Public Health Education and Health Promotion
Section Newsletter
Spring 2010

Newer Alternative Form of Tobacco Use Among Adolescents and Youth

Seema I. Hassan, MBBS, MPH, CPH

In 2006, a cross-sectional  pilot study was conducted to assess the  cardiovascular risk factors and behavior among 10-13.7-year-old children from two middle schools in Karachi, Pakistan. When questioned about tobacco use, 21.9 percent had tried cigarettes and 30 percent reported  regular exposure to second hand smoke. Alarmingly, about 40 percent had tried hookah [waterpipe/shisha], and many of them were encouraged to try by their parents. Though hookah has been a traditional form of smoking among adults in the Subcontinent, it has gained in popularity with younger users who commonly share the pipe in cafes and other social gatherings. Hookah  is deceptively deemed innocuous because of the chemicals  being filtered over water and the flavorful tastes.  

Hookah bars are also operating in the United States,  ranging from about 300 in 2006 to 470 in 2008, with an average of five bars opening every month, according to Hookah use is a growing trend among youth in  North America.

There needs to be more awareness among adolescents, youth, parents, pediatricians and public health educators regarding this alternate form of tobacco use and the increased risk for disease such as oral cancer, mouth infections, hepatitis and tuberculosis besides those due to traditional form of smoking such as heart disease, lung and bladder cancer and lower birthweight among pregnant women and the risks to people exposed to the secondhand smoke.  This trend, if not thwarted now, could be the next form of widespread tobacco use among this generation of users. 

Voices from the Field

"A Mixed Method Study Pertaining to the Level of Knowledge About Alzheimer's Disease Among African American Caregivers"

Tammy L. Chavis, PhD, MBA

There is a scarcity of research and a lack of knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in African American communities. This lack of knowledge can prevent proper care and the use of services. The purpose of this mixed method study was to provide research on the relationship between each of the following variables: level of knowledge about AD, length of time as a caregiver, burden of caregiving, and help-seeking behavior among 42 African American caregivers in a northeastern U.S. city. An additional purpose was to identify the predictors of the level of knowledge about AD. Social cognitive theory was used to describe the relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variable. A mixed method sequential embedded design, phenomenology, and a model of help-seeking approaches guided the qualitative and quantitative phases of the study. Data were collected via questionnaires and analyzed utilizing Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient and multiple regressions. Data were also collected via interviews utilizing Moustakas’ modification of the Van Kaam method of analysis of phenomenological data (MVKMAP). Findings of the correlation analyses indicated that there was a correlation between level of education and knowledge about AD as well as between help-seeking behavior and level of education. Findings of the regression analysis indicated that level of education was the only predictor of the level of knowledge about AD. Findings of the MVKMAP suggested that there were misconceptions and lack of awareness about AD among the participants. This study identified a need for developing AD educational programs within African American communities.

Health Education and Health Promotion Tools

Susan G. Komen for the Cure®  Educational Materials Catalog  

Erica Kuhn

Are you in need of educational resources for a breast cancer program or event?  Or perhaps you need materials for your local clinic or breast center. If so, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has what you need. Check out Komen for the Cure’s Educational Materials Catalog at for a comprehensive listing of all of our educational materials. The materials are arranged by specific audience categories, making this a fast and easy reference for finding the material that best meets your needs.   

Our goal is to provide information on breast health and breast cancer topics that empower people to make informed choices about their health and welfare.  We provide research-based information on prevention, risk, screening, diagnosis, treatment, quality care and survivorship/quality of life issues. Our educational resources address issues throughout the breast cancer experience – from the healthy to the watchful waiters, pre-diagnosed, worried, newly diagnosed, and survivors undergoing treatment and post treatment – as well as co-survivors and providers. The materials are developed for specific audiences based upon Health Education theory, the literature and the results of our own needs assessment. 

More information about our materials, including the price and a free downloadable PDF of each material, is available on the Komen website under Shop Komen at


Life Without Tobacco…

Ann D. Fritz
Resource Development Manager
North Central District Health Department

What would life be like without tobacco?  A thought that has been passed around at community meetings and through casual conversation among people in north-central Nebraska until a group of individuals took the challenge and placed action to this  idea.  he group became known as the North Central Nebraska Tobacco Intervention Coalition. The Coalition’s vision came naturally; Life without Tobacco. 

The Coalition, made up of several community leaders from a nine county area, recognized the importance of education, building resources and providing expertise designed to reduce tobacco use by youth. The Coalition’s vision not only represents their unified purpose, but also identifies the many problems youth everywhere are faced with today. 

The embers of the Coalition’s efforts began to ignite focus on three areas of intervention:  1) to initiate an area Youth Tobacco Prevention Summit;  2)  to involve youth of the area with plans, activities and equip them with education about the dangers of tobacco use; and  3)  to assess and improve school tobacco policies by providing guidance and illustration of local issues at hand. 

The North Central Nebraska Tobacco Intervention Coalition then took another step forward and produced a Lessons Learned document. This document guided members to solidify the need for expansion of efforts into the lifespan. Life without Tobacco ignited the insight to include the entire population in the geographic area.

The development of intervention phases and identified recommendations for revision of school tobacco policies and lessons learned, secured the beginning for Life without Tobacco in north-central Nebraska.

San Antonio Teens’ Photos Raise Awareness of Tobacco Issues

Cliff Despres

Communications Manager, Institute for Health Promotion Research

Communications Coordinator, Salud America! and SaludToday

Memorial High School student Victor Hernandez points to his photograph of a smoked cigarette butt lodged in the crack of a sidewalk. 

The photo caption: “Cigarettes get between everything.” 

“People might dream to be a doctor, lawyer – then cigarettes get introduced,” Victor said of the photo’s meaning. “With every cigarette it gets harder and harder to quit, you get closer to death. Your original dream goes away.” 

Victor is one of eight students from Kennedy and Memorial high schools in San Antonio who recently partook in a “Photovoice Smoke-Free” project, where students took photos and wrote captions to visually describe tobacco problems to policy-makers. 

The project, sponsored by the San Antonio Tobacco Prevention and Control Coalition, paired tobacco prevention researchers at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Heath Science Center at San Antonio with students in the Youth Against Gang Activity program of the Family Service Association. 

For several Saturdays in recent months, the students studied photography, walked their neighborhoods and took pictures. 

Then they met to discuss their photos, write captions and create presentation boards. 

Statistics show that middle-school youths in San Antonio have a higher percentage of tobacco use (13.6 percent) than their counterparts in the rest of Texas (9.5 percent). 

“A lot of people say, ‘Oh, don’t smoke, and this and that.’ But it’s in our homes,” said Christian Alarcon-Avila, a Photovoice participant. “It’s not just in advertisements and commercials. It’s in our homes. It’s all around us.” 

See project results at


SOPHE offers Self-Study Opportunities for Health Education Specialists   

The economic downturn has made it prohibitive for many public health professionals to travel to meetings and stay abreast of contemporary developments in health promotion and health education. SOPHE remains committed to providing professional development opportunities for professionals to independently advance their skills and knowledge in an array of topic areas through web seminars (webinars). Several webinars covering a range of topic areas are currently available for download on the SOPHE website.  

The webinars include:

· Let’s Dish: Food Safety at the Table

·  An Overview of Climate Change Science and Impacts to

  Human Health

·  Communicating Needs to State Legislatures in the 

  Current Economic Climate

·  Branding Your Health Education Career: Positioning

  Yourself for Success

· Marketing Yourself: Taking Flight and Lifting Your Career

  to New Heights

·  Innovative Approaches to Reducing Racial & Ethnic Health


· Fostering Healthy Communities: Preventing Chronic Disease

  by Activating Grassroots Change

· Emergency Communication and Response with Racial, Ethnic 

  and Minority Communities

· Injury Prevention & Public Policy: Strategies and Opportunities

  for Action


To access these webinars and SOPHE journal self-study test opportunities, please visit: Be sure to regularly check the calendar on to learn about upcoming events.  


Save the Date!— SOPHE’s 61st Annual Meeting, “Healthy People 2020: Scaling New Heights” 

SOPHE’s 2010 Annual Meeting, “Healthy People 2020: Scaling New Heights” will take place Nov. 4-6 at the Marriot Hotel in Denver. At this conference, speakers and presenters will share progress and discovery in disease prevention and health promotion, discuss goals and expectations for the next decade, and describe innovative strategies for achieving those objectives.   

Public health professionals working in disease prevention and health promotion have much to celebrate and still more to discover. At the conclusion of the Healthy People (HP) 2010 decade, we should pause to take stock of our achievements and learn from our challenges. 

SOPHE recently announced an exciting panel for a featured plenary session, Mile High Expectations.  Presenters will address research, programs, and policy changes needed to achieve HP 2020 objectives; health determinants and health impact assessments used to promote public health, and how this work needs to be delivered and assessed in the midst of a struggling economy.  Presenters for the session include:

·                      Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, vice-chair of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020

·                      Rear Admiral Penelope Slade-Sawyer, PT, MSW, Deputy Assistant Secretary 
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

·                      Doug Evans, PhD, member of the Secretary of Health and Human Service’s National Advisory Committee on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention


To learn more about the conference, please visit   


Health Reform Has Been Enacted… Now What?  

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (H. R. 3590), and its companion bill, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) were signed into law on March 23 and March 30, respectively. Although many of the major provisions do take effect until 2014, some key reforms will begin in 2010 and 2011, including:

Temporary access to insurance for people with preexisting conditions: On June 21, a program to provide coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions who have not had insurance for at least six months will be created;

No preexisting condition restrictions for children: On Sept. 23, insurance plans will be prohibited from excluding coverage for preexisting conditions for children 19 or younger;

Expanded dependent coverage: On Sept. 23, adult children ages 26 or younger may be covered as dependents on their parents’ health insurance;

Immunizations and preventative services: On Sept. 23, new plans must cover recommended preventive services and immunizations without requiring cost sharing.

Creating a National Health Care Workforce Commission: By Sept. 30, the Comptroller General will appointment members to the Commission to develop and offer health care career pathways, including “allied health and public health care workforce capacity at all levels.”


SOPHE has developed a two-page factsheet that outlines the implementation of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  For more details on these critically important provisions, please visit  


New Textbook, Health Promotion Programs, is Available for Order  
Order for your fall semester today!

SOPHE’s comprehensive undergraduate textbook, Health Promotion Programs introduces the theory of health promotion and presents an overview of current best practices from a wide variety of settings that include schools, health care organizations, workplace, and community. The 43 contributors focus on students and professionals interested in planning, implementing, and evaluating programs that promote health equity. The textbook covers a range of key organizational health promoting practices, such as: identifying organizational key stakeholders, articulating challenges, assessing needs and assets, building evidence-based health education programs and services, funding and budgeting, evaluation, advocacy, and professional development. This vital resource for faculty, students, and professionals provides the needed guidance and tools for a career in health promotion. 

To learn more about this publication and/or to place an order, see  


Special Issues of Health Promotion Practice focus on Youth Health Disparities, Environmental Health Promotion  

SOPHE announces the release of two special issues of its practitioner journal, Health Promotion Practice (HPP), in May 2010. 

Funded by CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (CDC DASH), the supplement Reducing Health Disparities Among Youth: Promising Strategies features articles about practice-based programs aimed at reducing disparities affecting children and adolescents.  Co-edited by David A. Birch, PhD, CHES and Antonia Villaruell, PhD, FAAN, the issue addresses a range of health topics — including physical activity, sexual behavior, and immunizations in a variety of settings.  Highlighted programs utilize individual, family, and community approaches to address not only behavior change, but also to create environments and opportunities that will sustain optimal health and development.

Accompanying the supplement is a focus issue on Environmental Health Promotion. Funded by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, this special issue highlights practice-based programs aimed at facing complex, multi-dimensional environmental challenges. Featured articles highlight programs that increase preparedness for chemical disasters, reduce carbon monoxide exposure, promote food and home safety among U.S.-Mexico border residents, and modify the built environment to improve individual- and community health. Collectively, the articles underscore the importance of community participation in environmental decisions, the need for accurate and timely public education to reduce hazardous exposures, and partnerships. 

HPP publishes authoritative, peer-reviewed articles devoted to the practical application of health promotion and education.  To view articles online or to order a print copy of these issues, please visit 


SOPHE’s Award Deadline is July 31; Nominate a Colleague or a Program Today! 

The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) recognizes outstanding contributions to health education and health promotion at its Annual Awards Banquet, which be held this year in Denver on Nov. 6, in conjuction with the Society’s 61st Annual Meeting.  SOPHE encourages the nomination of deserving colleagues or your own program.  

Awards include:

·                     Distinguished Fellow

·                     Health Education Mentor Award

·                     Program Excellence Awards

·                     Open Society Award

·                     Graduate Student Research Paper

·                     Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarship


Applications for these awards are due on July 31. You can find specific information about the awards and application forms at  Please consider a nomination and encourage your colleagues to do so as well.  


David S. Sobel Named 2010 SOPHE Honorary Fellow

David S. Sobel, MD, MPH, has been named SOPHE's 2010 Honorary Fellow, the highest award bestowed on a non-member who has made significant and lasting contributions to health and health education.  
Dr. Sobel is Director of Patient Education and Health Promotion for The Permanente Medical Group, Inc. and Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Region. A primary care physician, he also led the national initiative on Patient-Centered Care for Kaiser Permanente’s Care Management Institute, which is dedicated to synthesizing knowledge about superior clinical approaches to ensure the highest quality care delivered to Kaiser Permanente members. He serves on the Northern California Region Contributions Committee, which provides funding and technical support for low-income and safety-net populations, community organizations, and community health initiatives.  
“David Sobel has been an inspirational champion for health education and chronic disease management,” said SOPHE President Dr. Diane Allensworth. “We are proud to confer on him SOPHE’s 2010 Honorary Fellow Award and support his work in helping individuals prevent and manage their conditions to achieve the highest quality of life possible."  
After receiving a bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Michigan, Dr. Sobel pursued his medical training at the University of California San Francisco with a medical internship at Presbyterian Hospital-Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. He also completed a master's degree in Public Health and a residency program in General Preventive Medicine at the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.  
He will receive the award at SOPHE’s 61st Annual Meeting on Nov. 6 in Denver.


SOPHE’s Summer Webinar Series 

Stay cool this summer by checking out SOPHE’s free summer webinars!  As part of this lineup, the following hot topics will be addressed: 

Social media and policy change

Reducing health disparities among youth

Tips for getting published

Health literacy

Lay health advisors

Public health genomics

Health promotion and health education among Native American populations

…and more! 

Participants will have the opportunity to register for CHES continuing education credits (for a fee).  Visit the calendar at for more information.
















Community Health Campaigns in Santo Domingo

Helena Chapman

"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." – Henry Ford 

Health professional students from the Iberoamerican University (UNIBE) and the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, enthusiastically shared their passion for effective public health educational programs and conducted two community health campaigns. 

Tuberculosis Awareness Week!:  March 23-26, 2010

In efforts to educate the university students and employees about the spread of TB, 48 UNIBE and UASD medical and psychology students developed an educational poster display and conducted two health seminars on the stigma and spread of TB disease. Students collaborated with university libraries to display resource materials. 

Health Week!:  April 13-16, 2010

In order to motivate the university and local community to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease by adopting healthy lifestyle choices, 77 UNIBE and UASD medical, psychology and dental students designed educational posters on hypertension, obesity, diabetes mellitus, nutrition, physical exercise and strategies to reduce gum disease and cavities.  Students measured participants’ blood pressure, height/weight and abdominal circumference. 

Overall impact





Health week



March 23-26, 2010

April 13-16, 2010


# Days of activity




# Student volunteers




# Educational posters




# People who attended health fair tabling




# People who attended poster display (estimation)





UNIBE and UASD students worked together to ensure successful new community health campaigns, reaching out to more than 23,000 community members in Santo Domingo. 

“Photovoice Smoke-Free” Project

Cliff Despres

Communications Manager, Institute for Health Promotion Research

Communications Coordinator, Salud America! and SaludToday

Dr. Amelie Ramirez of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio shares the results of an innovative “Photovoice Smoke-Free” project, where eight San Antonio high-school students took photos and wrote captions to visually describe the problem of tobacco to policy- and decision-makers.

The project, sponsored by the San Antonio Tobacco Prevention and Control Coalition, paired tobacco prevention researchers at the IHPR with students in the Youth Against Gang Activity program of the Family Service Association, a San Antonio nonprofit agency.

For several Saturdays over the fall 2009 semester, the students studied photography, walked their neighborhoods and took pictures. Then they met to discuss their photos, write captions and create presentation boards. We believe that the students, who unveiled their presentation boards at a ceremony Jan. 22, 2010, at the Alameda Koehler Auditorium in San Antonio, were empowered to take social action in their community and identified important local tobacco issues.

The Institute is proud to share with you the photo book, a special commemorative publication in recognition of these students’ efforts to make San Antonio smoke-free. View the book online at

To request hard copies, e-mail us at

PHEHP Newsletter




Alminda D’Agostino, MPH, CHES


Carlos E. Rodriguez-Diaz, PhDc, MPH, CHES, CCHP


Health Education and Health Promotion News

New PSAs Promote Latino Cancer Screening 

Cliff Despres

Communications Manager, Institute for Health Promotion Research

Communications Coordinator, Salud America! and SaludToday

Watch closely here (LINK = ) as some Latino moms watch their daughters’ soccer game while tackling an unusual conversation topic – cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine.  

The moms openly tout the benefits of the vaccine in preventing cancer. 

Latinos too often neglect their higher risk of cancer, so this public service announcement and five others like it are vital to promote screening and early detection among Latinos, who suffer unequal burdens of breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. 

The six new PSAs are airing on TV stations across the country. 

The 30-second TV spots, each in English and Spanish, encourage Latinos to learn more about screening tests available for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers by calling the NCI’s Cancer Information Service toll-free telephone number (1-800-4CANCER).  

The PSAs are culturally appropriate and developed by cancer experts at Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network, a National Cancer Institute initiative that is based at the IHPR. 

Watch the PSAs at – everyone could use a reminder to protect themselves and their family from cancer. 

For Girl Scouts, Photos are a First Step to Boost Physical Activity

Cliff Despres

Communications Manager, Institute for Health Promotion Research

Communications Coordinator, Salud America! and SaludToday

On Feb. 15, 2010, Girl Scouts from the San Antonio and Edgewood independent school districts started their involvement in the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio’s Photovoice project. The girls split up into small groups and took photos outside the Avenida Guadalupe Girl Scout Center in San Antonio’s West Side – all to answer the question, “What makes it easy and what makes it hard to be physically active in your neighborhood?” They will go on several more excursions before presenting their photos to the community. IHPR researchers Dr. Deborah M. Parra-Medina and Laura Esparza will use the photos and other community feedback to design an intervention that increases moderate to vigorous physical activity among adolescent – and particularly Hispanic – girls. Read more about the project at

Statewide Pan Flu Awareness Program for Employees

Sylvia H. Bookbinder, MPH, CHES

In May 2006, a cabinet level pandemic influenza tabletop exercise was held in New Jersey. The After Action Report recommended that a focus group be held to develop a course of action for a statewide pandemic influenza education program.  The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) conducted the focus group and determined the target audience, general content, method to be used, and length of the program. NJDHSS obtained funding from the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. The project was sub-contracted to Rutgers University’s Office of Continuing Professional Education, with subject matter expertise and oversight provided by NJDHSS.   

The target audience is all  4 million public and private workers in New Jersey.  Six online modules were developed: pan flu basics, personal planning, risk reduction, emotional aspects, scarce resources, and self-help. They can be accessed through the Internet, burned on a CD, or placed on a company’s intranet.  Modules consist of narrated slides illustrated with many photos.  The script can be read simultaneously. Interactive quizzes are interspersed in the modules. The online version was adapted for printing hard copies for workers who lack computer access, and the entire program was translated into Spanish. Each module is under 15 minutes long. The English version was pilot tested through public and private employers in New Jersey.   

At the conclusion of the program, workers take a final quiz and can have a results sheet as proof of course completion.   

In June 2009, the program was made available on the NJDHSS website:

Participant Centered Education eLearning Modules now available!

Adrienne Paige Mullock, MPH, CHES

Knowing that the interaction between counselor and participant powerfully influences participants’ change behaviors, the Oregon WIC program has adopted a ‘participant centered’ approach to communication.  In 2009, Oregon WIC collaborated with the Arizona WIC program to design and produce interactive, multi-media, online training modules to train staff on how to use participant centered education (PCE).   

There are 10 PCE eLearning Modules. The first is an introductory module that includes a 15 minute video clip of a WIC certification, used to set the stage of how PCE looks in a WIC clinic. The other nine modules use high quality video clips, Flash-based interactions, and dynamic scenario based activities to highlight specific key active listening skills, such as: using open-ended questions, reflections, summaries, and dealing with resistance.   

While these modules were designed to train WIC staff specifically, the content covered is applicable for any health professionals who communicate with participants/clients.  Where traditional online learning is most often straightforward and sterile, this new approach puts a humanistic spin on health education.  

The modules currently reside at In order to view these modules, you will need to create a user profile to gain access and then search for the courses by typing in the keyword ‘WIC’. DVDs are also available upon request. 

For more information or questions about how to access this exciting training resource, please contact Adrienne Paige Mullock, MPH, CHES, Public Health Educator for the Oregon WIC Program, at or (971) 673-0054.

Would You Like to Bring the Preconception Peer Educators Program to Your School and Community?

Isabel M. Estrada-Portales, MS
Director of Communications
Office of Minority Health Resource Center

The Office of Minority Health is looking for college students and professors to attend the Preconception Peer Educators National Training Conference, Sept. 9-11, 2010, in Chicago. Attendees will receive PPE certification. The conference would bring together students from 20 states. 

Purposefully scheduled during National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, this training and leadership development conference seeks to undescore the importance of preconception health and care on pregnancy outcomes and on decreasing infant mortality disparities in minority communities. 

The conference will focus on extending the reach and potential of existing public health programs and initiatives through the outreach work of Preconception Peer Educators (PPEs) on college, middle and high school campuses. PPEs can thus serve as a vehicle to spread the appropriate preconception health and care messages to others from a very early age. 

This conference will serve as an opportunity to not only train new students as Preconception Peer Educators, but also to build the skill set or “toolbox” of our current peer educators thus enhancing their capacity and potential to outreach and communicate key messages.  

If your state or university is interested, please e-mail us at or call (800) 444-6472.

To read learn more about the PPE Program and the conference visit: 

Preconception Peer Educators National Training Conference  

Preconception Peer Educators (PPE) Program  

Chair's Corner

Greetings, PHEHP!

I hope everyone is enjoying a healthy and productive spring/early summer. I know you are all busy with your own “real jobs.” This newsletter highlights some of your many activities and successes.  

The Health Education Advocacy Summit in March was a great success again, and PHEHP members are also making plans for future educational activities around advocacy. I hope you’ll join in these conversations and bring your own expertise to the table.  

As you know, registration is already open for the 2010 APHA Annual Meeting. Our PHEHP Program co-chairs have pulled together a variety of stimulating scientific sessions to showcase the work of health educators around the country. Plans are also under way for the Section social, and a revamped awards program to recognize the best and brightest among us. We are also looking forward to seeing pictures of a new booth/exhibit for PHEHP, as part of APHA’s investment in a “Section Pavilion” in the exhibit hall.  

If you are new to PHEHP, welcome! You have joined a large and dynamic family. If you are interested in Worksite Health or Health Communication, you will find like-minded colleagues in those Working Groups. I hope you will seek out the chairs of our committees as well to get involved in the areas of greatest interest to you. 

We are a strong and vibrant Section; I look forward to working with you!


Prioritizing and Benchmarking Preventive Service Benefits: Two New Tools from the National Business Group on Health

Cynthia Reeves Tuttle, PhD, MPH


Like any investment aimed at keeping a workforce healthy and productive, prevention has value. Chronic disease and serious acute conditions that result from preventable factors are substantial cost drivers to employers. Therefore, employers must take a strategic implementation approach to prioritize and evaluate their current preventive benefit offerings. The National Business Group on Health recently released two decision support tools to assist large employers in their preventive services purchasing decisions.


Preventive Services Prioritization Tool

Employers with limited resources or competing demands may not be able to add all recommended clinical preventive services in a single benefit revision cycle. Employers may need to prioritize which preventive benefits best suit either their fiscal or beneficiary needs. Using this interactive tool, employers will be able to:

  • Input specific employee demographics and risk behavior information; and
  • Receive a detailed list of preventive services that, at a minimum, should be covered benefits for beneficiaries.


Benchmarking Preventive Service Benefits

The Benchmarking Tool allows employers to benchmark their preventive benefits against a sample of the Business Group membership (from a study of 90 large employers) and the “gold standard” – 100 percent first-dollar coverage. This tool helps employers evaluate their current preventive benefits, address gaps in benefit offerings and strategically identify which of preventive services are meeting the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.


These interactive tools are available on the Business Group’s preventive service website at  

California’s 'Brief Me on HPV' Contest Educates Young Adults

Tammy Pilisuk, MPH

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Immunization Branch, recently launched Brief Me on HPV to increase awareness and knowledge of HPV prevention among hard-to-reach 18-26 year olds. Found at, the website features online radio streaming ads, survey questions, a promotional video and online voting for the top design.

The campaign centerpiece is a contest to create an original logo and slogan about HPV prevention to print on T-shirts.  Cash prizes go to the winning designer and to the individual who recruits the most contestants. While the prizes provide incentives to enter, the contest rules also require participants to test their knowledge of HPV.

Pew Research Center data suggest that 43 percent (20 million) of Facebook users are 18-25. The campaign will engage this audience to share HPV vaccine messages with their peers on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Campaign evaluation will tabulate:

o              survey responses on basic HPV knowledge of contest participants.

o              online poll results from website visitors asked to rate HPV health content on the campaign site. 

o              web traffic.

o              the number of contest referrals and proportion that resulted in actual participation.


Partners include CDPH’s STD Branch, the California Adolescent Health Collaborative, and the San Francisco-based Internet Sexuality Information Services (ISIS). The contest is being promoted to college health centers, school nurses, community clinics and students. A promotional postcard is available for outreach.

Brief Me on HPV continues until Sept. 1, 2010. Entries are open to adults 18 and older. However, only California residents are eligible to win. 

Head-off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana (HEAL): A Post-Katrina Asthma Intervention

Eleanor Thornton, MS, CHES, AE-C

HEAL was an observational study conducted by Tulane University, New Orleans Health Department, Louisiana State University, Rho Inc, and SRA. It was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, under the auspices of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. HEAL was one of the largest public-private partnerships established to address and support an asthma initiative post-Hurricane Katrina. 

Study objectives included implementing and evaluating a novel hybrid asthma counselor intervention tailored to address asthma morbidity risk factors associated with the post hurricane environment. Potential risk factors (e.g., exposure to environmental hazards and limited access to care) could have elevated the risk for asthma morbidity. 

From February 2007 to March 2008, 182 children with moderate-severe asthma were enrolled. The asthma counseling intervention ended August 2009. 

The intervention included key components from the NIH evidenced-based asthma counselor intervention, the National Cooperative Inner-City Asthma Study, and the environmental intervention, the Inner–City Asthma Study.  In response to the challenging and unique conditions in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina, study components were adapted to address local conditions with help from a Community Advisory Group. The intervention team included nontraditional asthma counselors, such as Certified Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers who had not been involved in the earlier NIH studies. Preliminary analyses, currently under way, suggest the asthma intervention had a strong effect for symptom reduction and may serve as a model in similar circumstances.

APHA Initiatives on Transportation and Public Health

As we all appreciate, our health is profoundly affected by our transportation decisions and options. Limited opportunities for physical activity, higher exposure to poor air quality, higher incidences of adult and childhood obesity and greater prevalence of asthma and cardiovascular disease are a few of the inequities brought by poor transportation policies.

As part of  our effort to enhance crosscutting activity  and knowledge among various APHA members   and sections, APHA is developing advocacy materials and helpful information related to the links between transportation and public health.  If anyone is interested in   learning more about this initiative, sharing success stories or lessons learned, or establishing a new Forum on Transportation and Public Health , please reach out to us!

Interested members are asked to contact Eloisa Raynault at .

Smell and Taste and Other Fact Sheets from the National Institute on Aging

Emily Glazer, MS, CHES

The smell of hot apple pie coming out of the oven can remind us of happy times. Some smells can also warn us of danger. Smell and taste are important senses that may change as people age. A fact sheet from the National Institute on Aging, Smell and Taste: Spice of Life, provides an overview of this subject and resources for more information. It describes the importance of smell and taste, possible causes of changes in these senses and how to deal with them, and suggests ways to keep eating a healthful diet when changes in taste occur during cancer treatment.

Smell and Taste: Spice of Life is part of the NIA’s series of free AgePage fact sheets on more than 40 topics of interest to older adults and caregivers. Each AgePage provides an overview of the subject and resources for more information.  Many of these fact sheets are available in Spanish. Topics address specific diseases or conditions (e.g., cancer, depression, forgetfulness), health promotion/disease prevention (e.g., exercise, healthy eating, sexuality), safety issues (e.g., fall prevention, medication use), and more. 

To download or order free copies of Smell and Taste: Spice of Life, visit or call the NIA Information Center toll-free at (800) 222-2225. For bulk quantities, visit

Other NIA AgePages and publications in English and Spanish are available at

The National Institute on Aging is part of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.