American Public Health Association
800 I Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001-3710
(202) 777-APHA • Fax: (202) 777-2534 •

Public Health Nursing
Section Newsletter
Fall 2003

Message from the Chair

Sonda Oppewal, PHN Section Chair 
Sonda Oppewal, PHN Section Chair
Sonda Oppewal, PhD, RN

Greetings to you as summer winds down and fall schedules restart. No doubt you are busy juggling work, family, friends, and a myriad of other demands. I hope everyone has had a chance this summer to rest and relax, to slow down and become refreshed. Amidst the challenges of threatening diseases, war, bioterrorist threats, diminishing work budgets, workforce shortages…the list goes on….it is imperative that we protect and nourish ourselves so that we can meet the challenges with energy and creativity.

Our program for the APHA Annual Meeting Nov. 15-19 in San Francisco is highlighted in this issue, and promises to be very informative and stimulating. Make sure you let Kathy Jaskowiak, Chair of the Program Committee, know how much you appreciate her hard work. Thanks to each program committee member! Elaine Conley in CA is working diligently with Local Arrangements Committee members and Elizabeth Murane to provide lots of west-coast hospitality. Check out our PHN Booth at the Moscone Convention Center when you are there.

The PHN Section Election results have just been announced. Congratulations to all who were nominated and agreed to run for office. Our Section cannot work without your willingness to serve!

Here are the newly elected offices from the June 2003 election:

Chair-elect: Elizabeth (Betty) Bekemeier, RN, MPH, MSN

Secretary-Elect: Derryl Block, PhD, MPH, RN

Section Council: Charmaine M. Fitzig, RN, DrPH and Feleta L. Wilson, PhD, RN

Governing Council: Julia Shovein, BSN, MSN; Sandra Walls, RN, MSN, & Armenia M. Williams, DPA, RNC, FNP

We are pleased that Beth Benedict is running for APHA Executive Board this November. Many of you know of Beth’s dedication to APHA and the PHN Section, and the very active participation she has maintained over the past years. Her “Candidate’s Statement," published in the APHA Governing Council book, is also published later in the newsletter. Thanks to Kay Kinsey and Judy Gibson, PHN Section members, who are working on her campaign, along with other colleagues at APHA.

Advocacy efforts by APHA continue at a fast and furious pace. We all have a vital role in helping with advocacy endeavors, and APHA staff have helped make our advocacy easier with resources on APHA’s web site link called “Legislation, Advocacy, and Policy." You can easily click on the 2003 priority issues, weekly legislative updates, news from APHA’s Action Board, in addition to other resources and information. More information about advocacy efforts is in this newsletter.

Member Discussion Groups do exist within APHA to offer us the opportunity to communicate with our peers. To participate in an APHA discussion group, log on to <> for directions on how to subscribe and post messages to the group. This is a resource that has often been underused.

Thank you to Newsletter Co-Editor Jacqueline Miller for a job well done over the past two years. We accept her resignation as Newsletter Co-Editor with regret, and appreciate her willingness to complete this newsletter before resigning. Please join me in welcoming Joan Dodgson who will work with Donna Westawski as Newsletter Co-Editor. Kudos to Joan for stepping in so quickly, and to Betty Daniels who continues to mentor our newsletter editors! The editors welcome news from you—so toot your horn and share your activities with us!

Hope to see you in San Francisco this November!

Sonda Oppewal

Candidacy for the APHA Executive Board

I wish to thank our Section’s leadership for a vote of confidence and a letter of support for my nomination to the APHA Executive Board slate of candidates. I have a terrific campaign committee and a substantial effort within the campaign involves our Section members. All of the committee members are equally important, have different skills and a common interest to have visionary as well as pragmatic leadership for the Association as we enter the mid years of the 2000 decade. I have a core campaign committee and two subcommittees, one for Sections and one for Affiliates. Committee members are Kay Kinsey, PHN Governing Councilor, PA Affiliate; Judy Gibson, PHN, GA Affiliate; John Moore, RN, SHES, GA Affiliate and coordinator of the Section subcommittee; Mike Smeltzer, IC&EHS and OH Affiliate - coordinator of the Affiliate subcommittee; Elsie Eyer, HA & AZ Affiliate; Sui Wong, VC & NM Affiliate; Ted Hanekamp, HA & KY Affiliate; and Gerry Eggert, GH & NY Affiliate. Peter Imery, Statistics Section is the Campaign document editor.

The PHN Section is leading the following effort in the campaign: Members of the Section are invited to participate in the campaign by offering to be on the list of persons to send a short campaign message via e-mail to the APHA Governing Councilors who live in your own State. We will send you the campaign message and the e-mail addresses of your state’s Governing Councilors. You may modify the message so that it is personal from you. Anyone who wishes to participate, please e-mail Judy at <>; Kay at <>; or Beth at <>, and we will welcome your participation.

Since my CANDIDATE STATEMENT is only published in the APHA Governing Council book, I am sharing it here.

APHA speaks for the public health workforce, and promotes updated legislation to support safe and healthy communities. As public health’s role in emergency preparedness receives increasing emphasis, state budget cuts are jeopardizing core public health activities. To assist state efforts in retaining their core activities, APHA must strongly promote implementation of the National Public Health performance Standards Program.

*Only evidence-based practice can assure healthy, environmentally safe communities. APHA must support the IOM recommendations on educating public health professionals for the 21st century. APHA can promote a workforce sophisticated in scientific thinking and emerging technologies, through education in multiple venues and media, including computer-based and distance-learning.

*APHA must support the right of access to health care, including mental health, reproductive, and healthy aging services. With Affiliates and others, APHA should advocate for state and federal stability in coverage, equity in benefits, and elimination of disparities, particularly in well-child, chronic, and domestic abuse care.

*APHA’s strength is membership. I support an Affiliate-APHA Membership Initiative, with ISC/COA participation, and measurable objectives on retention, recruitment, and mentoring of future members: students. The Executive Board must account to members by moving toward fiscal stability, directly linking strategic plan to budget, better managing/budgeting Board/Committee work, and promoting institutional development.

*APHA’s many voices must be heard. I support current efforts to expand electronic communication while retaining non-electronic capacity to reach members without access. APHA communication channels must encourage interactions among members and public health groups, and between public health, businesses, and government. And Affiliates must have electronic capacity mandatory for effectiveness in 2003.

*With appreciation of contributions and needs of APHA members and organizations, I will strive to increase our effectiveness. I bring a record of leading /facilitating initiatives with lasting benefits for multiple APHA constituencies, and am committed to fostering a healthy Association to advance the public’s health.

I am counting on your support – together we can again have a vote on the Executive Board.


Annual Meeting Program

We hope your calendar is marked for the Annual Meeting, November 15-19, 2003! There will be 32 scientific sessions sponsored by our PHN Section this year (25 oral sessions and 7 poster sessions). Kathleen Jaskowiak, Program Chair, reports that our Section received over 200 abstract submissions this past year, and each abstract was reviewed by at least 3 reviewers. All reviewers were impressed with the quality of submissions this year. Kathy has worked diligently to schedule the sessions with numerous variables in mind. Claire Millet assisted Kathy earlier during the year until she had to reduce her time after being involved in a car accident.

APHA solicited input concerning requests by presenters for LCD projectors, and because of the fees associated with this technology and not wanting to require a $15 submission fee for each abstract, decided that LCD requests would continue to be the responsibility of individual presenters who can provide their own or order one directly from the official APHA audiovisual vendor.

Remember that Section leaders approve special sessions at the Spring Business meeting each year. Authors who wish to be in the same session can submit her/his abstract individually and the Program Chair will need a list of abstracts and authors who wish to be considered as a unit.

If you plan on attending the Annual Meeting in San Francisco, and you are willing to be a “replacement or back-up” presider for a session, please email Kathy at If you are interested in reviewing abstracts for next year, also contact Kathy (reviewers need to have access to the Internet and a computer). If you need any additional equipment for a presentation at the November conference, also please contact Kathy at as soon as possible.

Remember to also check out the pre-conference CE offerings to be held Saturday, November 15, 2003. One pre-conference is “Public Health and Safety of Older Drivers” scheduled Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Older drivers are involved in a disproportionately high rate of auto accidents and related deaths and the numbers are growing dramatically. Driving is a complex issue that affects older drivers, families, and professionals from nearly all public health disciplines. This program lays out the issues, describes the role of various public health professionals, presents the most recent assessment and education tools, and offers policy and clinical actions that professionals can take to ameliorate the potential challenges of older drivers and the public health safety consequences. The detailed program will be available on the APHA “on-line program” that is available at

Elaine Conley, Local Arrangements Chair, reports that the California Conference of Local Public Health Nursing Directors is pleased to serve as Host for the Public Health Nursing Section of APHA at the Annual Meeting in November. Planned events include the:
Quad Council Program and Reception, Sunday evening, Nov. 16, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the San Francisco Marriott Hotel, Golden Gate Hall. Dr. Nola Pender will be our keynote speaker for the Quad Council Program. Renowned for her research in nursing and health care, we are thrilled that she will share her expertise with us by presenting "Nurses in Action: Promoting Health Through Research and Practice.”

Public Health Section Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. at the Mariott Hotel (luncheon tickets can be purchased at registration—seats may be limited)

Student Poster Award Social on Tuesday evening, November 18 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The Public Health Nursing Section booth will be available Sunday Nov. 16 at 2:00 p.m. until the Exhibit Hall closes. This display will feature the many facets of public health nursing. A program summary of PHN Section sessions and activities will be available at the booth. Be sure to visit the PHN Section booth and attend the receptions and luncheon. It is a great time to get together with “old” colleagues and make new friends!

And, don’t forget that alarm clock! Our Public Health Nursing Section meetings are open to ALL Section members—we invite you to participate! We need your ideas and help to further our Section’s work and mission. All PHN Section business meetings are at the Moscone Convention Center when scientific sessions are not taking place (hence, our early morning meetings). Our Section business meetings will be held:
Nov. 16, Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Nov. 17, Monday, 6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. (Meet the Candidates)
Nov. 18, Tuesday, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Nov. 19, Wedneday, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

We hope to see you at one or all of our meetings!

Submitted by:
Kathleen Jasowiak, Program Chair
Elaine Conley, Local Arrangements Chair
Sonda Oppewal, Section Chair

Additional APHA Program Highlights

There are many exciting general sessions at this year’s Annual Meeting, but we would like to call your attention to the following three:

· President’s Session (3256.1) Monday, Nov. 17, 2:30 P.M.-4:00 P.M.

· Critical Issues in Public Health (4088.1) Tuesday, Nov. 18, 10:30 A.M.-12:00 P.M.

· APHA Closing Session (5190.0) Wednesday, Nov. 19, 4:30 P.M.-6:00 P.M.

Each session will include presentations on issues of great importance to the fulfillment of the public health mission in the 21st century by panels of outstanding experts. The panels are designed to provoke participants to view the future of their profession and to develop strategies for assuring public health effectiveness in the future.

Brief descriptions of these Sessions are provided below. For further information on the Sessions, go to <>.

President’s Session

This session will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing public health in the 21st century. Topics to be discussed are: the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations on the future of public health practice and education; strategies to eliminate health disparities; mobilizing public support for universal health care; and a summary of the present state of public health as a “starting point” for the future.

Critical Issues in Public Health

This Session will further amplify the discussion of issues of central concern in the 21st century. The topics to be covered in this session are: new strategies to reduce the prevalence of substance abuse; approaches towards controlling the epidemic of obesity; strategies to reduce the high incidence of traffic accidents; and dealing with the threat of emerging zoonotic infections.

Closing General Session

For the first time, the Closing General Session will feature a panel discussion. Three areas of central concern to public health in the 21st century will be discussed. The topics to be covered are: the impact of the rapidly advancing science of genomics on public health; the threat of new and emerging infectious diseases; and the promise of technology in helping disabled people to overcome their physical limitations.

PHN Section Education Committee Report

In May, Sonda Oppewal, Colleen Hughes and I met at APHA with the Educational Services Unit staff to plan for nursing CE for our 2003 Annual Meeting in San Francisco and for applying to ANCC for both provider and approver status. Two other working meetings occurred in July and August.

The APHA Educational Unit has just undergone staff turnover. We thanked Valerie Okrend, the APHA Continuing Education Manager, who took a position with the University of Chicago in their Paris, France extension program. We welcomed Freddie Asinor, the new manager, who comes to APHA from Johns Hopkins University and is experienced in sponsoring public health programs that are accredited. During this transition, our Section’s CE work continued. We extend a special thanks to Allen Jones, PhD, Director of the Educational Unit for his support, and for developing a working relationship with us.

NEW FEATURES for Nursing CE in San Francisco APHA Annual Meeting will include:
1. The CE-approved Saturday and Sunday Institutes and scientific sessions will have both nursing CE contact hours through the North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA), and by the Association of Credentialing Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) for Continuing Medical Education (CME) PRA Category I designation.
NOTE: You may have registered for “CME for Other professional” and that is fine because ACCME wants APHA to collect that information, however that will not affect this new feature of your receiving a single certificate with both nursing and CME designations on it.

2. For the first time, the certificate that APHA will send to those who register for nursing is a CE certificate with statements for both the NCNA nursing contact hours, and the ACCME CME PRA Category I designation.

3. No more $100 fee for each type of certificate. You may request as many
types of CE certificates as you wish without an additional charge for the certificate. However, the fees for participating in the Institutes vary by Institute, and are separate from the $100 flat fee for the CE-approved scientific sessions of the Annual Meeting.

We hope that these new features will be particularly helpful for nurses who hold RN licenses in California because the relicensure requirements of the California Board of Registered Nurses will only accept your CE credits under the ACCME CME PRA Category I designation.

These changes may also be helpful for the nurse who holds an ANCC certification because these CE credits will be recognized by ANCC for recertification. Also, these credits may meet the ANCC 50% recertification requirement for CE in your specialty (depending on your specialty and which CE Institute or sessions you submit for credit).

Special appreciation goes to Colleen Hughes for her drafting a significant portion of the new documents that we had to develop this year, and to Pearl Holland for her contributions, particularly on the self-study for our ANCC application materials.

M. Beth Benedict, DrPH, PHN Education Committee Chair

Report from the International Human Rights Committee

The IHRC has been actively involved in a number of initiatives surrounding Human
Rights issues. First, we have been working on a curriculum project to introduce
human rights as a content area in schools of public health and other health
disciplines. It has been recognized that human rights abuses directly impact
the health of various populations. However, this topic is not covered in health
professions curriculum. A Continuing Education Institute on human rights for
public health professionals was held at the 2002 APHA Annual Meeting in
Philadelphia. The Institute covered the essential background knowledge and
skills necessary for health professionals to apply the health-human rights
linkage in their professional activities. It was well attended and a similar
Continuing Education Institute is being planned for the 2003 Annual Meeting.

We have also been working on an Emergency Response Mechanism for APHA as an
organization to notices of human rights abuses nationally and internationally.
APHA has a long history of informal involvement and interest in human rights
emergency situations. However this has been on a highly selective basis, and no
institutional policy or strategy has been in place. The purpose of the
Emergency Response Mechanism is to identify a specific strategy to formalize and
strengthen APHA's response to human rights emergency situations whether they
occur internationally or within the United States. This initiative is still
being discussed and finalized.

Last, we have been involved in writing a White Paper on Globilization,
Nationalism, and International Human Rights and the Challenges for Public
Health. Because of the confusion surrounding definitions of globilization and
nationalism and their relationship to Public Health, the Executive Board
requested that IHRC write a white paper addressing this topic and delineating
its relationship with public health. The paper has been written and upon the
request of the Executive Board is being revised to include directives for a
response to international human rights abuses by APHA as an organization.

These projects are ongoing and are significant to public health nursing as we
move toward a more global focus.

Respectively submitted,

Louise Ivanov

The MAPP Process: New Way to Set Community Priorities

Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships is a tool developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is built on lessons learned from NACCHO’s Assessment Protocol for Excellence in Public Health (APEXPH), released in 1991. Software for the APEXPH process was released in 1998 in CD-ROM or disk format. Facilitated by public health leadership, this tool is a community-wide strategy for prioritizing public health issues and identifying resources for addressing them. MAPP provides guidance through an overview of the process, guidance and tools for flexible application in different communities, case vignettes that demonstrate adaptation of the process to differing communities, and references and resources to assist in the process.

DeKalb County, Georgia, is using MAPP to involve the community in its own needs assessment and planning for issue resolution. Beginning in summer 2001, the DeKalb Board of Health administrative staff launched a training program for the county’s health promotion and planning personnel. In early 2002, members of the Status of Health in Dekalb advisory committee, responsible for community policy input for the previous community needs assessment process (the nationally known Status of Health in DeKalb Project) participated in a leadership training session. This training focused on strategies to merge the Status of Health community assessment process with the MAPP approach. During the training and subsequent advisory sessions, six phases were identified for the DeKalb MAPP process:

Phase 1: Organize for success/partnership development
Phase 2: Visioning
Phase 3: Four MAPP assessments
Phase 4: Identify strategic issues
Phase 5: Formulate goals and strategies
Phase 6: Action

During Phase 1, the DeKalb Board of Health, as the lead organization in the MAPP process, invited hospitals, local banks, social service agencies, schools and universities, faith based organizations, and other DeKalb County representatives to participate. Two critical and interrelated activities, organizing the process and developing the partnerships, structured the initiation of the process that builds commitment, engages active partners, effectively uses participants’ time, and results in a plan that can be realistically implemented. People who live, work and play in DeKalb County designed an instrument for surveying the community to determine the community’s vision for the future. This survey guided participants into the second phase, visioning, which facilitates movement of participants through a collaborative process to identify a vision and values statements for the rest of the MAPP process. The MAPP vision for DeKalb County is: “Healthy People Living in Healthy Communities” (MAPP in DeKalb, 2002). This vision incorporates: 1) an informed and proactive community; 2) diverse and appropriate economic development that assures equal opportunity for good jobs and sustains a quality of life for all; 3) high quality services that ensure that health and safety are provided by community systems that address current needs and future growth; 4) equitable, accessible, affordable and comprehensive health services that provide primary care for all with a focus on prevention, health maintenance and education; 5) an environmentally safe and sound county that provides green space, clean air and water, and safe sidewalks, trails and roads; 6) life-long learning and intergenerational programs that foster health choices throughout life and promote respect for self, others and the community; 7) engagement of residents of all ages in health enhancing behaviors; 8) positive influences on the community by mass communication and media messages; and 9) progress in health outcomes that erases disparities in health status and establishes positive trends.

The MAPP visioning process led to four areas of health assessment (Phase 3 of the MAPP process) to identify strategic issues, which would be used to formulate the project’s goals and strategies. Members of the community worked as teams, designated by the four MAPP assessment categories: 1) community themes and strengths assessment; 2) local public health system assessment; 3) forces of change assessment; and 4) community health status assessment. Each of the four teams met with a facilitator to establish and focus on community priorities that fit with the team’s area of responsibility. When each team reached consensus on its priorities, DeKalb Board of Health staff assigned to the MAPP process refined these. The culmination of the assessment phase was a community meeting to present the four sets of assessed priorities. Citizens were further involved in priority selection by voting on the top priorities in each of the assessment areas. The top priorities became the strategic issues that guided phase 4 when participants sought linkages; this phase began with the community meeting. The community must address these linked issues to achieve its vision. DeKalb Board of Health staff, facilitators and the advisory committee used the results of the community meeting to refine the linkages and achieve a manageable set of issues for the focus of goals and strategies and to guide the action plan.

The community will use these issues to formulate goals and strategies, Phase 5. During this phase, the current reality (what the local public health system and the community look like now) and the vision (what the local public health system and the community will look like in the future) will be connected. Together, the goals and strategies provide a comprehensive picture of how local public health system partners will achieve a healthy community. The linked issues that were selected are: behavior change; disparities; and partnerships. Phase 6, the action cycle, will use these issues to develop an action plan, beginning in January 2003. During this last phase, the local public health system, now composed of all the participating partners in the DeKalb MAPP process, develops and implements an action plan for addressing the strategic issues.

I have been a part of the Status of Health in DeKalb advisory committee for several years and used the various versions of the Status of Health report in community health nursing and health policy courses prior to actually sitting on the advisory group. The initiation of MAPP has re-focused the community partnership approach to health assessment and planning. It has been exciting to be a part of the MAPP process during the last year and a half. As the various partners work through Phase 6, the future of public health in DeKalb County looks more positive. In a period of economic uncertainty and anxiety about bio-terrorism, the partnering of diverse entities can plan for a future which uses planned strategies to overcome these challenges to the public’s health. Three action planning committees are being convened to develop action plans around behavior change, disparities, and partnerships. The MAPP process involves the total community in a new way in its own health assessment and plan. The community is defining public health in a much more broad fashion: as all of the entities that have an influence on health status, not just the areas of public health board or public health board responsibility. This approach broadens the core functions of public health to a multi-level partnership with the community. To view the general MAPP process, go to <> and click on NACCHO Tools. To view the MAPP process in DeKalb County, Georgia, go to <> and click on Community Collaborations.

Armenia Williams, DPA, RNC, FNP
Associate Professor, School of Nursing
Georgia State University
MS2A 0965, 33 Gilmer Street
P. O. Box 4019
Atlanta, GA 30302-4019
Telephone: 404-651-4274
FAX: 404-651-3096

Institute of Medicine Reports on Public Health

The Institute of Medicine released two reports on public health in 2002. The primary study, "The Future of the Public’s Health in the 21st Century," was officially released Nov. 11, 2002, but has not been published in hard copy. The report reviews the nation's public health capabilities and presents a comprehensive framework for how the government public health agencies, working with multiple partners from the public and private sectors as an inter-sectoral public health system, can better assure the health of communities. Copies can be accessed at <>. Many PHNs who have read the report have commented that PHN as an entity was not singled out in any way. The intent of the report was to be as broad as possible. There are a number of observations and recommendations in the report that have potential relevance to PHN practice, education and research. Kaye Bender will be working with the PHN Section Leadership and the QUAD Council to prepare information about the report’s relevance to PHN. If you have comments to share, please contact her at <>.

A companion study, "Who Will Keep the Public Healthy?" (released Nov. 4, 2002) discusses the complex challenges in improving the health of the public in the 21st century and relates the quality and preparedness of our public health workforce as a major factor. Report recommendations range from establishing partnerships between schools of public health and other academic disciplines, local and state health departments and community organizations, to calling for the addition of public health training to medical and nursing school curricula and increasing federal funding for public health research. It can be accessed at <>.

APHA and American Optometric Association Collaboration

APHA and the American Optometric Association have agreed to develop joint
programs to ensure all Americans have access to appropriate eye care
services. The Vision Care Section will be developing protocol for a pilot
study that strives to develop a model that utilizes local and state health
departments to coordinate resources for children's eye care. We are
asking for interested individuals to add their opinion and experience to
the development of the protocol. If you are interested in this program please contact
Valarie Conrad at <> or (312) 949-7304.

Update on APHA Advocacy Efforts


In January APHA purchased its first e-advocacy tool to help mobilize its members to send letters to their members of Congress electronically. In the last six months APHA has organized several advocacy efforts through the system. In June APHA used its e-advocacy tool to rally more than 1500 public health professionals to send electronic letters to their members of Congress. As members become comfortable with this tool, APHA anticipates that these numbers will dramatically increase as our members become more familiar with the system. APHA's new advocacy tool has many great features that we encourage all members and public health professionals to use when advocating on behalf of a public health issue. These resources include:

· Mega Vote: Sign up to receive a weekly email on how your Senators and Representative voted during the week on important issues. APHA provides this resource through our e-advocacy site.
· Elected Official Finder: Find biographical information on elected officials including the president, members of congress and agency heads.
· Issues and Legislation: In this section you will find Capitol Hill Basics, pending public health legislation and key public health votes.
· Media Guide: Send electronic letters to the editor on issues important to public health directly to your local media outlets with APHA's media advocacy tool.
· Legislative Action Center: See the latest APHA Action Alerts. Send emails to your members of Congress on legislation important to APHA. This tool also always members to customize our list.


APHA staff works hard to ensure that public health is being fairly represented on Capitol Hill. More than ever, this is a critical time for public health and as public health professionals APHA needs your help to ensure that our needs and accomplishments are being recognized on Capitol Hill. The most powerful message a member of Congress receives comes from a constituent in his/her home district. That is why it is essential that APHA have a legislative advocacy network. APHA has a strong membership base and it is paramount to show our association's power by intensifying our advocacy efforts. Having a network of public health professionals willing to take action is essential to ensuring that the legislative priorities of APHA are addressed. While APHA will continue to request that its membership as a whole take action on issues effecting public health, the legislative network will serve as the "grasstops" of APHA entire Advocacy network. Join Now!

APHA appreciates the advocacy efforts of its members and the entire public health community on issues that ultimately affect all of America. Members of APHA can view a more in depth legislative update on APHA's web site. This legislative update is updated weekly.


APHA's Government Relations staff works very closely with the Action Board on advocacy efforts within Sections. The Action Board is made up of a representative from each Section, a member at large and three Affiliate members. This year the Action Board divided up into three work groups that addressed APHA's three priority areas: Health Disparities, Access to Health Care and Infrastructure. The Health Disparities workgroup contributed alot of their expertise to staff from Senators First and Kennedy's offices. If you are interested in getting more involved in APHA advocacy efforts through your Section, please contact your Action Board Member—Kaye Bender.

Do not hesitate to contact Lakitia Mayo for additional information about APHA's advocacy efforts.

Submitted by:
Lakitia Mayo
Director of Grassroots Advocacy and Affiliate Affairs
American Public Health Association
(202) 777-2515 Phone
(202) 777-2532 Fax

Information on Test Item Writers Workshop

EDITOR'S NOTE: Deadlines have passed for this initial request for item writers; however, please keep this information for future reference as term(s) of appointment are 1-2 years, and new item writers will be needed.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers a Test Item Writers Workshop for Clinical Specialists in Community Health Nursing examination. This year the workshop takes place at the end of September. If you are interested in participating as a test writer next year, your application will be due next summer. However, it isn’t too early to consider this opportunity. To qualify you must hold a current ANCC certification in the specialty you will write test questions. Previous item writing experience is not necessary. A mandatory item writing workshop is held in the spring (ANCC reimburses travel, hotel, meals). You will be asked to make a commitment to develop 80 test questions (within a certain time frame). Item writers who complete the assignment will receive a 25 percent reduction in their CE requirement for re-certification. Please keep in mind, all potential item writers will go through a
selection process. For more information, you may contact Jamila Odom at 1-800-284-2378, ext. 7291.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is one of the largest nursing credentialing organizations in the United States. A subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA), ANCC was incorporated in 1991 to improve the practice and to promote high quality health care services through voluntary credentialing programs and related services. ANCC’s professional certification services provide international recognition for nurses who have proven themselves through education, experience, knowledge, testing, and professional conduct. ANCC offers approximately 45 examinations including several specialties for nurse practitioners, clinical nurse
specialists, BSN/ADN nurses, and other advanced practice areas. Examinations are offered via computer or paper and pencil nation-wide and are designed to objectively assess entry-level competency for advanced practice and excellence in nursing specialties. Approximately 10,000 candidates take ANCC examinations annually. There are approximately 143,000 ANCC-certified nurses in different specialties.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center actively seeks qualified nurses to serve as item writers for exams across nursing specialties. If you have additional questions about becoming an item writer, contact the ANCC Measurement
Services Unit at 1-800-284-2378.

Submitted by David Paulson, Ph.D.
Director, Measurement Services
American Nurses Credentialing Center
600 Maryland Avenue SW, Suite 100 W
Washington, D.C., 20024-2571 Tel: (202) 651-7271;Fax: (202) 651-7004


A Call for Public Health Nursing Authors

Joyce Zerwekh represents our PHN Section on the APHA Publication Board. She encourages nurses to submit book proposals for consideration by sending inquiries to Ellen Meyer at or by calling her at (202) 777-2463 to discuss ideas with her. Guidelines for submission of a prospectus are at APHA offers competitive royalties and expense reimbursement. APHA has expert reviewers and individual marketing plans, and the books are internationally. Consider this opportunity to increase the visibility of Public Health Nurses and nursing scholarship.

Cancer, Culture and Literacy Institute Report

The Cancer Culture and Literacy Institute is a series of educational
activities that examine the nexus of culture and literacy relating to effective communications and research.

This NCI funded program includes a five-day hands-on intensive learning experience in Tampa, Florida, January 10-15, 2004, as well as monthly continuing educational modules delivered via the Web, and mentoring experiences with nationally recognized scholars involved in this area of scientific inquiry. A yearlong commitment is expected where participants apply new knowledge in their research activities. Tuition, transportation, lodging, meals and resources are provided to participants during the five-day program. Doctorally prepared investigators (PhD, DrPH, MD, DNS, ScD or equivalent) wishing to enrich their perspectives on culture and literacy in the conceptualization and design of cancer control/population science research should apply. Deadline for receipt of application: September 22, 2003, 5:00 pm EST. For more information about the Institute, application and eligibility requirements please visit our website at:

Submitted by: Dina Martinez, MA, MPH
Cancer, Culture and Literacy Institute Research Coordinator
Dinorah (Dina) Martinez, M.A., M.P.H.
Research Coordinator
Education Program H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
& Research Institute
12902 Magnolia Drive
Tampa, FL 33612-9497
(813) 903-6812
FAX: (813) 632-1442

IOM Release

The IOM's "Review of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention Smallpox Vaccination Program Implementation, Letter Report
#4" makes several recommendations related to the integration of
smallpox- preparedness into overall public health preparedness, the
implementation of the President’s policy on offering smallpox vaccine to
members of the general public who insist on receiving it, and selected
aspects of overall smallpox vaccination program implementation. To read
online go to <>.
For current information on the influenza vaccine please check out this link:

2003 Public Health Nursing Section Officers

Sonda Oppewal, PhD, RN
(919) 843-6169

Newsletter Editors:
Jackie Miller MSN, RN
Donna Westawski MSN, RN
Joan Dodgson, PhD, MPH, RN

Immediate-Past Section Chair:
Philip A. Griener, DNSc, RN

Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN

Julia Shovein, PhD, MS, RN

Kathleen May, DNSc, RN

Section Council
Betty Bekemeier, MPH, MSN, RN

Betty Daniels, MSN, RN

Sandra Walls

Jean E. Swinney, PhD, RN

Mary Lou England, MS, RN

Jeanne Matthews, PhD, RN

Governing Council
Charmaine Fitzig, DrPH, RN

Katherine K. Kinsey, PhD, RN, FAAN

Mary J. McLaughlin, MSHA, BSN, RN-C

Aisha N. El-Amin, MN, RN

Rita J. Lourie, MSN, MPH, RN

Rita Gallagher, PhD, RN

Nonceba Lubanga, MPH, BA, RN