International Health
Section Newsletter
Fall 2009


Dear IH Section Members:

Please enjoy this issue of our Section Newsletter! Josefa Ippolito-Shepherd, our dedicated editor, strives to ensure that each newsletter contains reports from Section leaders and Committees. Feedback is welcome!


I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your trust in me to take on this important job. It has been a very busy time just learning what it is to be Chair and trying to stay in touch and support all Committees and other work of our Section.


The following were stated goals at last year’s meeting:  


  1. Work with APHA Executive Director, Board and Staff to improve mutual understanding of the potential for IH Section policy and advocacy.

Actions: to date we have had several meetings and things are improving.

  1. Improve internal IH Section coordination and interactive communication.

Actions: Efforts were made to individually chat with each member, and the listserv has been updated.

  1. Develop Section materials, “experts” listing, and other products to complement and be posted on the Web site, so that the IH Section is seen as the “go-to” place.

Actions: Please visit the Web site regularly and offer blogs.

  1. Ensure membership involvement through encouragement of Committee work, through encouragement created by a newsletter linked to the Web site and blast e-mails, and through surveys to assess members needs, with feedback to all.

Actions: regular brief surveys have begun. Stay tuned!

  1. Increase development efforts to meet the challenge grant.

Actions: we need help here… Right now, in these tricky economic times, we must increase our development efforts, both internal and external. One very kind member offered to match funds raised – but a match only occurs when funds are raised!! If you are interested in development and fundraising, please contact me directly.

  1. Expand interactions with other Sections.

Actions: the Global Health Committee and others are increasing efforts to develop improved liaison work. We are particularly energized to support Maggie Huff-Rouselle in her candidacy for Executive Board!

  1. Work towards a longer term strategic plan.

Action: The survey findings will be presented at the meeting, and will inform out new Strategic Planning effort. Our Monday morning meeting will be dedicated to this effort, with attendance limited to elected officers and selected others.


This year the Section is trying new and innovative approaches to serving the needs of membership. This year we especially encourage you to become more involved with the work of the Section. For immediate response, please contact the Chair of any Committee that interests you based on the reports in this Newsletter or on our Web site.


In addition to ongoing active committees, we also have recently initiated a regular, very brief e-mail from the Chair, with very short surveys. In this manner we hope to:

1.         Ensure that your interests are heard.

2.         Develop an “Experts” bank for access by member and for use by APHA Executive staff to identify support with our issues.

3.         Continue our excellent policy and advocacy work with ever-increasing emphasis on membership’s concerns.

4.         Expand our global reach while we bring APHA into the current international health reality.


See you in Philly!

Warmest regards,

--Miriam Labbok, MD, MPH, Chair IH Section, Telephone: (919) 966-0928; Fax: (919) 966-0458; E-mail:



Section Officers

Chair:  Miriam H Labbok, MD, MPH

Immediate Past Chair: Samir N. Banoob, MD, DM, DPH, PhD (2006-2008),

Secretary: Elvira Beracochea, MD, MPH (2005-2008),  

Secretary-electJean Meyer Capps

Section Councilors

Carol Dabbs, MPH (2005-2008)

Theo Lippeved, MD, MPH, (2005-2008)

Wendy Johnson (2008-2010)

David Olufemi Adesanya (2008-2010)

Helene Carabin - Elected

Jirair Ratevosian - Elected


Governing Councilors

Laura Altobelli (2008-2009)

Malcolm Bryant (2008-2009)

Carlos Castillo-Salgado (2008-2009)

Wendy Johnson - Elected

Amy Hagopian - Elected

Laura Altobelli – Elected


Committees and Working Groups*

--Advocacy and Resolutions - Chair: Amy Hagopian;  Co-Chair: Leonard Rubenstein

--Information and Communication - Chair: Eckhard Kleinau; Co-chair: Josefa Ippolito-Shepherd

--Newsletter Editor:  Josefa Ippolito-Shepherd

--Web-Site designer/postings: Eckhard Kleinau

--Organization and Management - Chair: Carol Dabbs; Co-Chair: Elvira Beracochea; Secretary: Amy Hagopian

--Policy and Advocacy -

  • Annual Meeting Program Committee - Chair: Omar Khan; Co-Chair: Mike Bailey
  • Awards Committee - Chair: Paul freeman; Co-Chair: Padmini (Mini) Murthy
  • Community-Based Primary Health Care Committee - Chair: Paul freeman; Co-Chair: Malcolm Bryant
  • Global Health APHA Connections - Chair: Gopal Sankaran; Co-Chair: Hala Azzam and Padmini Murthy
  •  Global Health Strategies Committee - Chair: Miriam Labbok
  • Membership - Chair: Rose Schneider; Co- Chair: Alison Gernand
  • Nominations Committee - Chair: Mary Anne Mercer

    Co-Chair: Wendy Johnson

  • Pharmaceuticals - Chair: Maggie Huff-Rousselle; Co-Chair: Annette De Mattos
  • Trade and Health Liaison – Chair: Mary Ann Mercer, PhD



*Appointed by the Chair




In representation of APHA Executive Director Dr. Georges Benjamin, I participated in the Governing Council of the USMBHA/AFMES Annual Meeting, June 4, 2009. This meeting reflected a very well-organized and well-functioning volunteer organization. Members represent the 14 bi-national health councils from the many areas of concentrated cross-border populations and activities. Discussion covered the many roles of the organization, the need to establish development and functional goals, and other administrative and technical issues. There is active strategic planning ongoing, including internal structure and function, and approaches to collaboration with other organizations as well as with the government, bilateral and multilateral partners with interests on each and on both sides of the border.


Dr. Fernando González, executive director, reported on the existing international collaborations of his organization, as well as his meeting with Dr. Georges Benjamin. He noted Dr. Benjamin’s invitations to attend the next APHA Annual Meeting and to be a Member Organization of APHA.  USMBHA/AFMES President Dr. Gloria Doria noted that they are partnering with the Mexican Public Health Association and welcome further work with APHA.


I made a presentation giving emphasis to the possibility of working more closely with the four border state APHA-affiliate organizations and the possibility of working more closely with the International Health Section.


I ran into several colleagues, one of whom is an APHA member (Dr. Sam Notzon, NCHS) and who is active with the US/Mexican Border Health activities. He noted that several members of the Border Commission are APHA members, and shared the following:


Border-linked activities cover an area of about 2,000 miles, four states, from Brownsville to San Diego, and a population of about 14 million. The population tends to be concentrated in urban areas, with about a third of the U.S. side being located in San Diego. Maternal and infant mortality are much higher on the Mexico side of the border, as are the incidence of infectious and chronic diseases. Some of the primary issues include asthma, obesity and related diseases such as diabetes, mental health, STIs and TB. The Association was originally formed with the support of PAHO/WHO and initially addressed issues caused by the large military presence in El Paso, with an interest in reducing sexually transmitted disease. Over time the variety of interests increased, and PAHO/WHO maintained its office in El Paso and supported the organization and its Annual Meeting. Recently, unrelated to the importance of these activities, PAHO/WHO has reduced its direct support for this Association and the USMBHA/AFMES board and executives are now dedicated to active development as a fully free-standing, independent NGO.


The Executive Board noted its appreciation that APHA had sent the chair of the International Health Section to represent them at this meeting and accepted this as a reflection of high interest on the part of APHA. Several Board members in attendance commented on their past participation in APHA and previous Annual Meetings.  A vote was held, with a unanimous positive confirmation of a motion calling for Dr. González to proceed immediately to develop an MOU with the APHA Executive Office.

--Miriam H Labbok, MD, MPH, Telephone: (919) 966-0928; Fax: (919) 966-0458; E-mail: 



--Patient Care Ethics and Ramifications of Post-Election Violence in Kenya: a Medical Student’s Experience, Paul H. Park, Indiana University School of Medicine; E-mail:

Editor Note - Part 2 (of 2) will be presented in the Spring Issue (2010) due to lack of space in this issue.


--Visit to ESPWA in Haiti, Danielle Mutty, E-Mail:

Editor Note - Part 2 (of 2) will be presented in the Spring Issue (2009) due to lack of space in this issue.



Fast access to connect with the 2009 leadership of Units within APHA. See: 

·         Section Chairs:

·         SPIG Leadership:

·         APHA Student Assembly:

--Gopal Sankaran,


Tax-free donation

One wonderful Section member has offered a $2,000 matching grant each year for three years as a challenge to other members to donate to the Section. If you are interested in making a tax-free donation, please send your check or credit card information to "IH Section Enrichment account, APHA" together with the completed APHA Section Donation Form

Thank you for making a donation to one of the APHA Sections. Your donation will help support our Section’s programs and our ongoing commitment to improve the public's health and achieve equity in health status for all.

APHA Section Donation Form
Section (please circle one): IH
Please accept my gift of:
_____ $25 _____$50 _____$100 _____$500 _____$1,000 ________ $ Other
My contribution is to be applied to: IH Section Enrichment Account
Name: _________________________________________________Degree:_________________
City: _______________________________________ State: ________ Zip: _______________
Phone: ______________________________________ e-mail____________________________
I would like to charge my gift to Visa/MasterCard/American Express (please circle one).
Card # _______________________________________________ Exp. Date: __________
Name as it appears on your credit card_______________________________________________
Signature is required if donating by credit card

Please send your donation to: American Public Health Association
Attn: Natasha Williams, Component Affairs
800 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-3710
(202) 777-2533 (fax)

APHA is classified by the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Gifts are tax-deductible
to the full extent allowed by the law. APHA's tax identification number is 13-1628688. AC05OL

--Miriam Labbok, MD, MPH, Chair IH Section, Telephone: (919) 966-0928; Fax: (919) 966-0458; E-mail:


The Fourth International Conference on Health-Promoting Universities will be carried out in Pamplona, Spain, Oct. 7-9, 2009. For information about this event see: 

--Josefa Ippolito-Shepherd, PhD,


Every year the IH Section has a booth at the APHA Annual Meeting. For the last four years, we have also showcased the work of the Section's members. We always have very good contributions and excellent feedback on the display.

You are invited to again to share a year's worth of peer-reviewed papers, books, other publications and innovative perspective papers at the International Health Section Booth at the upcoming APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Any paper that has been published with the last three years is admissible for showcase at the IH booth.

Our goal is to make the booth a dynamic venue for the IH Section. We appreciate your involvement and hope you enjoy the booth!



The most important benefits to membership include:


  • networking and interaction with colleagues.
  • keeping abreast of public health issues worldwide.
  • mobilizing around important issues to have more influence as a group on advocacy and policy.


You are encouraged to look at the IH Section Web Site, www. with. You are encouraged to find a Committee that you are interested in and contact the Chair.  You can also attend the bi-annual business meetings at the GHC Annual Conference and the APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition.  Everybody is welcome to these meetings — just show up and you will have the opportunity to talk with the leadership. Students are especially invited to participate.



A number of IH Section members, some new and some continuing, want to know how they can “get involved” with the Section.  Since much of our organizing work originates during the Annual Meeting, attendance at that meeting is a unique opportunity and a first step in further engagement with the Section.


Serving as a member or chair of a standing Committee is one specific way to have input into IH Section activities.  Committee chairs are formally appointed by the Section Chair in consultation with the Section Council, and Committee members are selected by the Section Chair and Committee chair.  Members are encouraged to volunteer their availability for positions of interest, as most years several Committees are in need of members and/or chairs.  The best way to investigate these possibilities is to attend the business meetings at the Annual Meeting, and contact the Section Chair about your interests.  You can also contact the chair of standing Committees and let him/her know that you would like to volunteer to work on that Committee. 


The Section Officer positions, in contrast, are elected each year in a Section-wide ballot.  Officers include the Section Chair, Secretary, Section Council members, and Governing Council members.  Service on the Section Council is a good way for new members to find out about how the Section works while the other positions, including Governing Council, are generally held by members who have been involved for some time in other capacities.  The APHA elections are held around May of each year.  If you are interested in running for office, please contact the Nominations Chair, Mary Anne Mercer, at


A Doctor in Little Lhasa: One Year in Dharamsala with the Tibetans in Exile
After completing his adult medicine residency, Dr. Timothy Holtz left Boston to spend a full year practicing medicine in Dharamsala, a small town in the northern Indian foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. A Doctor in Little Lhasa recounts Holtz’s experiences working in the modest hospital that serves the Tibetan refugee and local populations, as well as curious Western tourists who fall ill during their pilgrimage to the region.

Since 1962, Dharamsala has been the official site of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and home to the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan-run, donor-supported facility where Holtz worked has only the most basic equipment and resources, yet it serves a community in excess of 15,000 people. Far removed from the state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and cutting-edge medications typical of Western hospitals, Holtz had to go back to the basics of clinical diagnosis and treatment, relying on his skills of observation as well as the medical histories gleaned from his patients. As Holtz matures as a young physician, the excitement of practicing medicine in a remote location is fraught with difficult and challenging moments. At one point, he must try to stop a dangerous outbreak of diphtheria from spreading, with no vaccines on hand. Sometimes he could only watch in frustration as patients died of diseases, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, that could have been treated in an economically developed country. It was the resilience of the Tibetan people — the difficult lives of whom he witnessed daily — that confirmed the importance of Holtz’s drive to care for an under-served population.   

A Doctor in Little Lhasa also touches on the contemporary history of Tibet, as well as its people and culture. Tibetans have suffered persecution from the Chinese government, forcing thousands into exile across the Himalayan Mountains with little more than the clothes on their back. Holtz witnessed the depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder borne of torture and mistreatment endured before fleeing Tibet. His investigation into the mental health scars from trauma under occupation and exile led to a meeting with the Dalai Lama and a discussion about how to better serve the survivors. In several cases, Holtz’s medical intervention and treatment of psychological distress saved his patients’ lives.

A Doctor in Little Lhasa is a fascinating book that draws readers in from the beginning. Holtz’s one-year experience in Dharamsala serving Tibetans in exile changed his life forever.  Moreover, his story highlights the inseparable connection between health and human rights.  Available at: or at Ingram, Baker & Taylor;; Barnes & Noble; Borders; and fine bookstores everywhere

--Timothy H. Holtz, MD


The Global Health Education Consortium is pleased to make available to the IH Section a wealth of educational materials on a wide variety of global health topics.  Go to, click on resources, and you’ll find the many kinds of information.  All these resources are open source, available for free and are available without password or login requirements.


Approximately 65 eLearning modules are already online and another 60 in preparation.  Each module covers what might be presented in a typical lecture, often supplemented by notes, references, and a quiz. Guidebooks for developing or improving a global health curriculum and for a global health residency track. A bibliography of 800+ selected citations divided into 27 topic categories.  Selection criteria emphasized ready accessibility, frequently on the internet, and for a target audience of persons recently introduced to global health.


A list of annotated Web sites of relevance to students are divided into eight topic categories. A variety of stand-alone documents also are available for download that help students prepare for an overseas field placement and prepare for a career in global health. If you wish more information or have suggestions for future products, contact Tom Hall at 

--Thomas L. Hall, MD, DrPH, (415) 731-7944 (best); (415) 514-8020; (415) 731-3132 (fax);


Medpedia: Free New Public Health Resource

Interested in a new way to access up-to-date health information and connect with other public health professionals in the field of International Health? Medpedia is a free new Web site for openly sharing and advancing public health knowledge that includes the knowledge of doctors and public health professionals – as well as patients, caregivers and those looking to stay well. Medpedia includes three interrelated services: a collaborative knowledge base (like the Wikipedia of health and medicine); a Professional Network and Directory for health professionals and organizations; and Communities of Interest in which medical professionals and non-professionals can share information about conditions, treatments, lifestyle choices, etc.


Content on Medpedia includes a Public Health Portal, with relevant indexed articles, including growing information on Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Influenza). Every public health professional has the ability to suggest changes and edits to the content on the site. Contributors and users of the site include public health professionals, medical schools, research institutes, for-profit and non-profit organizations, expert patients, policy makers, students, etc.


Every public health official can benefit from creating a free, customizable professional profile in Medpedia that ranks highly in Google. Get recognized for your areas of expertise and connect with other public health professionals. To create a free professional profile on Medpedia and get involved, please visit this link:

This free resource is available today at

Please direct any questions or suggestions about Medpedia to Angela DiLaura, member of APHA, at

--Angela DiLaura, Community Manager, Medpedia Inc.


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.

--Natasha Williams, Component Affairs Coordinator/APHA

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 online:

--Natasha Williams, Component Affairs Coordinator/APHA

APHA wants 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.

--Natasha Williams, Component Affairs Coordinator/APHA

Find out how you can be a part of the Healthiest Nation in One Generation.







From November 7-11, 2009 thousands of public health professionals will convene in Philadelphia for the APHA 137th Annual Meeting and Exposition. Over 1,000 cutting-edge scientific sessions will be presented by public health researchers, academicians, policy-makers and practitioners on the most current public health issues facing the nation today. To ensure that no public health professional misses this opportunity, this year’s Annual Meeting will be more affordable than ever. Hotel rates have been slashed so that no rates are higher than $195. Eleven of the 15 contracted hotels are offering rates between $149 and $179. Registration and Housing Open June 1st. Save up to $115 on registration by registering before August 28. Take advantage of these discounts and join your colleagues in a meeting you won’t want to miss. For more information about the Annual Meeting and the role your Section or SPIG will play in its success, visit!

APHA Career Guidance Center

Don't miss this opportunity! Sign up now for a one-on-one or a group session with a professional career coach at the APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition. These coaches can guide you in strategizing the next phase of your career and help you define your goals. Select a 45-minute individual session or a 90-minute group session. The group sessions are designed according to your career needs. To see which session best fits for you, please read about each coach's experience and education before setting an appointment. If you have never experienced coaching before, this is a wonderful introduction to what may become a useful service for your career! This is the link to the Career Guidance Center:


APHA Press

APHA Press has three books in production of interest to epidemiologists and other health professionals that will be available at the Annual Meeting: Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Control, 3rd Edition, by Patrick Remington, Ross Brownson and Mark Wegner, and two books by Steven S. Coughlin, Ethics in Epidemiology and Public Health Practice, 2nd Edition, and Case Studies in Public Health Ethics, 2nd Edition. 

--Nina Tristani, Director of Publications/APHA



Each year, the International Health Section of APHA recognizes outstanding contributions of its members through its Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in International Health, its Mid-Career Award in International Health and the Gordon-Wyon Award for Community-Oriented Public Health, Epidemiology and Practice. 


The Lifetime Achievement Award in International Health was created by the IH Section to honor the visionaries and leaders in APHA who have shaped the direction of International Health.  The evaluation criteria for the Lifetime Achievement Award include:


  • Quality/creativity/innovativeness of the individual’s contributions to the field of International Health.
  • The individual’s contributions to the development of APHA or the International Health Section.
  • Application of the individual’s work to service delivery (as opposed to primarily theoretical value) .
  • The individual’s contributions as a leader/visionary/role model.
  • The volunteerism/sacrifice associated with the individual’s contributions .
  • Membership in APHA (preferably with primary affiliation with the International Health Section), a state affiliate, or a national public health association that is a member of the World Federation of Public Health Associations. No self-nominations are allowed.


The Mid-Career Award in International Health is intended to recognize outstanding young professionals in the IH Section. The evaluation criteria for the Mid-Career Award include:


  • The individual must have committed herself/himself to the promotion and development of primary health care in a cross-cultural setting over a period of 5-15 years [Primary health care is meant here to encompass a broad array of public health issues, including HIV/AIDS prevention and environmental health].
  • The individual must have demonstrated creativity in expanding the concepts pertinent to the practice of public health with an international focus .
  • Membership in APHA (preferably primary affiliation with the IH Section), a state affiliate, or a national public health association that is a member of the World Federation of Public Health Associations.
  • No self-nominations allowed.


The Gordon-Wyon Award for Community-Oriented Public Health, Epidemiology and Practice is intended to reward outstanding achievement in community-oriented public health epidemiology and practice. This award was established in 2006 by the IH Section.  It is administered by the Community Based Primary Health Care Working Group. John Gordon and John Wyon were pioneers in this field, so encouraging and recognizing others in this field is one important way of honoring their memory. The evaluation criteria for the Wyon Award for Community-Oriented Public Health, Epidemiology and Practice include:


  • Must have had a central role in an outstanding achievement in community-oriented public health and practice .
  • Must have demonstrated creativity in expanding the concepts pertinent to the practice of community-oriented public health with an international focus .
  • Must have membership in APHA or one of its affiliates (either a state affiliate or a national public health association that is a member of the World Federation of Public Health Associations). The candidate must be nominated by someone other than the candidate.


Award nominations should include a letter explaining why the individual nominated should receive the award and the curriculum vitae of the nominee.  Nominations should be submitted by e-mail to the Awards Committee, Paul Freeman at and Padmini (Mini) Murthy at


Mentor of the Year Award

The Mentor of the Year Award is given annually to a mentor who has contributed unselfishly to the growth and development of a mentee. Members of APHA-SA nominate their own mentor and provide a statement detailing why their mentor is deserving of this award.

--Gopal Sankaran,  


Note from the Editor : Detailed accomplishments and future work plans for each of the Membership Committees have been presented in earlier issues of the APHA-IH Section Newsletters and as such are not repeated here. Only new information is included in this issue. Readers are encouraged to see earlier issues of the Newsletter at



The Action Board currently has four formal Committees – Advocacy and Resolutions, Information and Communication, Organization and Management, and Policy and Advocacy. 



Chair: Amy Hagopian,

Co-Chair: Leonard Rubenstein,


Donna Barry:

Edna Jonas:

Elvira Beracochea:

Martin Gittleman:

Mary Anne Mercer:

Meredith Fort:

Miriam Labbok:

Sarah Shannon:

Wendy Johnson:



Chair and Web Site Manager, Eckhard Kleinau,

Co-Chair and Newsletter Editor: Josefa Ippolito-Shepherd,



Chair: Carol Dabbs,

Co-Chair: Elvira Beracochea, 

Secretary: Amy Hagopian, 





Chair: Omar Khan,

Co-Chair: Mike Bailey,

Committee Members:

Carlos Castillo-Salgado

Elvira Berocachea

Malcolm Bryant

Josefa Ippolito-Shepherd

Dory Storms


To date:

  • Put out call for papers supporting APHA’s 2009 theme of water & public health.
  • Program Committee approved our sub-themes.
  • Program Committee and IH Section leaders invited to submit invited sessions ahead of time to ensure maximum consideration. Late submissions to be considered with the general pool of submissions.
  • IH leaders requested space for Working Group Meetings; these were all approved.
  • All papers reviewed and graded.
  • All graded papers assigned to appropriate panels.


At present:

  • All paper sessions have been finalized.
  • All invited sessions submitted by leadership ahead of time were approved .
  • A few invited sessions have yet to finalize their papers.


Preliminary statistics:

  • We received 470 submissions (slightly up from last year: 460 in 2008).  We think this was due to the east coast location, which offset (a) the general decrease in scientific conference attendance this year (e.g., ASM in Philadelphia, May '09, was down by 40 percent), and (b) the fact that we don’t have an “IH theme” as we did last year
  • We believe the Section marketed the water theme effectively as being relevant to IH in a variety of ways.  Most effectively, all of us on the leadership group have put on panels, gotten colleagues to present, and forwarded the program to others, so that type of marketing has got us some great presentations. 
  • Nine poster sessions.
  • Forty-one paper sessions.
  • Three business meetings, two working group meetings, one workshop,one social, one lunch.
  • IH film festival of three full sessions.
  • We again expect approximately 180 paper presentations and 90 poster presentations, for the same final number of 270 we had last year. The no-show rate was very low last year.  This was helped, we think, by selecting moderators/chair ahead of time and sending them the e-mail addresses of their panelists. They were asked to connect with the panelists in advance, which probably helped with efficiency and cut down on unexpected dropouts.


The IH Section Program is viewable for all at: 

--Omar Khan, MD MHS FAAFP; E-mail:;



Chair: Paul Freeman,

Co-chair: Padmini (Mini) Murthy, 

Members:  H. Azzam, T. Baker, G. Berggren, M. Bryant, E. Coates, M. Forzley,  N. Pielemeier, W. Reinke, G. Sankaran, R. Schneider, L. Smith, C. Swezy


There were four outstanding candidates for the Lifetime Achievement Award and three for the Mid Career Award. Twelve members of the Committee were involved in the voting. The final recommendations for the Awards are:


  • Life-Time Achievement Award in International Health: Dr Tom Hall.
  • Mid-Career Award in International Health: Dr Padmini Murthy.
  • Distinguished Section Service Awards: Dr. Elvira Beracochea & Dr. Paul Freeman.
  • Certificate of Recognition for their Dedicated Service in Support of the International Health Section: Ms. Morgan Taylor & Ms. Vina Hulamm .
  • The Gordon-Wyon Award for Community-Oriented Public Health, Epidemiology, and Practice, awarded by the CBPHC Working Group: Dr. Henry Perry.



Chair: Paul Freeman,

Co-Chair: Malcolm Bryant,

Past Chair: Henry Perry

Secretary: Connie Gates

List Server Administrator: K. Chitnis

Members: I. Aitken, R. Martin, L. Altobelli, J.  Capps, A Hershberger, S. Hoar, E. Kleinau,

S Lamstein, R Mataya, J Mouch, E. Peca, S. Ruiz



Chair: Gopal Sankaran (

Co-chairs: Hala Azzam ( and Padmini Murthy (

The list is extensive and is available from the Chair.


To increase efficiency of resource utilization and given the overlap between some of the goals and functions of the Global Health External Connections Committee and the Global Health APHA Connections Committee, it was agreed that the two connections committees would merge and consolidate their efforts. The new combined committee will be known as the Global Health Connections Committee (GHCC). The GHCC was constituted in November 2008.

Overall Vision and Mission

Promote global health solutions by connecting people in the following areas: education and training; policy and advocacy; research; and service.

Strategic Priorities
Goal 1. Promote intersectoral collaborations/partnerships within APHA.
Goal 2. Increase participation of overseas members in all activities of APHA including the Annual Meeting.
Goal 3. Facilitate joint sessions at the APHA Annual Meeting.
Goal 4. Keep Connections Committee members stay connected.

Plan of Action for 2008-2009

Available at International Health (IH) Section Web site (,frameless.htm?NRMODE=Published)


Goal 1

Sent a request to Chairs of all Sections, SPIGs, Caucuses and Forums to nominate a liaison to IH Section.  An updated list of all liaisons was developed, shared with members and posted on the IH Section Web site.


The New York Medical College School of Public Health held thematic presentations/panels on Children’s Environmental Health and Careers in Public Health on March 31, 2009 and April 2, 2009 respectively.  Additionally, a screening of Super-Size Me was held on April 1, 2009 to relate to the theme of National Public Health Week 2009 – Building the Foundation for a Healthy America.


Committee members evaluated abstracts submitted to the IH Section for the Annual Meeting, reviewed APHA policies considered for archival, and continued to facilitate dialogue, collaboration and concerted action among members of various APHA units on issues pertaining to international/global health.


Goal 2

A survey to assess the needs of the overseas members is in preparation.  With the help of Morgan and Vina, our APHA Staff liaisons, the survey would be shared with all overseas members (over 650) through SurveyMonkey.  Activities will be planned based on assessed needs.


The Committee’s efforts have led to a separate Welcome Counter, to be located in the Registration area, for all overseas participants at the 2009 APHA Annual Meeting. The Committee expresses its thanks to Dr. Georges Benjamin and staff of APHA and notes that this is the first time that such a Welcome Counter is being included at an APHA Annual Meeting.  Request for staffing the Welcome Counter is being made.


The Committee continues to advocate for lowered registration fee for overseas members from resource poor settings. The downturn in economy has made it impossible to offer discounts for the 2009 Annual Meeting.


Goal 3

The Committee continues to work with other APHA units for joint sessions at Annual Meetings and serves as a liaison to connect the different APHA units with the Program Chair of the IH Section.


Goal 4

Continue to hold conference calls every two months.  Summaries of Conference calls are disseminated to all members and posted on IH Section Web site. Developed the GHCC Mid-year Report and disseminated it to members and posted it on IH Section Web site. The Chair presented the Mid-year Report at the IH Section Mid-year Meeting in Washington, D.C., on May 28, 2009.  Promoted IH Web site and IH Blog among members and requested them to contribute materials for both.

We welcome student members to actively participate and strengthen the work of GHCC. Conference calls are held every two months. Please join us!


Business Meeting

Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009, 11.00 a.m.-Noon at APHA Annual Meeting, Philadelphia

--Gopal Sankaran, Chair GHCC; Telephone: (610) 436-2300


Chair: Miriam Labbok,



Chair: Rose Schneider,

Co-Chair: Alison Gernand,

Member: Curtiss Swezy



Chair: Mary Anne Mercer

Vice-Chair: Wendy Johnson

Members: A Hagopian, M Fort, S Shannon, M Labbok, C Prophete


Serving as an officer in the IH Section is a great way to get to know other members of the Section and become involved in Section activities. The Nominations Committee solicits candidates for office and presents them to the administration of APHA, which organizes an election of officers every spring.  The goals for the APHA IH Nominations Committee for 2008/09 included selecting qualified, well-matched candidates for the routine 2009 elections and addressing a gap in Section Council seats due to early resignation of one Council member.


The election was held in spring 2009.  Results of the election are as follows:


For Secretary-elect: 

Jean Meyer Capps


For Section Council:  

Helene Carabin

Jirair Ratevosian

David Fitch (for a one-year term)


For Governing Council:

Wendy Johnson

Amy Hagopian

Laura Altobelli


Nominations are now open for the 2010 election.  Interested members should send an e-mail to the Nominations Chair at the address below.  The Nominations Committee also welcomes additional members.


The goals for the APHA International Health Nominations Committee for 2008/09 included:






Select qualified, matched candidates for the routine 2009 elections

MA Mercer Nominations Committee


Address gap in governing council seat due to early resignation of one GC member

MA Mercer, APHA staff


Activities for this past half-year:

Goal #1: Select qualified, well matched candidates for the 2009 elections


  • Sent out a mass e-mail to the section asking for people who wish to run for office.
  • Committee members solicited persons they think would be good candidates.
  • Slate of candidates drawn up (see below).
  • APHA sends out the routine election notice.


Goal #2: Address 2009 gap in coverage for section council due to early resignation of one elected member:

  • Reviewed existing candidates for Section Council.
  • Notified APHA of early resignation.
  • APHA determined that the top three Section Council candidates would be elected to SC post (two regular members and one to substitute for the early resignation).


The Nominations Committee welcomes additional members.

--Mary Anne Mercer, IH Section Nominations Chair



Chair: Maggie Huff-Rousselle,
Vice-Chair: Annette De Mattos,

As of this summer, we have approximately 250 people on the distribution list for the APHA Pharmaceuticals Interest/Working Group.  This group has sent e-mails, and the content is generally something that one member has sent in and is then routed on, or something from the coordinator.  The membership on this list has extended beyond International Health, and includes members from other sections, particularly Medical Care.  A few members are very active, and the majority are passive (i.e. have signed up and receive e-mail only).  We avoid duplicating what other groups (e.g., e-drug and NLARx) are already doing, and e-traffic is relatively light through most of the year.


Although e-mail traffic is light, there has been an increasing exchange about U.S.-domestic issues around pharmaceuticals and global issues (intellectual property rights, access because of high prices, and global safety issues).  Most members from International Health appear to be largely concerned with supply chain issues around the supply of the “new essential drugs,” especially HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB drugs (basically those funded by PEPFAR, the Global Fund and other donors).  Much of the e-mail traffic is a good example of civil society critiquing the pharmaceutical industry and the lack of good regulation and/or incentives provided by government to help better align industry and public health goals, with specific examples of this.


We organized a panel for the World Federation of Public Health Associations Conference held in Istanbul in May, Public Interests & the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Changing World for Public Health? The panel presenters examined the intersection of the pharmaceutical industry and public health priorities from four perspectives: (1) an economic-market perspective, considering the distortions and failures that mean the pharmaceutical sector can never be a truly open competitive market; (2) the changing face of the industry as generic competition, compulsory licensing and the rise of new players change the face of industry; (3) trade and intellectual property rights and the shifting ground and perspective around those; and (4) Brazil’s experience, as one of the ground-breaking national experiments.  A number of the participants at the session later requested PowerPoints for some sessions, and presentations are being translated in Portuguese and other languages.


We have been much more effective this year in succeeding in getting panels organized and placed in different Sections for the conference.  The IH Section has one pre-planned panel: Global Pharmaceutical Issues.  The Medical Care Section has a pre-planned panel where state legislators will present their strategies to regulate Big Pharma: Evidence Based Prescribing and Conflicts of Interest in Drug Policy & Pharmacy Services and a second panel Drug Policy & Pharmacy Services that will have both a U.S. and global focus. There are also four students whom we have supported who are making pharmaceutical-related presentations, three as posters, and one as a presentation on a Trade and Health Forum panel.  Finally, the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Section has a panel that we were not involved in but will promote: Prescription Drug Misuse: A continuing challenge in the new millennium.


We intend to have a meeting at this year’s conference to discuss what other activities we might take on, and how we can more effectively create synergy across Section boundaries.  These might include future panels, publications, and position papers.

--Maggie Huff-Rousselle,
--Annette De Mattos,



Chair: Mary Anne Mercer,



It is again a pleasure to present another issue of the APHA-IH Section Newsletter.


We hope you enjoy reading the material presented in this Fall 2009 issue and that you consider authoring or co-authoring future pieces for inclusion in the Newsletter. We do encourage you to write about your innovative ideas and especially about your International and Global Health experiences, which will certainly enrich us all both at the professional and personal levels. The APHA-IH Section Newsletter is a great platform to present our experiences tackling International and Global Health issues, as well as to present innovative ideas to better the health and quality of life worldwide.


The IH Section Newsletter is published twice a year.  The deadline for the Spring Issue is April 15 and for the Fall Issue August 15. Submissions should be about 400 words and are to be presented as Verdana, Font Size 10. You are invited and strongly encouraged to submit material for inclusion in the next issues of the Newsletter. Most submissions are included as presented, except for minor editing and for shortening some of the articles.


Opinions, views and information published represent the authors and not necessarily APHA or the IH Section.

--Josefa Ippolito-Shepherd, PhD, Editor APHA-IH Section Newsletter,  (202) 363-2369,



Fall 2009



--Greetings from the Chair

--From the Editor

--Reports from the Membership Committees Reports

--Call for Awards Nominations


--Stories from the Field

--IH Section participation in the USMBHA/AFMES Annual Meeting 

CHAIR: Miriam H Labbok, MD, MPH
Telephone: (919) 966-0928; Fax: (919) 966-0458; E-mail:

EDITOR: Josefa Ippolito-Shepherd, PhD

Telephone: (202) 363-2369; E-mail: