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Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health
Section Newsletter
Fall 2009

Message From the Chair

Section Chair Rebecka Lundgren, Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University, 4301 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 310, Washington, DC 20008, Phone:  (202) 687-7969, E-mail: lundgrer@georgetown.edu

Dear Colleagues,

In this first year after a historic presidential election in the United States, many of our hopes have been realized, but we continue to face both opportunities and constraints.  It is more important than ever that we work together to ensure that reproductive and sexual health remain high on the agenda. That is why I look forward to joining with all of our Section members, as well as other APHA members, at our Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. This will provide us the opportunity to take stock of where we are and make plans for where we want to go in the future.

A few Annual Meeting Highlights: 

Our first event of the conference will be our Task Force meetings from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday in room 408 at the Marriott, followed by our Section Council business meeting at 4 p.m.  All members are encouraged to attend any or all of these Sunday events.  Most importantly, please join us for our first ever PRSH welcome mixer on Sunday evening, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. just a few blocks away from the convention center.  Please visit the Section booth for the exact location.  We have reserved a private room upstairs.  Free drinks and appetizers will be offered but supplies are limited so please come early.

An important part of our Annual Meeting is taking time to draw inspiration from the efforts of our colleagues and to celebrate our successes. Please join us in recognizing our outstanding colleagues this year at the Award Ceremony on Monday at 6 p.m., with a reception to follow.  Award recipients this year are:

George Tiller, MD (The Carl Shultz Award)

Dr. Tiller was a courageous and honorable physician who provided safe and legal reproductive health care to women who otherwise might not have received it. He provided general family medicine and abortions until his untimely death in May of this year.

Jennifer Frost, DrPH (The Felicia Stewart Award)

Jennifer is a prolific analyst who in her decades-long career has generated an important body of research focused on the availability and use of publicly funded family planning services in the United States, including those receiving Title X funding. Her research has helped to guide and inform policy and programming decisions

Angel Foster MD, DPhil (The Young Professional Award)

In addition to being an influential advocate and researcher for women's reproductive health in North Africa, the Middle East, and now Burma and Thailand, Dr. Foster has done exceptional work on access to abortion, emergency contraception and medication abortion in the United States.  She has achieved more by the age of 35 than many people are able to over their entire lifetimes.  

To make our Section stronger we must recruit new members and reach out to existing ones to encourage their participation.  One way we do this is through our booth at the Annual Meeting.  The PRSH Section does important advocacy work that would be attractive to many of our colleagues who simply are not aware of our activities.  Our booth at the exhibit provides an opportunity to let people know of our work, but in the past we have lacked volunteers.  We are seeking volunteers for the booth as well suggestions about how to make the booth more attractive.  Please contact Farya Karim (fk49@georgetown.edu).This is a great way to meet other Section members and get involved.

As many of you are aware, the Section’s name was changed last year to Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health.  Given the new name, the Section decided that it is a good time to get a new, fresh “look”.  This is where we need your help and creativity.  We are holding a logo contest open to all members. All you have to do is submit an idea or a drawing for the new Section logo to Farya Karim (fk49@georgetown.edu) by Oct. 9, 2009.  The winning logo will be chosen by a panel and will be announced during the Awards Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m.  Come by the Section’s booth to view the winner.

In closing, I would like to call to your attention two new panels.  We are experimenting with a different format, which will include brief comments by panel participants followed by questions and discussion.  Please consider attending these sessions and let us know if you like this format.

 Reproductive Health: Career Trajectories: 4386.0

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.

This session, co-sponsored with the Student Assembly, specifically targets young public health professionals and students, examines career possibilities and trajectories in the fields of population, reproductive health, and sexual health. The discussants will speak from both domestic and international perspectives on roles and career opportunities in academia, government and non-governmental organizations.

How to Get Published in the Field of Population, Reproductive, and Sexual Health: 4387.0

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.

In this panel, editors from top peer-reviewed journals from the sexual and reproductive health field will discuss what authors should do – and NOT do – to enhance their chances of getting published.  Editors from American Journal of Public Health, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Studies in Family Planning will describe their publications’ areas of interest and manuscript selection process.  They will also provide advice about what authors should keep in mind during the submission process, as well as the types of manuscripts they would like to see more (and less) often.

In closing, I would like to thank all of the Section members with whom I have had the pleasure of working with this year, and who make all of these activities possible.  I wish to extend a particular recognition to our current officers, Task Force leaders and other Section members who serve on APHA boards, review policies, participate in conference calls and business meetings, submit and review abstracts, and edit the Web site and newsletter.  The success of our Section is dependent upon the collective effort of all our members.  If you have not yet been active in Section leadership, please consider coming to a Task Force or business meeting, attending the award ceremony and reception or simply helping out in the exhibit.  With a more active membership, we can become a more vibrant Section.  Also, please invite friends and colleagues to join our Section and attend our Section meetings.  That is how I first became involved.  The purpose of the APHA Sections is to serve the needs of members.  Therefore, we rely on you to help us define our focus – advocacy, networking or learning about the latest developments in the field.  Please join us to create the Section that best meets your needs.

Best of luck to our incoming officers and leaders, who will assume responsibility on the last day of the meeting, in particular our new Chair, Barbara Anderson and Chair-Elect Henry Gabelnick. Let’s be sure to provide them all the support they need this upcoming year.

Best regards,

Rebecka

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Margaret Mead

Membership Committee Report

Erica Fishman, Minnesota Department of Health, P.O. Box 64882, St. Paul, MN 55164-0882 Phone: (651) 201-5899, E-mail: erica.fishman@state.mn.us   

Our Section is an invaluable resource for information regarding population, family planning, reproductive and sexual health-related sessions.  It also provides an opportunity to meet informally with people who do similar work domestically and internationally.  At the Annual Meeting, you are welcome to join us for Task Force meetings, business meetings, Section meetings and of course the social hour on Monday evening.  If you are interested in becoming a part of the active leadership, please contact the chair or representative of the Task Force in which you are interested.  Please stop by the Section booth in the exhibit hall to talk informally with a Section member. 

To be an active Section member, an individual must have a current membership in APHA.  Anyone who is a member of APHA may choose to become a member of our Section.  Members now have the option to choose up to three member units with a $30 fee for each additional Section/SPIG.  The first unit is still free.  If you are a member of another Section, yet have an interest in our work and activities, we welcome you to consider adding our Section!

We continue to be very interested in finding creative ways to retain and increase our membership!  We will be having a meeting to talk about membership on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 7 a.m.  Please check the schedule or our Section booth for the location.  If you cannot make the meeting but are interested in assisting us, please send an e-mail to Erica Fishman.

Nominations Committee Report

Chair Karen Hardee, Population Action International, 1300 19th St, NW, Ste 200, Washington, DC, 20036, Phone: (202) 557-3410, E-mail: KHardee@popact.org

Each year our section has the pleasure of welcoming a new group of Section leaders. Thanks to all Section members who stood for election.  It is a pleasure for me to announce the winners for the following positions:

Chair-Elect:
Henry L. Gabelnick, PhD

Secretary-Elect: Farya Karim, MPH

Section Councilors: Shonali M. Choudhury, PhDc, MMH, and Christine Stainton, MSN, BSN, RN, BA

Governing Councilor: Walter W. Klausmeier, Jr, BA

We welcome this new group of PRSH Section leaders and look forward to working with you and current Section officers to help us advance our Section’s work.  We want to thank all those who ran this year.  

Thanks and congratulations to all!

Emerging Reproductive Technologies Task Force Report

Co-Chairs Susan Berke Fogel, Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research, 5521 Murietta Avenue, Van Nuys, CA, 91401, E-mail: sbfogel@pacbell.net and Judy Norsigian Our Bodies Ourselves, 5 Upland Road #3, Cambridge, MA 02140, Phone: (617) 245-0200, E-mail: judy@bwhbc.org

At the October 2008 APHA Annual Meeting this Task Force sponsored a session on Reproductive Tourism: Ethical and Health Concerns that explored the public health dimensions of reproductive tourism as well as current regulations around the world.

During the past year, the Task Force has been relatively inactive but noted that new developments require ongoing monitoring.  For example, in July 2009 authorities in Romania detained 30 people and arrested a number of Israeli physicians at the Sabyc fertility clinic in Bucharest in connection with illegal payments to women for their eggs.  Israeli newspapers reported that the eggs were provided by university students and Roma women, some of them as young as 15 (read full article).

In the United States, ads promoting exorbitant payments to younger women for their eggs continue to appear in college newspapers and have drawn critical commentaries such as this one in the Daily Princetonian by Michael Collins (“Truth in egg-donor advertising”).  He closes with the following paragraph: “College newspapers are tasked with providing their communities the best possible news and information.  This charge should not end in the newsroom but should continue into the business office.  With a lack of governmental regulation, the current system of free-market driven egg donation is prone to the same neglect and extravagances of Wall Street.  The recent economic meltdown should stand as a reminder to the dangers of an unregulated market.”

New York state’s stem cell agency voted to allow payments to women providing eggs for research purposes only.  There is likely to be increasing pressure for other states and stem cell programs to follow suit.  A recent editorial in NATURE magazine (v. 460, 27 Aug. 2009, p. 1057) states the following:

“…..More states should take New York's lead, and allow researchers to pay for egg donation.  The potential for coercion, although real, is manageable. And the technique's move to the clinic would certainly be faster, and arguably more ethical, if donors were paid (C. Thompson Regen. Med. 2, 203--209; 2007)” (read full article).

The ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of Breast Cancer Action, Our Bodies Ourselves, other women’s health organizations, researchers, medical organizations and individual women charging that it is unconstitutional to patent our genes.  The lawsuit challenges the patents that were granted to Myriad Genetics that give it exclusive control of two genes, BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, mutations of which are associated with increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

The Pro-Choice Alliance for Responsible Research, the Center for Genetics and Society, Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice, Generations Ahead and the National Women’s Health Network filed an amicus brief highlighting the impact of gene patents on women’s health, in particular for women of color.  The monopoly on the breast and ovarian cancer genes give one company, Myriad Genetics, total control on testing and research on these genes.  Myriad has used its patent to stop the development of better and cheaper tests, to control the types the research that can be done, and to own all of the genetic information resulting from the tests.  For example, when black women are tested for the BRCA1/2 genes, they are more likely to receive ambiguous results.  To date, Myriad has not prioritized research into those questions, and since Myriad controls over 95 percent of the data from tests in the United States, women of color are denied critical information they need to improve their chances of survival from breast and ovarian cancer.  For more information, see www.bcaction.org, www.aclu.org and www.geneticsandsociety.org

Management and Sustainability Task Force Report

Co-Chairs  Lisa A. Hare , JSI, 1616 North Fort Myer Drive, 11th Floor, Arlington, VA 22209,  Phone: (703) 528-7474,   E-mail: lhare@jsi.com, and Erica Fishman, Minnesota Department of Health, P.O. Box 64882, St. Paul, MN 55164-0882, Phone: (651) 201-5899, E-Mail:  erica.fishman@state.mn.us

The Task Force serves as a means to increase communication on management and sustainability issues, with a particular focus on sharing experiences between those members working internationally and those working domestically.  This year we revised the listing in the “Call for Abstracts” to clarify our focus:  Program Sustainability, Finance, and Management.  At the Task Force meeting at the upcoming Philadelphia meeting we plan to have discussions in these areas.  If you have suggestions for specific topics, please submit them to the co-chairs at any time. We hope that you can join us for the Task Force meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m., in Marriott 409.

For further information on the Management and Sustainability Task Force, please contact the Task Force co-chairs (contact information above). 

Men and Reproductive Health Task Force Report

Chair Paul G. Whittaker , Family Planning Council, 260 South Broad Street, Suite 1000, Philadelphia, PA 19102, Phone: (215) 985-6769, E-mail: paulw@familyplanning.org

 

This year, initiatives are under way such that we can hopefully progress from viewing male reproductive health in the context of a problem for female reproductive health to seeing it as part of the solution. A Title X national research program is under way to demonstrate the feasibility of expanding male reproductive health services at existing clinics.  As part of this, staff will become more involved in inviting men into clinics and providing appropriate services; environmental adjustments will be made to make clinics seem less female orientated; and community enterprises will publicize the availability of these services.  One aim is to avoid diminishing the provision of female reproductive health services.

 

A Global Symposium on Engaging Boys and Men took place in Rio de Janeiro in April 2009.  A great range of diverse and exciting work with men and communities was highlighted.  A far-reaching Declaration and Call to Action was agreed and can be viewed here.  Achieving these aims will require both structural shifts (changes in the way reproductive health services are provided) and cultural shifts.  It is far from universally accepted that gender equity is in everyone's best interests.  Also, men must become more educated and participatory in their reproductive health.  While there is evidence that young men in particular are interested, male reproductive health services must be grounded within the context of male health in general, since for many men with poor access to health care, environmental issues such as poverty, violence and general health concerns are of much greater concern on a daily basis.

 

Please join us to discuss these and other issues at the Men and Reproductive Health Task Force meeting at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, Nov. 8, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Other Committee and Task Force Information

Action Board

Board Representative Lois Uttley, Education Fund of Family Planning Advocates of NYS, 17 Elk St., Albany, NY 12207, Phone: (518) 436-8408, Fax: (518) 436-1048,  E-mail: Lois@mergerwatch.org

 

Resolutions Committee

No contact information available

 

Abortion Task Force

Co-Chairs Lisa Maldonado, Reproductive Health Access Project, P.O. Box 21191, New York, NY  10025,  E-mail:  lmm9@earthlink.net, and Diana Romero, Urban Public Health Program, Hunter College, City University of New York, 425 E. 25th St, Box 807, Rm. 714 New York, NY 10010, Phone: (212) 481-5073, E-mail: diana.romero@hunter.cuny.edu  

 

Adolescent Health Task Force

Co-Chairs John Santelli, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Clinical Population & Family Health, Heilbrunn Department of Population & Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 60 Haven Ave., B-2, New York, New York 10032,   Phone: (212) 304-5634,  Fax: (212) 305-7024,  E-mail: js2637@columbia.edu, Iris Meltzer, Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron, One Perkins Square, Akron, OH 44308,  Phone: (330) 543-8914,  E-mail: imeltzer@chmca.org, and Susan Newcomer, DBSB/CPR/NICHD, 6100 Executive Blvd, Building 61E, Room 8B13, Bethesda, MD 20892-7510, Phone: (301) 496-1174,         E-mail:  newcomes@mail.nih.gov 

 

Sexuality Task Force Report

Chair Jenny Higgins, Office of Population Research & The Center for Health & Wellbeing Princeton University, 218 Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544, Phone: (609) 258-6961, E-Mail: jennyh@princeton.edu

On The Hill

Craig Lasher, Senior Policy Analyst, Population Action International, 1120 19th St, NW, Suite 550, Washington, DC 20036  clasher@popact.org

 

After Labor Day, Congress returned to Capitol Hill after a month-long August recess to face a full agenda that was be dominated by high-stakes negotiations on climate change and health care reform.  Also on the docket were all 12 must-pass appropriations bills for fiscal year 2010, including the State Department-foreign operations bill that contains funding and policy guidance for international family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programs.

 

Prospects for major advances on FP/RH funding and policy are high as the Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress have moved decisively to reassert U.S. leadership in the FP/RH field internationally and to reverse the disastrous legacy that the Bush administration left after eight years in office.

 

FY 2010 Appropriations

 

On July 9, two significant steps forward were made on both ends of Capitol Hill to bolster U.S. government support and funding for sexual and reproductive health programs and to advance sound, evidence-based public health policies governing future U.S. assistance.  While these positive developments on funding and policy still have to work their way through the legislative process, the successes bode well for a return to constructive involvement by the United States in international efforts to achieve universal access to reproductive health care.

 

First, on the policy front, the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment to prevent a future President, hostile to reproductive rights, from unilaterally re-imposing by executive action the harmful Mexico City Policy/Global Gag Rule, which prohibited U.S. family planning assistance from being provided to any foreign organizations that perform, counsel and refer, or advocate for abortion using non-U.S. government funds. The amendment was offered by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) to the FY 2010 appropriations bill (S. 1434) funding the U.S. foreign assistance program and the operations of the U.S. State Department. Although the language was attached to an annual appropriation bill, the provision amends the permanent law governing U.S. overseas aid programs.

 

Even though President Obama repealed the Global Gag Rule in January shortly after being inaugurated, reports from the field in developing countries indicate there is a reluctance by some USAID missions and U.S.-funded organizations to work with FP/RH service providers — most notably the country affiliates of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International — who had been denied U.S. FP/RH assistance (both funds and U.S.-donated contraceptive supplies) under the Bush administration as a result of the Gag Rule.

 

This reluctance is reportedly due to uncertainty about whether those organizations and others will be able to continue to participate in a project over its full five-year period or will be forced to drop off the project team if the Gag Rule were to be reinstated under a new administration.  The concern about partnering with these affected groups will almost certainly intensify as the next presidential election in 2012 approaches, which is why including this permanent legislative “fix” now is so important.

 

The House-approved version of the bill does not include the anti-Gag Rule provision, but the House Democratic leadership has indicated they would accept it in the final reconciliation of the House and Senate bills in conference later this year. Potentially, this is a great victory.

 

Second, on the funding front, the full House of Representatives on July 9 gave final approval of its version of the FY 2010 appropriations bill (H.R. 3081) containing $648.5 million for bilateral and multilateral FP/RH programs, including a $60 million U.S. contribution to the UN Population Fund. If enacted, this funding level would represent the largest amount ever for these programs, not accounting for inflation.  Any way you measure it, the $648.5 million level proposed for FY 2010 would represent a major increase:

 

·      19 percent — or $103 million — above the FY 2009 appropriated level of $545 million;

·      9 percent — or $55 million — above the President’s FY 2010 budget request of $593 million; and

·      over the last two years, a 40 percent increase over the FY 2008 appropriation of $464 million.

 

In addition, the Senate committee-approved bill includes a total of $628.5 million for international FP/RH, including $50 million for UNFPA. Given the robust levels contained in the House and Senate bills working their way through the appropriations process, significant funding increases for our issues are likely in the upcoming fiscal year.

 

Timing for Senate floor action on its version of the State-foreign operations bill is not expected before late September.  The bill is one of eight appropriations measures that the Senate has yet to approve, so completion of the FY 2010 appropriations process before the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1 appears doubtful.  Consideration of the foreign aid bill may be complicated by the inclusion of the Lautenberg gag rule repeal amendment, even though FP/RH supporters should have a cloture-proof majority enabling them to overcome any delaying tactics by opponents.  Stay tuned and contact your Senators and urge them to approve the State-foreign operations bill in a timely manner and oppose any efforts to strike the Lautenberg amendment.

 

Advocates remain guardedly optimistic that the final FY 2010 appropriations bill presented to President Obama for his signature will contain a significant funding increase for FP/RH programs and a permanent legislative prohibition preventing a future president from re-imposing the Gag Rule. 

 

New PEPFAR Guidance Calls for Greater Coordination with FP/RH Activities

 

In July, the Obama administration once again signaled a new day for FP/RH and maternal and child health (MCH), this time within the U.S. government’s largest health assistance program, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In the annual Country Operational Plan (COP) guidance for FY 2010 sent to the field, the Obama administration makes clear that effective HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment requires coordination with other health, education and gender initiatives.  A review of the much-anticipated COP guidance to country teams gives the FP/RH community reason to celebrate, as well as get proactive where PEPFAR is concerned.

 

This year’s COP encourages greater coordination with FP/RH and MCH, early and often throughout the document. This is a necessary first step to linking and integrating PEPFAR with relevant U.S.-supported health programs, services and supplies. And it is a welcome departure from previous COP guidelines, which increasingly erected barriers between FP/RH and HIV/AIDS within U.S. development assistance.

 

It is now up to PEPFAR country teams and implementing NGOs to respond with strategies and programs to maximize FP/RH, MCH and HIV/AIDS linkages in their country context. The guidance is not prescriptive and appears to give considerable leeway to a range of approaches: from “wraparound” programs, to co-location of services, to formal referral systems. Although the Mexico City Policy/Global Gag Rule never applied to PEPFAR funds, it was uncommon for local FP/RH agencies to receive PEPFAR grants for their HIV/AIDS work.  This new PEPFAR guidance should dispel any concerns and misinterpretations about the eligibility of indigenous FP/RH organizations to implement PEPFAR-funded activities.

 

For excerpts of the old Bush administration COP compared to the new COP from the Obama administration, please see an analysis at the following link:

http://www.populationaction.org/Issues/U.S._Policies_and_Funding/Washington_Memo/Index.shtml#guidelines

 

 

Abortion and the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues

 

On June 10, the House approved a two-year State Department authorization bill (H.R. 2410) after blocking Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) from adding additional abortion-related restrictions to the statutory language creating a new Office for Global Women’s Issues at the State Department.

 

The Smith amendment would have explicitly defined the duties of the global women’s office to include many important tasks regarding the economic, political and legal empowerment of women, but he also included in his laundry list such activities as establishing “pregnancy care centers” overseas and preventing sex-selection abortions.

 

More importantly, the amendment sought to expand existing statutory prohibitions on the use of U.S. funds to “lobby for or against abortion” by preventing the global women’s office from lobbying on abortion law or policy in other nations or “support[ing] any resolution or other document or participat[ing] in any activity of a multilateral organization or other entity that criticizes or seeks to alter such laws or policies in foreign countries.”

 

Concerned that the vote on final passage might be close, the House Democratic leadership sought by including in the “manager’s amendment” a provision in the section of the bill creating the global women’s office stating that nothing in the section should be construed to change existing law preventing the use of U.S. funds for abortion or for abortion lobbying.

 

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has yet to begin work on its version of a State Department authorization, so the fate of the legislation is uncertain.

 

What You Can Do

 

As a constituent, voter, and public health professional, your well-informed opinion on these vital programs has tremendous credibility and carries great weight with your Senators and Representative.  Educate yourself and your friends, families and colleagues on the positions of your members of Congress.  Please let them know what you think about any or all or all of these policies.

2009 Annual Meeting Program Plans

Chair-Elect Barbara Anderson, Seattle , WA , Phone (206) 365-0161, E-mail: bandersoncnm@gmail.com

 

Thanks to all who participated so graciously and willingly to make this year’s program  exciting, comprehensive and diverse. I am most grateful for the tremendous cooperation from the Section members — submission of abstracts, abstract reviews, volunteering to serve as moderators, assisting with communications, and program organization — the list goes on.

 

We have collaborated on a number of sessions, and I would particularly like to acknowledge this collaborative effort. One session not to miss is the one our Section is co-sponsoring with the International Health Section: The Allan Rosenfield Commemorative Session in International Maternal and Child Health on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 4:30 p.m.

 

This year’s APHA theme, “Water and Public Health” reminds us of the link between the environment and population, reproductive and sexual health. You will find sessions focusing on these intersections from both domestic and global perspectives as well as a wide variety of topics related to our Section’s focus.

 

The Abortion, Adolescent Health, Men’s Reproductive Health and Sexuality Tasks Forces will meet at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8 in the Marriott.  Task Force meetings held on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. include Emerging Reproductive Technologies and Management and Sustainability Task Force, also in the Marriott.  I encourage your participation in these Task Force meetings, which are essential to the messages and outreach of our Section.

 

Our Section Council business meeting will be on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. followed by a Meet and Greet.  The Section awards will be presented on Monday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. followed by a lovely reception.  Thanks to Susan Newcomer for her efforts with these events.  It will be a special time for the Section, and our chair, Rebecka Lundgren, will be making announcements about this.  Then on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at the early hour of 7 a.m., we will have our second Section Council meeting. As the in-coming chair, I will lead this meeting, and I hope to make it a time for brainstorming and discussing your priorities for the next year.

 

At the Annual Meeting, PRSH will be offering 25 panels and 10 poster sessions. A very special thanks to Farya Karim for her most capable and unfailing assistance in this program planning process. Our Section members are well represented both in presentations and as moderators.

 

From Monday, Nov. 9 through Wednesday, Nov 11, PRSH is sponsoring 25 panels on a wide range of topics.  Also, our 10 poster sessions are in line with the conference theme and present excellent and diverse perspectives.  We are continuing, for the second year, to include a student poster session.  The poster sessions will be presented Monday, Nov. 9 through Tuesday, Nov. 10.  Our Section had many requests from other Sections to cosponsor their sessions and the full PRSH program includes those as well.

 

At a time of national debate on the critical issues in health care, our Section has much to say about population, reproductive and sexual health.  Our full program reflects this debate, and I invite you to participate fully!

 

Looking forward to seeing you at the APHA Annual Meeting. 

 

Barbara Anderson

Chair-Elect

Member News

Mireille (Mickey) Aramati MPH, Global Health Consultant has been nominated and selected to receive the Boston University School of Public Health Distinguished Alumni Award. She will be receiving her award during the BUSPH reception on Monday, Nov. 9, 2009 at the APHA Annual Meeting.
 
Congratulations Mickey!

New Resources

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. 

 

The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) is proud to offer two powerful, free Web tools for students, faculty and professionals who frequently present on reproductive health topics.

The Global Opportunities Tool (GO Tool)

Discover unique educational and training experiences in reproductive health settings around the world.

Any health care student interested in broadening their reproductive health training may search the GO Tool for clinical and non-clinical opportunities using an interactive flash map.  Users can share sites via e-mail, write an online review of their experience, and access supplementary travel and funding resources.  Organizations can recruit students by listing program information online.

Curricula Organizer for Reproductive Health Education (CORE)

Access reproductive health teaching materials or build your own dynamic curricula for learners.

CORE is an open access tool featuring peer-reviewed, evidence-based teaching materials on a variety of reproductive health topics. It is a collaborative effort of organizations working to improve the quality and quantity of reproductive health information included in health professions education.  Users can search and download thousands of individual PowerPoint slides, complete presentation sets, case studies, and learning activities to develop comprehensive educational presentations. 

 

Fighting for Reproductive Rights in War-affected Countries

New research shows notable inequity in distribution of aid for reproductive health activities in conflict-affected countries, despite an overwhelming need. A recent study undertaken by RAISE (Reproductive Health Access, Information, and Services in Emergencies), a joint initiative of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Marie Stopes International, the UK's leading provider of sexual and reproductive health care services, found that while reproductive health needs are particularly acute in countries at war, such countries receive much less targeted aid than peaceful nations.

The study was conducted by King’s College London, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the RAISE Initiative; it analyzed aid disbursements for reproductive health activities to 18 conflict-affected countries from 2003 to 2006.

The findings show that an annual average of $1.30 official development assistance (ODA) was disbursed per capita in the 18 sampled countries for reproductive health activities. Countries not affected by conflict received 53 percent more ODA for reproductive health activities than conflict-affected countries, despite the latter generally having greater reproductive health needs. Although ODA disbursed for HIV/AIDS activities to conflict-affected countries increased by 119 percent from 2003 to 2006, the ODA disbursed for other main reproductive health activities, including family planning, declined by 35 percent over the same period.

This is the first evidence of inequity in disbursement of aid for reproductive health between conflict-affected countries, in comparison with non-conflict-affected countries, and between different reproductive health activities. The findings of this study are consistent with the outcome of a RAISE study (forthcoming) assessing the extent to which reproductive health is addressed in national and international humanitarian policies. The RAISE policy study suggests that while polices and guidelines related to HIV/AIDS and/or gender-based violence are well represented, references to family planning and emergency obstetric care are lacking. 

Published in the online medical journal PLoS Medicine, “Tracking of official development assistance for reproductive health in conflict-affected countries” is the first systematic analysis of ODA disbursement for RH to conflict-affected countries. The full paper is freely available at http://medicine.plosjournals.org.

A two-page summary of the research is available at http://www.raiseinitiative.org/library/pdf/fs_funding_uk.pdf. 

The RAISE Initiative seeks to bring about change in the way reproductive health in emergencies is addressed by all actors involved. One of the core goals of the program is to generate evidence-based data in order to highlight existing gaps, challenges, and opportunities to promote access to quality reproductive health services in humanitarian settings at policy and operational levels.

Call For Highlights from the 2009 Annual Meeting

Reminder!  If you attend the 2009 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, please send a brief write-up to Danielle Suchdev on interesting research findings or new approaches that you encounter.  Also, if you take any photos of memorable moments that would be of interest to fellow PRSH colleagues, we'd love to see them!  We will share the best of these Annual Meeting highlights in the spring 2010 newsletter.

APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition

Register for the meeting  and make your hotel reservation  soon (housing closes Oct. 9). Note: Presenters must be individual members of APHA to present their paper(s) and must register in advance for the meeting. Session organizers and moderators are also required to be members and pay the appropriate registration fee. Hope to see you in Philadelphia!

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!

View the Career Guidance Center Web site

Submissions to the Newsletter

Share your news!  Let us know about books or papers you have recently published, upcoming conferences you are involved in, or policy or program news that might be of interest to fellow Section members.  Perhaps we can abstract an article or include a description of an innovative program.  Please send all submissions by Friday, May 14, 2010 to:

Danielle B. Suchdev, MPH

Division of Reproductive Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

E-mail: DBJackson@cdc.gov