International Health
Section Newsletter
Spring 2011

Message from the Chair

Malcolm Bryant, PhD, Email LinkedIn

Dear Friends and Colleagues,


Electronic newsletters can be a boon from several aspects. For example, you don’t have a pile of paper on your desk; you save on trees, thus keeping the environment more healthy; and, you don’t have to read them – just hit delete and they go away. However, before you hit delete I hope you will take the time to glance through the topics in this letter. Each provides a brief introduction with a link, so you can skip items that don’t interest you and focus on things that are relevant. This is still a very new technology for us, so please do provide us with your feedback on how we can improve.


The International Health Section has a large membership, but 90 percent of you fall into the category of “sleepers.” I would love to see more members becoming active in the Section in our advocacy, policy development, scientific or mentoring activities. The more the member base engages with the Association, the more effective we become in influencing public health policy at home and abroad. This year we have begun to host bi-monthly conference calls for all members as an participatory educational activity, and I am hoping that we can use this as an opportunity to serve the educational mission of the Section, and it is the perfect way to become engaged with the work of the Section without having to take on a committee chairmanship or an elected role. Our next call will be in late June and is focused on maternal and child health. The details are included in the newsletter, and I would encourage everyone to participate.

From the Editor

Jessica Keralis, M.P.H. Email LinkedIn Twitter


Once again, I am pleased to present this issue of the newsletter for the International Health Section. Over the last few months, my awareness of the global health field has grown and been sharpened against the startling backdrop of the recent socio-political upheaval in the Middle East.  Our technology has provided the world with a near-instantaneous window to these uprisings – we are witnessing my generation’s “fall of the Iron Curtain” in real time.  Meanwhile, the same technologies allow us to share health improvement strategies and data like never before, and the amount and quality of health data that is freely available on the internet is astounding. It promises to revolutionize the way we learn and conduct research.


I have worked hard to make sure that the Section does not fall behind. We have an active LinkedIn group and Facebook page, a blog with constantly increasing traffic, and a Section website that are all designed to provide information to you, the members, and to allow you to connect with one another. But communication is a two-way street: if there is anything you want to see or learn more about, please tell us! Contact someone in the Section leadership with your feedback and suggestions. We want to hear from you and welcome your input.


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





Attention IH Section members! The IH Communications Committee has developed a survey to learn how its members use and benefit from it communications platforms. The survey comes in two parts: the first asks about the Section’s traditional communications platforms (i.e. the website, newsletter, and monthly emails), and the second is about the Section’s social media tools (Facebook, LinkedIn, and the blog). Please take a few minutes to complete the survey – we value your feedback and want to know how to better communicate with you! The two parts of the survey can be accessed from the following links:
Traditional Communications
Social Media


Registration is now open for the APHA 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C., Oct. 29 - Nov. 2,2011.  More than 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. For registration and more information about the Annual Meeting, click here. Our Section will have a strong presence at the meeting. View the sessions sponsored by our Section in the interactive Online Program. Search the program using keyword, author name or date. Don’t forget to visit the Section and SPIG pavilion in the Public Health Expo next to Everything APHA to speak to a Section representative.


APHA is proud to announce the availability of need-based scholarships, sponsored by External Medical Affairs, Pfizer Inc., for student members to attend the 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 2011.  Twelve students will be granted registration and up to a $500 stipend to use toward food, lodging and transportation. An additional four students will be given Annual Meeting registration only. Recipients of the scholarships will be chosen based on financial need and essay. As part of the award, students will be strongly encouraged to attend at least one Section business meeting.  Please inform the student members of the Section about this unique opportunity!  Click here for complete details and application.  Please contact Pooja Bhandari with any questions.


The Global Health Expertise Directory is coming!  The Directory Working Group, made up of members from the Global Health Connections Committee, has been working with APHA to create this directory by allowing IH Section members to “opt-in” to have their information included. Participants will be able to connect with one another to share information and experience and to form mentoring relationships. Please make sure your APHA profile is up to date!  You can log into your member profile here. Select “Membership Information” from the “About Us” menu at the top left-hand corner of APHA’s website, then scroll down and click on the link that says “Update Member Profile.”


The IH Section has begun hosting topic-focused conference calls every other month.  These calls will provide section members with an opportunity to listen to a guest speaker or fellow section member discuss current topics in international health and to ask questions.  Many thanks to Dr. Susan Brems of USAID, who discussed the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review during the February call, and the invited speakers and panelists who talked about the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel (the summary of which can be read on the IH blog here). The next call will be held on Monday, June 27 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EST.  This call will be hosted by Section members Miriam Labbock and Laura Altobelli, who will be discussing current developments in maternal, neonatal, and child health. 


The call will include:

·         Brief presentation of the APHA policy resolution proposal submitted by the IHS entitled, "Call to Action to Reduce Global Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Morbidity and Mortality”

·         Update on the Millenium Development Goals 4 and 5

·         An update on breastfeeding and child spacing as essential MNCH interventions

·         Update on the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth

·         Partnership for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health - what it does and how one can get involved

·         Trends in U.S. government funding levels for global MNCH


TOPIC: Current Developments in Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health (MCNH)
DATE AND TIME: Monday, June 27, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST
PHONE NUMBER: (712) 432-1001 (please note that this is not a toll-free number)
PASSCODE: 477461343#

You are welcome to submit comments and questions for the speakers; however, we ask that you submit them in advance so that the panel can present them to the speaker. This will allow us to keep things organized. Please email questions for the speakers to by Friday, June 24 at 8 p.m. EST.

In March, the IH Section asked you to vote on which global health topics are most important to you in order to make our bi-monthly Section-wide calls more relevant to membership. We sent out a Section-wide email with a link to an online poll and received 167 responses by April 1.  Three topics came in with most votes overall: infectious diseases: HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, pandemics, with 81 votes; health systems strengthening, with 79 votes; and maternal, neonatal, and child health and nutrition, with 78 votes. Among these, infectious diseases received the most votes (15 percent) among all first choice topics, and this topic was also ranked highly among people’s second and third choices. Among other first choices for GH topics, ‘new topic’ came in second, and health and human rights’ came in third with 11 percent. Among second topic choices, health and human rights shared second place with community-based primary health care and improved metrics, research, monitoring and evaluation.  We also had 50 new GH topics suggested. While there was no clear consensus about priorities among these, a text pattern analysis revealed preferences for equity and inequities, social determinants of health, and community, sanitation, and prevention. Thanks to everyone who voted, and to Eckhard Kleinau for organizing the results.


New book exploring Megacities and Global Health coming soon. Megacities and Global Health brings together important research on infectious diseases, environmental and occupational hazards, disaster preparedness, crowding, urban ecology, and much more. The leading experts in global medicine, public health and urban health provide analysis, commentary and case studies of emerging and established megacities.



APHA: Public Health and Transportation


These are exciting times when considering the many ways our transportation systems impact health and equity in our communities. Congress extended the current federal surface transportation bill until Sept. 30, 2011, and Congressional committees are aiming to draft a new transportation bill before this latest extension ends.


Want to learn more about the connections between transportation, equity and health? View our archived webinar series, subscribe to the monthly transportation and health eNewsletter that offers an array of new events and updates, and download the newly released online public health and transportation toolkit and accompanying resources today.


We also invite you to send a message to your members of Congress urging that they ensure that strong public health provisions are included in the federal surface transportation reauthorization. For more information, visit



New Goals for APHA 2011: Less Trash! Less Plastic!

The 2011 APHA Annual Meeting theme "Healthy Communities Promote Healthy Minds and Bodies" gives APHA members an opportunity to build on the 2009 and 2010 themes of Water and Social Justice as public health priorities. The Food and Environment Working Group, the Environment Section's 100th Anniversary Committee, and APHA are setting goals to reduce waste and promote a sustainable, just, and healthy food and water system. We encourage everyone at APHA 2011 to increase efforts to reduce trash, especially paper and plastic.  For more information on these initiatives or the APHA Food and Environment Working Group, click here.


Reports from Membership Committees and Working Groups



The IH Section received a record number of abstracts: 504 overall! That is not counting about 15 more pending for invited sessions. The final program will have 42 paper sessions and nine poster sessions, for a final tally of around 275 presentations - one of the largest of any APHA section, if not the largest. We will also hold our traditional IH film festival, and to sponsor the day-long Community-Based Primary Health Care workshop, led by Paul Freeman. In addition to the usual Section business meetings, we also have three theme-specific business meetings for the Global Health Connections Committee, Advocacy and Policy Committee, and Community-Based Primary Health Care working group. 


The majority of invited session requests were approved, and no current issues remain. We have a good program and again look for the leadership to step up and moderate panels as before. The IH program is not up yet, but we will distribute the link as soon as it is available. 



The Advocacy/Policy Committee saw a leadership change during Spring 2011: after two years, Jirair Ratevosian stepped down as chair of the committee when he accepted a position in Congressional Representative Barbara Lee's office. While Jirair will remain active in the Section, his leadership for the committee will be greatly missed. Peter Freeman took over as committee chair this past April.


The committee had a busy spring in regards to policy resolution submissions. We submitted five policy resolutions and co-sponsored several more, making the spring a hectic time as authors and co-authors diligently worked to address comments from the JPC by the June 1 deadline. The committee is looking forward to November and the passing of these important issues, including NCDs, HIV/AIDS & MSM, global maternal & child health and the recruitment of high school students in high school settings.


Additionally, the committee is looking towards the future of policy/advocacy work and developing plans to work more closely with APHA's Student Assembly. With an increased attention level being spent on global health, it is imperative that individuals coming up through the ranks of public health education learn the ropes of advocacy early on to help move agendas forward. The committee is hoping to see more student activity come as result of a newly defined relationship with the Student Assembly.  It is also looking to establish a more formal relationship with the Global Health Council, along with the greater International Health Section. Such a relationship would increase the reach of both APHA and the Global Health Council when looking for support for varying advocacy movements. Talks of what this relationship could look like will continue during the Global Health Council conference in D.C., which takes place in early June.


The committee is looking forward to a busy summer of advocacy movements, and all members of the IH Section are encouraged to contact the committee chair, Peter Freeman, should they have any interest in building support/momentum around an issue.



And The Band Played On: Politics, People and the AIDS Epidemic (Book Review)


Barbara Waldorf, RN Email LinkedIn


For everyone concerned about public health, HIV-AIDS, MSM and human rights are key issues. Homosexuality is illegal in 80 countries worldwide. A major battle is brewing in Uganda, with a virulent anti-homosexuality bill in parliament and donors like Sweden threatening to cut all aid if it is passed. There are implications for all public health projects. Randy Shilts wrote eloquently about these issues at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. Despite the extraordinary progress that has occurred over the last 30 years, what he explored is as relevant today as it was when it was written.


Read the rest of this article on the IH blog.



Waiting for Handouts


Ibrahim Kargbo Email LinkedIn Twitter


On a recent trip to Haiti to conduct program monitoring and evaluation, I was taken aback by the statement of a woman who was forced to relocate due to the 2010 earthquake. When asked why she continues to attend HIV/AIDS education programs, her response was “…because I was promised a house and money.” Upon further interaction with the woman, I learned that she was told by a responding aid organization that she would be given a house and money to help her recover. Hearing her comment, I was left to question whether or not the responsibility of post-disaster recovery is made clear and rightly shared.


Read the rest of this article on the IH blog.



Global HIV Prevention – Check!


Kate McQuestion Email


In 2006, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine cited the substantial success of the implementation of a routine checklist on reducing catheter-related infections in the Intensive Care Unit of a Michigan Hospital. This story was shortly followed by media uptake the WHO Patient Safety Checklist, which, when utilized, reduced surgery-related mortality by almost 50 percent. The clinical use of checklists has become a hot topic for clinical quality improvement advocates, and as such, they been generally embraced in some areas of clinical practice.  Could this kind of tool be effective in public health?


Read the rest of this article on the IH blog.



Health Budget Information Available on Foreign Assistance Dashboard Website

Carol Dabbs Email

Jessica Klein LinkedIn


The State Department and USAID launched a new website, the Foreign Assistance Dashboard, in December at The Dashboard provides a visual presentation of and access to key State and USAID foreign assistance data in a user-friendly way. The website represents a giant step forward for the State Department and USAID in making more transparent our budget and appropriations data and is a major deliverable of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which highlights the importance of embracing transparency and of holding ourselves accountable for achieving results. 


Currently, all the information on the Dashboard comes from Congressional Budget Justifications that are already publicly available. The data are presented, through a variety of easy-to-understand graphics, and the website provides users the ability to manually query, filter, and download datasets into a machine-readable format. The website is responsive to the aid effectiveness agenda, the International Aid Transparency Initiative, and the commitments President Obama made on aid transparency at the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh in September 2009. It also responds to calls from the domestic and international aid advocacy communities, from implementers, and from foreign governments for greater transparency about aid levels and patterns of aid flows. Finally, the Dashboard is part of the administration’s broader Open Government agenda focused on providing greater clarity into what government is doing and on disclosing information that the public can readily find and use.


The Dashboard contains a substantial amount of explanatory material in the What You Should Know section to assist users to understand the data. There is a contact form for feedback, suggestions, or questions about the site. Questions will be used to inform future versions of the site and improve its explanatory information.  t is anticipated that future versions of the Dashboard will include additional data on State and USAID expenditures, as well as data from other U.S. Government agencies.



Member Publications


Nathanson N, Hall T. March 2011. “A comparison of five introductory textbooks in global health.” Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice 6(2): 210-9.


Keralis, Jessica. November 2010. “Drug Cartels in Mexico.” Forced Migration Review 37. English Français



Social Media Corner


The Communications Committee would like to express our gratitude to Section members who have written guest posts for the IH blog!  Several individuals stepped up and have written about various topics, including cancer, emergency preparedness, and book reviews. Please consider writing for us! The blog currently receives between 200 and 300 hits per week. 


We are also proud to announce that IH Blog traffic surpassed 1,200 hits during the month of March! Traffic has been steadily increasing and is currently solid at 40-50 hits per day. You can subscribe via email or RSS feed reader to make sure you do not miss any postings.  he blog is updated nearly every day with internship vacancies, public health videos, and international health and development news. The blog’s stream of videos and internship postings can be viewed here.


Several global health blogs publish a daily or weekly “round-up” of global health news. Some good sources for international health news include the IH Blog, Humanosphere, and

the Healthy Dose on PSI’s Healthy Lives blog.



@bacigalupe @cabi_health @ehealthglobalhealth @globalhealthorg (Global Health Council) @jessicakeralis @jratevosian @ktulenko @publichealth (APHA) @theotherdrugwar @who (World Health Organization)



Opportunities for Students and New Professionals


*Note: The International Health Section is not officially affiliated with any companies listed here. The listing of an organization, program, or internship opportunity does not imply endorsement by APHA or the International Health Section.


Below are some fellowship (both in the United States and abroad) and internship opportunities that may be of interest to international health students and entry-level professionals.  Internship opportunities are regularly posted to the blog as well; all internship opportunities on the blog can be found here.  If you know of any additional programs, please feel free to contact the editor.



§         National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NIH): Two-year fellowship with the NIH in Bethesda, Md.  Applications are due July 1. Phone interviews are conducted in late July and early August. Those who are selected are then invited for on-site interviews in Bethesda in late August.  Selection letters are sent out at the end of September, and the fellowship begins the following January. U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents only.



§         Doctors Without Borders: Spring, summer, and fall internships offered in New York City. Duration is three months working 20 hours per week at $10/hour. No citizenship requirements, but international candidates must secure their own work permit.

§         Global Health Council: Internships offered at various points throughout the year in Washington, D.C. Minimum time commitment is 20 hours per week.  A $400/month stipend is offered.  Must be authorized to work in the United States.

§         Population Services International:  Internships offered at various points throughout the year in Washington, D.C. Positions are paid, but interns generally must work at least 25 hours/week. 

§         Spectrum Communications: Spring, summer, and fall internships offered in Washington, D.C.  Part-time and full-time paid positions available. 



Get Involved

We would love to see you get involved in the IH Section! Much of our networking and organization happens during APHA’s Annual Meeting. Attendance at that meeting is an ideal way to meet Section members and get connected with activities that interest you. We also encourage you to participate in activities led by committees or working groups. The best way to learn about these opportunities is to attend the Section business meetings at the Annual Meeting, or our mid-year meeting during the NCIH meeting in June in D.C. (registration for NCIH not required to attend). You may also contact the chair of your committee of interest to let that person know that you would like to participate.


Section Officers are elected each year in a Section-wide ballot. Positions include the Section chair, secretary, Section Council members, and Governing Council members. The Section chair oversees section activities and presides over section meetings.  The secretary records meeting and conference call minutes and disseminates meeting information to leadership. Section Council members provide input and guidance into Section activities and serve as voting members of the section council, along with the chair and secretary.  Governing Councilor members participate and vote in the APHA Governing Council.  All officers participate in Section activities and provide input on Section priorities and goals and are generally members who have been involved for some time in other capacities. Elections are held around May of each year. If you are interested in running for office, please contact Nominations Chair Amy Hagopian.



About the Newsletter

The IH Section Newsletter is published three times per year.  Submissions should be about 500 words. You are invited and strongly encouraged to submit material for inclusion in the next issues of the newsletter. We welcome pieces on your ideas, reflections, experiences and lessons learned.


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