Medical Care
Section Newsletter
Fall 2011

Letter from the Chair

Mona Safarty, MD, MPH


Dear Colleagues,


As I write this, Hurricane Irene is thankfully dissipating.  My family spent a good part of the night putting the water vacuum to use keeping the flooding in the basement from causing lasting damage.  The drainage trench we put in last year just wasn’t enough for this unprecedented climate system.  After another striking example like Irene, it is hard not to wonder at the continuing lack of references to climate change that characterizes national news coverage.  This has held true through one weather calamity after another this year.  By the time you receive this, the “24 Hours of Reality” event (Sept. 14) sponsored by The Climate Reality project will have been observed around the world.  Hopefully, many people in the United States will be exposed to it.   


This is the first newsletter since the APHA June mid-year meeting in Chicago.  At that meeting, we were provided with polling evidence that demonstrates the support the American public feel for prevention and preventive services.  We were reminded about

the importance of campaigning amongst our own members — and to the rest of the country —about the value of the Affordable Care Act (health reform) with its special emphasis on prevention and the resources it is providing to address obesity, tobacco use, physical activity and chronic disease.  We committed to sharing this understanding widely.        


Unfortunately, sharing insight and solid information outside of membership circles like APHA has become theoretically easier but practically more difficult.  The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in the mid-1980s is one factor.  The 25-year history of consolidation of the news media is another.  While outlets like the Equal Health Network and other reliable sources seek to provide direct access to primary sources of information, the major news networks do a very poor job of providing information to the American people, 65 percent of whom get their information from TV news programs.   The five or so corporate owned media channels have become tied into narrow, self interest, or risk averse in their coverage, or slavishly dedicated to serving specific ideologies.  The result is a poorly informed electorate that is all too easily swayed by manipulative advertising campaigns.  These are often slanderous and built on big lie techniques.  I saw this first hand in Pennsylvania during the last election season.  While this is surely a time of transition for communication and information sharing, those of us who can see what has happened should spread the word so that others become aware of this threat to democratic institutions and mobilize to preserve the legacy of responsible evidence-based reporting.  There are other significant factors, but the role of the media is pivotal and often ignored.


The Medical Care Section has a terrific program planned for the Annual Meeting this year in Washington, D.C.  I look forward to seeing you there.   


Warm regards, Mona Sarfaty, MD, MPH, Chair of the Medical Care Section

Session to Honor Jack Geiger

At the APHA Annual Meeting

Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Washington Convention Center Room 101


The Medical Care Section is planning to honor its long-time member, Jack Geiger, in a special session at the APHA 2011 Annual Meeting on Sunday, Oct. 30, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Washington Convention Center Room 101.


This session will celebrate the work of Jack Geiger, who has devoted his life to protection and promotion of health through combating poverty and racism, protecting human rights, and preventing war.


Jack initiated the community health center model in the United States, combining community-oriented primary care, public health interventions, and civil rights and community empowerment and development initiatives. He was also a leader in the development of the national health center network of more than 1,200 urban, rural and migrant centers, which currently serve some 20 million low-income patients.


Jack's work in human rights spans six decades. He was a founding member of one of the first chapters of the Congress of Racial Equality in 1943 and led campaigns to end racial discrimination in hospital care and admission to medical schools. In the 1960s he was a founding member and National Program Chairman of the Medical Committee for Human Rights and field coordinator of its Mississippi program to protect and provide medical care for civil rights workers; in the 1970s he was a founding member of the Emergency Committee to Save Chilean Health Workers; and in the 1980s he was a founding member and president of Physicians for Human Rights,  leading missions to Iraq, Kurdistan, the West Bank, former Yugoslavia and South Africa.


Jack was a founding member and president of Physicians for Social Responsibility.  He was a co-author in 1961 of the series of articles on “The Medical Consequences of Thermonuclear War” in the New England Journal of Medicine, the first major medical publication on the issue.


The session will be co-sponsored by the Medical Care Section; the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section; the Peace, Socialist and Spirit of 1848 Caucuses; the Society for Public Health Education; and the National Association of Community Health Centers.  Other elements of APHA are invited to co-sponsor.  So many people have already asked to speak to celebrate Jack’s contributions that each will be limited to 5 minutes.  Those on the list so far include Ted Brown, Oli Fein, Bob Gould, Nancy Krieger, Joyce Lashof, Barry Levy, Meredith Minkler, Peter Orris, Ellen Shaffer and Vic Sidel.  Others who wish to speak should indicate their wish to Ted Brown, Bob Gould or Vic Sidel.

Remembering Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH

At the APHA Annual Meeting

Monday, Oct. 31, 2011, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Grand Hyatt, Independence Ballroom H  


Today, Dr. Barbara Starfield is best known for the stunning re-emergence of primary care that has produced demonstration programs in nearly every state in the country.  But for many years, pediatrician Dr. Barbara Starfield was one of the few people doing research on children’s health services and tackling the question of how to reduce inequalities in child health.  Her work on this subject was also groundbreaking.  Dr. Starfield and her work will be remembered at the annual Health Services Research update session held late Monday afternoon (4:30) at the Grand Hyatt.  This event will present a unique opportunity to hear from people who collaborated closely with her and know her work well. 


Dr. Starfield served on the Institute of Medicine Committee that published Children’s Health, the Nation’s Wealth in 2004.  Pediatrician Christopher Forrest will speak of the seminal work she did to conceptualize children’s health and health outcomes, which had a formative influence on how we think about care for all children.  Her work stimulated a broader, person-oriented view of the child that led to the IOM Report.   


Martin Sepulveda, MD, from IBM will describe the impact her later work had on private sector employers in generating support for a health system that rests on a strong primary care foundation.  She compared countries of the world for their health outcomes including patient satisfaction and their primary care attributes.  Countries with better primary care systems had better outcomes and better satisfaction at lower costs.  Dynamic leaders have taken that message and are instigating change. 


Dr. Leihu Shi worked with Dr. Starfield for many years at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she chaired the Department of Health Policy and Management.  He will talk about his collaborations with her over the years. 


Many who share an interest in child health services and/or primary care health services recognize Barbara Starfield as a groundbreaking founder in those fields.  She passed away this past summer in the eighth decade of her extraordinary life, at the age of 79.   

Session on Epidemic from Prescribing

At the APHA Annual Meeting

Monday, Oct. 31, 2011, 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.


Evidence of an epidemic of adverse drug reactions will be presented and discussed at a session organized by the Section at the APHA meetings on Oct. 31 from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Session 3157.0, “Adverse Drug Reactions: extent of public health risks,” will feature Julie Zito, Howard Brody, MD, John Abramson, Donald Light, and U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders. Sanders will discuss a bill he has introduced that would use prizes to increase the safety and efficacy of drugs.


Don Light, a professor of social medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, will summarize evidence in “The Risks of Prescription Drugs” that prescription drugs are a leading cause of falls, accidents, hospitalizations and deaths. He will explain the Risk Proliferation Syndrome behind the epidemic. Julie Zito will discuss her research on the proliferation of antipsychotics prescribed to poor children. Howard Brody, who co-authored (with Light) “The Inverse Benefit Law” in AJPH this year (101:399), will discuss the role of patents in increasing risks to patients. John Abramson, who teaches at Harvard and authored “Overdosed America”, will present new research on misrepresentations of risks to patients in the medical literature on which physicians rely to

decide what to prescribe.

Federal Budget, Reproductive Rights, Are Cutting-Edge Topics at P. Ellen Parsons Session

At the APHA Annual Meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011, 2:30-4 p.m.

Cathy Hurwit, chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, and Louise Melling, director of the Center for Liberty at the American Civil Liberties Union in New York, will address the annual P. Ellen Parsons session on Tues. Nov. 1, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. They will address two cutting-edge issues of core concern to public health: how to shore up key social insurance programs including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, in the face of Congressional budget cuts; and how to connect popular support for reproductive choice to policy. Ellen Shaffer, co-director of the Center for Policy Analysis, will moderate for the Medical Care Section.  The session is co-sponsored by the Spirit of 1848 Caucus, the Women's Caucus, and the Socialist Caucus, in honor of P. Ellen Parsons, a researcher and advocate who was active in all of these efforts.


The Medical Care Section is also a sponsor of the APHA Trade and Health Forum. On Sunday, Oct. 30, from 2:30 to 4 p.m., the Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health will co-sponsor the Forum's business meeting for a special discussion on the U.S. positions on tobacco control, access to medicines and other health issues in global trade negotiations.

An Evening With U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Dr. Deb Richter

At the APHA Annual Meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


On May 26, 2011, Vermont passed legislation signed by the governor that set the state on a pathway to state single-payer health system reform. This legislation was the consequence of legislators like U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and grassroots organizations like Vermont Health Care for All, led by Dr. Deb Richter, former president of Physicians for a National Health Program.  Join us to hear about the struggles that led up to this outcome and learn about the plans to confront  the obstacles remaining, including the 2017 ban on state experimentation in the Affordable Care Act.  Vermont may become the first state to truly guarantee universal, affordable access to health care in the United States.


For more information contact Oliver Fein, MD, at

Medical Care Avedis Donabedian Award

At the APHA Annual Meeting

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.


Dr. Carolyn Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality since 2003, and an official there since 1990, will receive the Medical Care Section’s 12th annual Avedis Donabedian award, at Session 4225.0-SCI.  The Section presents the Award to an outstanding leader in health care quality and equity.


Through both Republican and Democratic administrations she has steered the Agency through the stormy waters of clinical appropriateness, comparative effectiveness,  health disparities, health IT and patient safety and quality.  In addition to her long days at AHRQ,  Dr. Clancy has continued as an academic leader of health policy, serving as senior associate editor for the journal Health Services Research and on multiple editorial boards, including Annals of Family Medicine, American Journal of Medical Quality, and Medical Care Research and Review.  The author of scores of publications, she has been the nation's guiding light for critical, common-sense reflection about health care cost and quality.  Dr. Clancy will bring this critical thinking along with her pointed wit and dry humor to the 2011 Donabedian Lecture.  She will reflect on how quality has (and has not) improved since 2003, when AHRQ was charged by Congress to produce national reports on quality annually.  Other speakers in this session will include the chair of the Donabedian Award Committee, Dr. Gordon Schiff, who will address how “Conservative Diagnosis and Therapy Can Hold Down Health-Care Costs and Improve Quality”.

Mentoring Sessions

At the APHA Annual Meeting

Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Grand Hyatt Hotel


The Medical Care Section will host two student mentoring sessions on Sunday, Oct. 30 during the  Annual Meeting, from 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. and again at 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.  This is an opportunity for students to network with a diverse group of health professionals ranging from physicians to pharmacists to community researchers that are dedicated to the mission of public health. 


The meeting will host a panel discussion with a highly distinguished and multi-faceted committee of health professionals that will discuss their personal experiences that led them to their areas of interest and career choices. They will address the students’ questions and views and participate in breakout discussions that will focus on specific topics like career development and finding a job. Students will have a chance to rotate into several such breakout discussions. They will be able to engage directly in discussion with several mentors.


The Medical Care Section has a strong history and commitment to student mentoring and has a great desire to work with the future of leaders in public health. Students are encouraged to sign up in advance because space may be limited and this is a desirable opportunity. 


If you would like to sign up or have any further questions, please contact Erin Starzyk, student liaison.  Also, please check out the facebook page for the most current Medical Care Section information.

APHA Annual Meeting


From Oct. 29 – Nov. 2, 2011 join us in Washington, D.C., for the APHA 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition. The Medical Care Section will have a strong presence at the meeting. View the sessions sponsored by our section by visiting the interactive Online Program. Search the program using keyword, author name or date. Don’t forget to stop by our new Section and SPIG Pavilion (Booth 3073) in the Public Health Expo next to Everything APHA. For more information about the Annual Meeting, visit




Position Openings

Clinical Social Worker, Washington, D.C.

Position summary: Provides clinical counseling and case management services for the Washington Cancer Institute under the Director of the Cancer Support Services Department. This is a direct service position that provides family-centered social work services to patients living with cancer and their families/significant others. The social worker assesses patients from a culturally and ethnically diverse population and provides a full range of psychotherapeutic interventions while establishing care plans for effective management of identified needs. The social worker acts as advocate for patients between the Washington Cancer Institute, patient families/caregivers, and community agencies. 


Master's Degree in Social Work is required. Approximately one to two years of progressively more responsible job related experience.  A District of Columbia license in Social Work is required (LGSW or LICSW) LICSW is preferred.  Part time: 32 hours/week.


Apply online, job requisition number 32694021.



Oncology Nutrition Coordinator Position, Washington, D.C.

Position summary:  Responsible for developing, implementing and conducting outpatient oncology nutrition services, including participation in the billing system, documentation format and nutrition care model: 1) assessment 2) intervention 3) evaluation and monitoring. Ensures “patient-first” care through supporting standards; continuous quality improvement; and maintaining accurate, up-to-date and appropriate resources for patients and staff.  Provides management support relative to clinical nutrition operations. Establishes and maintains quality nutrition programs and standards in compliance with Washington Hospital Center and Washington Cancer Institute policies and procedures and regulatory agencies.  


Bachelor's degree in an American Dietetics Association approved program in Dietetics with completion of an internship is required.  Approximately three to four years of progressively more responsible job related experience directly related to oncology. A license in the District of Columbia as a Dietitian and registration by the Commission of Dietetic registration as a Dietitian are required. Certification in Oncology Nutrition preferred.


Apply online , search keyword: “Nutrition”.



PHACT: Call for Federal Public Health Funds at Work in Your State

In addition to attending town hall meetings this year, APHA would like for you to share a story about why public health funding is important in your community or state. Preferably, the funding would come from one of these three sources:


1.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

2.  Health Resources and Services Administration

3.  Prevention and Public Health Fund


Examples can provide:


·    An approximate estimate of the amount of the funding received

·    Location of the program (City, state)

·    A summary of the program/intervention (PH issue and intervention being used)

·    Any examples of positive outcomes to date


Make all submission to or email us at

Thanks for taking action to protect public health!

Check out APHA’s Advocacy Track at This Year’s Annual Meeting

APHA will host a one-day advocacy track of sessions during the 2011 Annual Meeting in D.C. on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011, and all APHA members are encouraged to attend to hone their public health advocacy skills. For more detailed information regarding the particular sessions, refer to the 2011 online program   and enter the session number to see the list of planned speakers and topics to be covered. Attendees will be eligible for CE credit.


“Nailing your policy: Creating APHA’s policy buddy system,” Session 3007.0, 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

“Media Advocacy: Breaking through the crowded news cycle,” Session 3119.0, 10:30 a.m.

“The Who, What & How of Advocacy,” Session 3216.0, 12:30 to 2 p.m.

“Mobilizing a public health campaign,” Session 3318.0, 2:30 to 4 p.m.

“The Role of Social Media in Public Health,” Session 3417.0, 4:30 p.m.

New University Collaboration

APHA is pleased to announce a new collaboration with Drexel University Online. Under this program, APHA members and their families are eligible for special tuition discounts of up to 25 percent when they enroll in any of Drexel’s online courses.  Drexel University Online offers a wide range of courses in a flexible online format, including CEPH-accredited programs in biostatistics and epidemiology. Please see the APHA partnership page for more details.

Any agreement entered into between Drexel University Online and an APHA member, employee or family member, is with Drexel University Online and not with APHA.  APHA does not endorse any products or services displayed or referred to in conjunction with this partnership and is not responsible for the actual content of Drexel University Online programs.

Public Health and Equity Principles for Transportation

APHA has recently released a list of 10 Public Health and Equity Principles for Transportation . These policies recognize the various impacts that transportation policies can have on public health — they can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, asthma, obesity and mental health disorders — especially on vulnerable populations, including the elderly, the poor and individuals with disabilities. We believe that if transportation policies are reviewed and evaluated with these principles in mind, we will be better able to ensure that health and equity are well-represented. By holding transportation policies to a stated set of standards, we can encourage a transportation system that supports health, and direct funds to programs that improve health, equity and well-being. It is essential that other organizations — at the national, state and local level — demonstrate their support for these principles by joining us as signatories. Please sign on here  to show your organization’s support for these essential principles.

Let APHA Host Your Public Health Career Day at the Annual Meeting

Employers, this is your opportunity to meet thousands of public health professionals and qualified candidates for hire. Job seekers, here is your chance to market your resume, meet recruiters and sign up for a professional career coaching session, either an individual or group session. Advance your public health career and find new prospects with APHA’s Public Health CareerMart. Find out more.

APHA’s Public Health Buyer’s Guide Links Users to Industry Products

APHA's Public Health Buyer’s Guide  is designed specifically for public health professionals, allowing easy search of vendors from a link on the APHA website’s home page . Within the Public Health Buyer's Guide, public health professionals will be able to easily locate products and services unique to our industry without the clutter of general Internet search engine results.

Win a Free Annual Meeting Registration!

Forward the contact information for new companies or organizations that you would like to see included as exhibitors at the Annual Meeting to Priya Bose, Meetings and Exhibits Coordinator, at . Anyone submitting a qualified lead for potential new exhibitors will be entered into a drawing for a free full registration. Get to know our exhibitors before the meeting on our Virtual Expo !