm.  My last clinical job was working at the tertiary level University of California Irvine Healthcare Center with women who had high-risk pregnancies and with families when the babies required care in the neonatal intensive care unit. While I sharpened my clinical skills working with patients with complicated problems, more importantly these jobs taught me about working as part of an interdisciplinary team and about making things happen in a bureaucracy.

My job as Assistant Vice President at the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) has offered an exceptional opportunity to practice health administration.  For the past 15 years I have managed the contracts (currently over $800 million) between New York City’s public hospitals and the medical schools and provider groups who supply clinical staff and supervise medical residents.  In the early years my team restructured the focus and business terms in these contracts and then developed corporate-wide monitoring systems.  As national trends changed, including the growth of managed care, the contracts and monitoring evolved.  HHC has often been on the cutting edge.  In the late 1990’s my office implemented a requirement that our providers be culturally competent, both a benefit and a necessity in the public system serving patients who speak 170 languages.  I am proud to work for a medical care organization that delivers preventive public health services to the most vulnerable people in New York.

Question:  Can you share with us why you are active in APHA? 

APHA offered the opportunity to work with like-minded colleagues and to advocate for something I believe in.  The more I became involved, the more I wanted to do for the organization. 

The story about my involvement in APHA begins a bit earlier than my first contact.  I became interested in public health preparedness in the early 1980's when everyone in southern California was worried about earthquakes. This interest led to a doctoral dissertation that focused on hospital preparedness for chemical accidents. When I finished doctoral work there were few full-time jobs in public health preparedness in the country. 

I came to my first APHA meeting as a student in 1989.  After learning that there was little, if any, focus on disaster preparedness and response, I spoke at what was then the Program Development Board (now the Science Board) and suggested that APHA “do something about disasters.”  With Lorna McBarnette, I organized solicited sessions sponsored by the Health Administration section for several annual meetings. Those sessions evolved into a continuing education institute, policy papers and resolutions passed by APHA’s Governing Council. After writing my first policy resolution and successfully seeing it passed, I was “hooked.” APHA will soon be publishing the third edition of my book, Public Health Management of Disasters: The Practice Guide.

Question: What issues are you the most passionate about, and why?

In addition to my disaster work, I am most passionate about two issues.  The first being women cannot lose the right to choose and to maintain control over their bodies.  During the five years that I worked with pregnant women, I saw the consequences of unwanted pregnancies.  This work reinforced my views on freedom of choice. The current swelling of activities to restrict and overturn this right across the U.S. is worrisome, and I am looking for APHA to continue to be out-front in this fight. 
Additionally, I believe in strict gun control. Growing up in Michigan, I was exposed to hunting. At a young age, I developed strong views on gun control because of the accidental shootings that I learned about in the media. 

Question: What do you think is the biggest challenge our Section (or any of the sections) has working within APHA? What do you think we should change and/or keep the same in the organization?

The Health Administration Section has been strengthened by a long line of organized and committed Section chairs and energetic committee chairs.  The evidence that we are currently on the right path is clear for anyone who attended the Section’s awards and social event at APHA’s Annual Meeting in Denver. The room was packed and filled with energy and enthusiasm about our work and about the people who have made a contribution to our Section. 

Our biggest challenges will be in communication and motivating members to pitch in. While we are currently using several good strategies to communicate to our members, it may be difficult to grab their attention amid ever-increasing demands in the workplace.

Like APHA, the Section’s strength is in its numbers. This year health administrators will be fighting to maintain public health infrastructure at the state and local level. Nationally, we need to solidify our energies to fight for implementation of health reform. The Health Administration section can bring professional expertise to the discussion and organization of resources at all levels of government. In addition, Health Administration can help set the direction of the discussion by developing policy statements and papers, and working with the APHA committees that craft APHA’s advocacy efforts.

Question: What do you think APHA‘s biggest challenges will be in the next three to five years, and how can the Health Administration Section make a difference in that challenge?

APHA’s biggest challenges will be maintaining membership at a time of declining government support, solidifying our business model so that we strengthen our finances and advocating for the maintenance of public health services at a time of plummeting resources.

APHA 139th Annual Meeting

The APHA Health Administration Section welcomes all members and invites anyone interested in the advancement of health administration best practices and leadership to join our Section. This year’s 2011 Annual meeting theme “Healthy Communities Promote Healthy Minds & Bodies” call for abstracts submission deadline for submission is Feb. 18, 2011. Social Media for the Annual Meeting is for all breaking news. Please join us in promoting healthy minds and bodies this year.

Twenty-First Annual APHA Public 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 for additional contest entry information. 

Nomination Committee Update

Dr. Bittle addressed the need to replace Governing Council seat. Ms. Gaufin is on the Executive Board, and we need to appoint someone to fill her seat for 2011. Please send suggestions to Dr. Bittle or Ms. Sampson. Whoever is appointed should consider running for Governing Council next year, also, as the appointment ends in November.

On behalf of our Section leadership, I wish to thank all those whose time and effort go to the support of APHA and especially the Health Administration Section. This support comes in many forms. One simple way to support our section is to make a small contribution to the Health Administration’s Enrichment Fund. This fund is managed by the section and is available for section use. Our commitment is to use these funds to support student member participation and recognition. The process is simple, go to the following link  indicate the amount you would like to donate, in the Section “How would you like your donation allocated” and select “Section” and select “Health Administration – Every Mbr Campaign.” You can pay online. 

Special thanks go to Dr. Linda Young Landesman for taking the time to share with us her volunteer support over the years. The Health Administration Section appreciates all the work she has done and the time she took this past week to give us an interview. Thank you, everyone, for all that you do in support of APHA and the Health Administration Section.

Communication Committee Update

We are working to improve communication between the members of the Health Administration Section, APHA, students, and those who are interested in becoming members. We are planning to work with the Advocacy and Membership Committees to determine the best ways to communicate information throughout the Section. To determine the best ways to serve of our membership and gather more insight, we are currently working on an e-survey that will be sent to all members of the Section.  To increase transparency of committee activities, we are researching online methods of publishing the minutes of committee meetings for all members to view at their leisure.  Our website, newsletter, Facebook page, and LinkedIn Group continue to be updated regularly. We encourage anyone interested in contributing content or with any ideas they would like to share to please feel free to contact us or volunteer to work with the Communication Committee.