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Public Health Nursing
Section Newsletter
Fall 2006

Message from the Chair

The 2006 Gathering of PHNs:  APHA in Boston is on the Horizon!


As we move toward this great gathering, it is hard to know where to begin in describing all that is under way.  Our Section is truly beginning to share our vision, raise our voice, and increase our visibility within APHA, the public health sector, and in nursing.  We believe that in so doing, we will increase our potential for effective and recognized leadership in both public health and nursing. 

The 2006 APHA Annual Meeting will provide us with a wonderful opportunity to catch up on all that has been going on and to surge forward on a number of important issues. Our business meetings and scientific sessions will be held in the Boston Convention Center.  All together, we have more than 30 sessions and events over the course of the meeting.  Among them are several sessions on the Annual Meeting theme of Human Rights and Public Health, information on the APRN debate, issues in credentialing, the new PHN exam to be field tested at the meeting by ANCC, the new PHN Scope and Standards, and so much more!  Below are just a few that will stimulate your appetite!   

Key Meeting Events

A.        PHN Section Business Meetings on Sunday, Nov. 5, 8 – 11:30 a.m.; Monday, Nov. 6, 6:30 – 8 a.m.; Tuesday, 6:30 – 8 a.m.; Wednesday, 6:30 – 8 a.m. :  All are encouraged to attend – kudos to those who can get out of bed!


B.        Human Rights Sessions

           Human Rights through Global Lens: Challenges and Opportunities on Monday, Nov. 6, 8:30 – 10 a.m.

           Human Rights Violation in Health on Monday, Nov. 6, 10:30 a.m.Noon


C.        Public Health Nursing Professional Issues and Standards of Practice, Quad Council Event & Reception focusing on the State of Public Health Nursing, Nov. 5, 7-10 p.m.


D.        Public Health Nursing Workforce Challenges on Monday, Nov. 6, 2:30-4 p.m.:  A solicited session led by “the Bettys” (Betty Bekemeier and Betty Daniels) focusing on the PHN workforce and credentialing issues.


E.        Student Recognition Reception & PHN Town Hall on Monday, Nov. 6, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (note this is a change from the official program, so look for more details at the meeting).  A new event that couples the Student Reception with a PHN Section Town Hall Session where participants can both celebrate students’ accomplishments and lead them into an PHN perspectives on all manner of public health and nursing matters.    


F.         PHN Section Luncheon and Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 12:30 – 2 p.m.  Annual event where PHN members mingle, nosh, & celebrate excellence among their colleagues, and recognize the accomplishments of our specialty. 


This is only a snippet of the wonderful opportunities to learn and lead at APHA.  I want to acknowledge the many presenters in each of the PHN sessions.  Some of the most stellar papers ever were presented this year, reflecting our commitment to evidence-based public health nursing through practice, education, research and advocacy. 


Great Section Leadership


A huge thanks is sent to the many Section leaders who have been working AND working AND working to make this a year of PHN progress and to create an awesome 2006 Annual Meeting.  Section Secretary Beth Lamanna has been invaluable as a voice of passion, conscience, and commitment - a PHN to the core!  Jeanne Matthews and Diane Downing, our policy pals, have helped shape our Section vision and voice on workf orce, pandemic flu, and many other public policy matters.  Beth Benedict has led us to a place of continuing education excellence as she manages this year of numerous CE provider requirements and our application to ANCC for approver status – a boatload of work, indeed!  Betty Bekemeier, our Immediate past chair, has conducted a survey to explore our views on certification and prepared a special session to share and discuss the findings.  Robin Gilden and Rita Lourie have led our Environmental Health Task Force to new heights with another grant from Health Care Without Harm to develop a Greenprint for Action.  Sandy Walls stepped in as membership chair and facilitated a great survey of our members by our APHA intern.  Our Webmaster wizard, Carol Graham, who actually got us going again in stellar style on the Web (check out the site via the APHA Web site)!  Program Chair Carol Blue and her Committee have developed a PHN program of good science, innovative practice, and strong leadership.  We have a wide array of sessions awaiting us based on exceptional papers and posters submitted this year.  The Local Arrangements Committee lead by Donna Lazorik, Sandy Collins and Glynnis O’Conner, have raised a great many funds, and are devising a gazillion ways to welcome us, facilitate our networking and learning opportunities, and without a doubt make sure we have FUN while we are there!  Susan Zahner and the Awards Committee have recognized fabulous leaders, and we look forward to the PHN Section Luncheon where we will have the opportunity to recognize them!  Kathy Russell and Anne Belcher have made it possible for students from the New England area to join the meeting in a mentored experience that will probably change their lives!  Betty Daniels and Robin Klar have stepped in to guide our efforts to recognize our newest colleagues and provide opportunities for participation and leadership.  Debra Anderson, our 2007 chair-elect, has been an ongoing source of wisdom, encouragement, and great future vision as we move forward. Marylynne Anderson, our Section mascot, and voice of the future!   And the list goes on!!! 

I can only say thank you to each and every one in the Section.  Serving as Chair has been the opportunity of a lifetime.  See you in Boston!


Thoughts on the Theme


Public Health and Human Rights lie at the heart of all we do.   Ummm…just what do we mean by this?  It poses an interesting challenge to each of us to carefully consider the human rights and public health intersection for PHNs.  Threaded throughout the 2006 meeting, we will have the opportunity to hear from global experts, from many public health perspectives, and from PHNs in our various Section sessions. 

While PHNs are all well versed in public health, what all do we mean when we use the term human rights?  This year, APHA will be considering public health as a human right, as well as exploring our interventions through a human rights lens – sensitizing us about making public health decisions and taking action that indicates we are doing the right thing for the right reasons, at the right time, in the right way. 

The PHN Section’s Strategic Priorities provide a window into the Section thoughts on human rights.  They reflect our values, our understanding of the world situation, and our knowledge and skills.  They help us to sharpen our focus in the face of competing demands for our time and attention among both emerging and longstanding challenges to health status and disarray in health care.   Our current strategic priorities include:


·                    promoting environmental health;

·                    eliminating health disparities;

·                    ensuring social justice;

·                    actively engaging students; and

·                    strengthening the public health work force.


Some of these are obviously tied to human rights, while some require consideration for human rights elements more subtly embedded within.  This year, we will be looking for perspectives and ideas that will help the Section translate the Priorities from statement to action in our PHN practice, education, research and advocacy.  At this meeting, we will craft principles, positions and plans of action to support each of the five priority statements. 

We might “prime our pumps” a bit in preparation for the meeting. Many of us draw heavily during these troubled times on inspiration – from those we know and respect in our present, from children with innocence and a fresh perspective, from historical figures who have lived through troubled times of all kinds, and from our wise elders who have endured.  If time permits, please consider your own beliefs and preference, and share a quote, phrase, definition, short essay or other perspective on human rights.  It may be about nursing, public health, life, or an issue of compassions or particular concern.  It may be from a well-known figure, a wise family member or friend, or thoughts of your own.  We welcome all views.  You can either send it via e-mail or bring it to the meeting and share it with us then. 

We can then draw on these for our work and our lives.  These contributions will be compiled in a book entitled "Perspectives on Public Health Nursing and Human Rights" that reflects the wide array of thoughts among our members on the subject.  The contents will then be posted on our Web site.  We will talk further about this in Boston, but consider the following as a beginning: 


           The term human rights refers to freedom, justice, and equality: the rights that are considered by most societies to belong automatically to everyone, e.g. the rights to freedom, justice, and equality. (Encarta World English Dictionary, 2006)


           The Universal Declaration of Human Rights  - This great and inspiring instrument was born of an increased sense of responsibility by the international community for the promotion and protection of man’s basic rights and freedoms. The world has come to a clear realization of the fact that freedom, justice, and world peace can only be assured through the international promotion and protection of these rights and freedoms.  (U Thant, Third United Nations Secretary-General, 1961-1971)


           It has long been recognized that an essential element in protecting human rights was a widespread knowledge among the population of what their rights are and how they can be defended.  (Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Sixth UN Secretary-General, 1992-1996)


           Although we are in different boats you in your boat and we in our canoe we share the same river of life. (Chief Oren Lyons, Onandaga Nation, USA)


           The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Statement on Human Rights at .


           The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. (George W. Bush, Inaugural Speech, Jan. 20, 2005


           There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart that you can’t take part; you can’t even possibly take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop.  And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all! (Mario Savio, student leader of the 1960s free movement at the University of California at Berkeley)


           Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.  (Martin Luther King, Jr.)


           The framers of the Bill of Rights did not purport to "create" rights.  Rather, they designed the Bill of Rights to prohibit our government from infringing rights and liberties presumed to be preexisting. (Justice William J. Brennan)


           It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home.  (Carl T. Rowan)


           Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.  (Paulo Freire)


           Genuine politics -- even politics worthy of the name -- the only politics I am willing to devote myself to -- is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.  (Vaclav Havel)

Find some favorites for the book, and see you at the meeting! 

APHA Annual Meeting Highlights

Thanks to all the PHN Section members who submitted abstracts, those who gave their time to review and moderate sessions, those who planned special sessions for us, and the PHN Section leadership and committees.  We have a very diverse and interesting program this year to accent the APHA theme, Public Health and Human Rights.

Some of the highlights are:

  • Quad Council reception and state of public health nursing on Sunday evening.
  • Student reception and Town Hall Meeting on Monday evening.
  • Public Health Nurse Luncheon on Tuesday.
  • PHN Section business meetings every morning.

We wish to invite all members to attend these meetings and be active participants in our PHN Section.

Other highlights for this year are the special sessions:

·        “Human Rights through Global Lens: Challenges and Opportunities” on Monday morning.

·        “Human Rights Violation in Health” on Monday morning.

·        “Public Health Nursing Work Force Challenges: Strengthening Research” on Monday afternoon.

·        “Marketing and Promoting Public Health Nursing” on Tuesday.

·        “Student Opportunities for Disaster Education on the Gulf Coast”.


Be sure to visit the student poster and new investigator poster sessions Monday afternoon!

Finally, consider volunteering for next year’s program to make it even better!  See you in Boston!

Join Your State Affiliate at the Annual Meeting

While APHA is the national voice on public health, it cannot succeed without the complementary efforts of its state Affiliates. To help build infrastructure and strengthen local efforts, APHA will be implementing an exciting new initiative to promote Affiliate membership at this year's Annual Meeting. This new project includes a booth at the Exposition that gives meeting attendees an opportunity to join their local Affiliate on site electronically. To join your state public health association, please visit the Affiliate membership booth, numbers 942 and 1041 in the exhibit hall, located near "Everything APHA." If you are interested in volunteering to help staff the booth, contact Katie Sheedy at (202) 777-2432 or

PHN Section Leadership Election Results

The votes have been tallied, and the results are in.  Congratulations to our incoming PHN Section leadership, who will take office at the conclusion of the 2006 APHA 134th Annual Meeting!


Jeanne A. Matthews, PhD, RN 


Kathy Jaskowiak, MSN, RN 


Section Council: 
Kathleen O'Leary, RN, MPH
Linda Olsen Keller, MS, APRN, BSN, BC


Governing Council:
Kacy Allen-Bryant, RN, MSN, MPH
Rita Munley Gallagher, PhD, RN
Nonceba Lubanga, MPH, RN
Cathy R. Taylor, DrPH, MSN

Update on Continuing Education

Update on Approver Application to ANCC


The APHA/PHN Section application for approver status was submitted to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation to meet the Aug. 1 deadline.  Our site visit from the ANCC is scheduled for Oct. 10.  Four reviewers in addition to our Education Committee members participated in the document preparation and/or the mock review process.  The PHN Section’s Continuing Education (CE) Approver Committee includes Kaye Bender, Marjorie Buchanan, Colleen Hughes, Pearl Holland, Kathy Jaskowiak, and Sonda Oppewal.  We are appreciative of having our four additional reviewers:  Derryl Block, Carolyn Blue, Jeanne Leffers, and Irene Sandvold.


News about PHN Continuing Education Provider Unit


Our Continuing Education Provider Unit (CEPU)  co-provided continuing nurse education (CNE) with the ACHNE mid-year meeting, the Public Health Law Conference, and two meetings in Hawaii, one of which was with their state affiliate.  We continue to receive other requests.

APHA arranged and provided support for two PHN Education Committee members and a CE Unit staff member to attend an ANCC sponsored Public Hearing and Workshop for accredited Providers/Approvers in the spring of 2006 in Silver Spring, Md.  In August, APHA sent a staff member and one PHN Section Education Committee member to a one-day workshop specifically on CE Conflict of Interest (COI) and Commercial Support Guidelines in Silver Spring.   In October of this year, APHA will send two PHN Education Committee members to an ANCC Workshop for accredited Providers/Approvers, and to the First ANCC Commission on Accreditation Inaugural Summit on Continuing Education in Burlington, Vt.  APHA is also sending continuing medical education (CME) leaders to their accreditation entity’s workshops.  A goal of APHA, and ours, is a full understanding of the accreditation criteria and their implementation.  To accomplish this, over time APHA plans to send each PHN Education Committee member to an ANCC workshop.  Thus far, Colleen Hughes, Kathy Jaskowiak and Beth Benedict have attended.  Sonda Oppewal is scheduled to attend the upcoming meeting in Vermont with Beth.  Over the last year or so, the ‘world of CE’ has developed specific criteria for the identification and management of potential or actual COI, and for the acceptance and use of Commercial Support.  The focus of most of these workshops has been on how to implement the new criteria and to discuss the range of flexible options for different types of organizations.  For example, APHA’s Annual Meeting is moving more and more to an all electronic CE process.  APHA has spent considerable effort this year to change the CONFEX Web site for completion, and management capability of the completed COI forms. 

The PHN Education Committee shared the drafts of the new policy statements and new forms with our Section at the mid-year meeting for input.  These statements and forms include CHES, CME and CNE because APHA has single CE program with a single set of forms that meet the criteria for all three groups.  Later in the spring the APHA Continuing Education Committee (CPE) modified the policy statements and forms, and in April of 2006 they were presented to the APHA Education Board where they were adopted.   The CPE is an interdisciplinary committee appointed by Dr. Benjamin to report to him and to work with the CE staff to implement the accreditation criteria for APHA.  It includes individuals from the disciplines for which APHA holds CE accreditation status, CHES, CME and CNE and members from other disciplines who earn non-physician CME credits at the APHA Annual Meeting.  Our PHN Education Committee has three representatives on the CPE committee, Colleen Hughes, Sonda Oppewal and Beth Benedict.  Kaye Bender is our representative on the Education Board.

This past spring the CE co-provider materials were updated to meet the new CE COI and Commercial Support guidelines.  This updating process required extensive changes and fortunately, it seems that these instructions and forms will now be in place for a number of years with only minor changes from year-to-year.  The Ed Committee worked on the original updating with CHES and CME.


Update on CE for the 2006 Annual Meeting


As this goes to press, our Ed Committee is reviewing the 2006 APHA Annual Meeting sessions for CE credit worthiness.  This process is also shared with CHES and CME and is coordinated by the CPE.  New this year is that all moderators, planners at any level and reviewers must complete a Bio-Data Form (BDF) and a COI form for each role that they assume.  No one will be allowed to moderate until they have these two forms completed and turned in to the CE staff. 


For the 2007 Annual Meeting all planners and reviewers will need to go through the same process before they start their work.  While this sounds like a lot, especially when it is happening on a large scale for the first time, it will become ‘just-part-of-the-process’ and smooth out over time.  For now, we hope that everyone will take these new requirements in stride.  We are proud to share with you that the nurses are known as a ‘very cooperative group’ when it comes to complying with our CE criteria.  On behalf of the PHN Education Committee, we thank you all for your cooperation, and we know that you will hang in there with us through this phase of implementation.  We always welcome your thoughts on our CE program.

2006 ANA House of Delegates Take Action

The American Nurses Association House of Delegates met in late June in Washington, D.C.  During the meeting, delegates elected Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR, of Lakewood, Ohio, to serve a two-year term as president.  Patton is director of perioperative services for EMH Regional Healthcare System, Elyria, Ohio. She holds a bachelor of science in nursing and a master of science in psychiatric and mental health nursing. Previously, she was Director of Nursing for the University Hospitals Health System from June 2000 through November 2001.

Elected to serve two-year terms as ANA board officers were: Debbie Hatmaker, PhD, RN, as first vice president (Hatmaker is from Bishop, Georgia and is the Chief Programs Officer of the Georgia Nurses Association); Kathy Player, EdD, RN, of Phoenix, dean of the Ken Blanchard College of Business at Grand Canyon University (Player was elected second vice president); Susan Foley Pierce, PhD, RN, of Oak Island, N.C., is a professor at University of North Carolina School of Nursing, and will serve as board secretary; Anne McNamara, PhD, RN, of Phoenix, nursing faculty chair at Rio Salado College, was elected treasurer.

The director-at-large board members elected include Elizabeth Dietz, EdD, RN, CS-NP, of Sunnyvale, Calif., professor/nurse practitioner, San Jose State University School of Nursing; Linda Gobis, JD, RN, FNP, of Butte des Morts, Wisc.; Mary Maryland, PhD, APRN,BC, ANP, of Oak Park, Ill., nurse practitioner, Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center; and Margarete Lieb Zalon, PhD, RN, APRN,BC, of Waymart, Pa., professor, University of Scranton Department of Nursing.

The director-at-large staff nurse members include Barbara Crane, RN, CCRN, of Smithtown, N.Y., critical-care nurse, St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center; and Kate Steenberg, RN, BSN, CCRN, of Clinton, Mont., flight nurse, St. Patrick Hospital.

Remaining on the ANA Board until 2008 are Ernest Grant, MSN, RN, of Chapel Hill, N.C., nursing education clinician, University of North Carolina Health Care-North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center; Linda Warino, BSN, RN, CPAN, of Canfield, Ohio, Executive Director, District 3, of the Ohio Nurses Association and a staff nurse at Forum Health, North Campus; Ann Converso, RN, of Lawtons, New York, staff nurse, Veterans Administration of Western New York Health Care System; Patricia Koenig, BSN, RN, of Ramsey, Minn., RN/staff nurse, Allina Corp./Mercy Hospital. 

The Delegates also took action to protect the public's health by passing measures aimed at ensuring that patients have the essential care that RNs provide, and that RNs are part of improving America's response to natural disasters and potential flu pandemics.  Delegates passed the following measures, many of which have strong consumer-focused components, that:

  • Call for RNs to work closely with government agencies and professional organizations to ensure a more coordinated and effective response to natural disasters, such as hurricanes.

  • Advocate for an adequate supply of influenza vaccine and a well-structured plan to distribute it equitably if an influenza pandemic occurs. Additionally, ANA will launch an educational campaign to increase the number of consumers, including RNs, who receive seasonal influenza vaccinations each year.

  • Build on ANA's campaign to reduce toxic chemicals in health care and everyday products by substituting safer alternatives. Part of that campaign involves educating policymakers, the public and RNs about the hazards they face and how those chemicals affect the environment and global health.

ANA is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 2.9 million registered nurses through its 54 constituent member and organizational affiliate associations. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.  Additional information regarding the efforts of ANA can be found at

Research Corner




Kimberly Best, RN, MSN/MPH(c)

California State University of Long Beach, MSN/MPH Program


Thomas Coates, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics & Pathology

University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine


INTRODUCTION:  Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disorder of hemoglobin that affects approximately 1 in 400 African Americans.  SCD is characterized by rigid red blood cells that appear crescent in shape.  These sickled red blood cells block blood flow resulting in hypoxia, pain, osteonecrosis, and tissue death.  Complications of SCD include chronic organ damage to the brain, lungs, bone and kidneys.  Obesity is a public health crisis threatening many Americans.  The prevalence of obesity is comparable among all ages but is significantly higher among African Americans. Obesity is a health risk that targets the cardiovascular, pulmonary, endocrine, immune, dermatologic and skeletal systems.  Nocturnal hypoxia, chronic inflammation, and increased stress on weight bearing bones commonly seen in obese individuals are known to exacerbate sickle cell crisis and end organ damage in individuals with SCD. 


BACKGROUND: SCD is an inherited disorder characterized by defective hemoglobin. The type of sickle cell disease is dependent upon the inherited hemoglobin genes a child receives from their parent(s).  The median survival rate of all individuals with SCD varies based on genotype.  Early mortality for patients with sickle cell disease is highest among individuals who were symptomatic of acute sickle cell crisis (e.g. pain, acute chest syndrome, stroke, renal dysfunction). Over the last three decades, studies indicate obesity is also associated with a decreased life expectancy.  Among women, the prevalences of obesity and overweight status were highest among African Americans, of whom more than half were obese and 80 percent  were overweight. The obesity trends among adults are parallel to children and adolescents, with higher prevalences among African American and Hispanic adolescents. Researchers have well documented that obese individuals have an increased risk of diabetes mellitus type 2, coronary heart disease morbidity, orthopedic problems, and some cancers as well as decreased life span.


HYPOTHESIS: We hypothesize that obese individuals with sickle cell anemia will have a shortened survival and higher frequency of pain crisis, respiratory complications, and osteonecrosis than those sickle cell anemia individuals who are not obese.


SPECIFIC AIMS: In an attempt to illustrate the hypothesis, we will aim 1) To determine the prevalence of obesity in patients with sickle cell anemia and 2) To determine if the survival is less and the complications of SCD are greater in overweight patients with sickle cell disease than in those who are not overweight. 


METHODOLOGY: We will determine the prevalence of obesity among patients who were enrolled in the multi-center Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Disease carried out between 1991 and 1995 under the auspices of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.  Patients from this study will be classified as obese or non-obese based upon existing published standards for overweight status.  We will determine the survival and frequency of pain crisis, acute chest syndrome and osteonecrosis among SCA patients who are obese and not obese. These data will be analyzed using a multivariant model and adjusted for sex, age, and sickle cell phenotype; factors that are known to affect outcome in SCA.


SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY: It is hypothesized that obesity will adversely affect patients with sickle cell anemia by worsening clinical outcomes including increased pain crisis episodes, increased bone disease and shorten survival.  The information learned from this study can be used to implement population health programs focused on enhancing the quality of life and health status of individual with sickle cell anemia.

Related Files:

PHN Credentialing Research Survey a Success

Many of you participated in the survey of public health nurses and credentialing and were among the 655 (!!) people who contributed to this research in March 2006.  Credentialing research is in its infancy, and even less is known about how public health nurses specifically perceive the value of credentialing or barriers related to it.  This research is intended to inform public health nursing leaders in decision-making around how best to proceed in recognizing nurses in our specialty.  Preliminary findings will be presented at the APHA Annual Meeting in Boston (session #3347.0). 

Were you wondering who won the associated random drawing for survey participants?!  The “grand prize” went to Judy Alexiou, who will have expenses paid to join us at the APHA Annual Meeting.  Twenty survey respondents also won an iPod, including those listed below:


  • Susan Glenn
  • Saralou Hendrickson
  • Mary Ann Drake
  • Jeanne Surdo
  • Catherine Kelleher
  • Cheryl K. Schmidt
  • Angie Hemingway
  • Carey Melmed
  • Nancy Fisher
  • Betty Smith-Campbell
  • Susan M. Antol
  • Andie Denious
  • Michelle Cravetz
  • Mary Agnes Kendra


Thank you for your contributions to important research in support of informing the future for our public health nursing work force, and thanks to APHA for the application of some of their own grant funds in support of this study!

Members In the News

Karen S. Martin Named Distinguished Alumnus

Congratulations to Karen S. Martin who was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Iowa College of Nursing.

Ruth Nelson Knollmueller Honored

Ruth Nelson Knollmueller, 1990 PHN SectioncChair, was honored on May 10, 2006 with the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award.  This award recognizes alumni of the university who have attained distinction in their chosen fields or professions. The award presentation hosted by the School of Nursing was held at Eastcliff, home to the University of Minnesota’s president.  In 2004 Ruth received the Creative Achievement Award from the Public Health Nursing Section.  Currently Ruth works part time as a sanitarian for her local health district in Hamden, Conn.

Planning Efforts Under Way for Washington State PHN Section

This is an exciting time for Public Health Nursing in Washington state!  A planning team is currently exploring the formation of a Public Health Nursing (PHN) Section in Washington State.  The proposed purpose for the WA State PHN Affiliate is to “provide a forum for developing leadership and capacity among PHNs in Washington that supports healthy, responsive systems to ensure strong communities, a competent workf orce, and effective public health systems.”

APHA PHN Section members Debbie Lee, PhD, RN, and David Reyes, RN, MN, MPH, will be leading a roundtable presentation at the Washington State Public Health Association’s annual Joint Conference on Health to be held in Yakima, Wash., on Oct. 17, 2006.  The goal of the session is to discuss the purpose of the Section and to develop communication strategies for promoting and organizing the new PHN Section within the state.

Interested public health nurses in Washington are invited to become involved and participate in this exciting endeavor for public health nursing in Washington state.  To be added to the distribution list, please contact David Reyes at, or complete the attached interest form.

Related Files:
WA State PHN Section Interest Form

Legislative Corner

Advocacy Makes a Difference


What is advocacy?  And how can you make a difference?  Education + Action = Advocacy.  As the public health community knows first hand, education is key.  When citizens become educated about an issue and the decision-making process, it empowers them to get involved and act, thus helping to chart the direction of policy.  Educating communities and getting various partners involved in public health issues makes for healthier communities.  It's easy!

The Action Board works closely with APHA Government Relations and Advocacy staff to motivate membership participation in advocacy efforts around policies passed and legislative initiatives that are parallel with the association's priorities.  We work to make APHA's Action Alerts directly relevant to each of the units that we represent.


During the Annual Meeting there are a number of opportunities for you to learn about and participate in APHA Advocacy. Please consider participating in some of the following sessions:

1. 3288.0: Monday, Nov. 6, 2006: 2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. - Mobilizing a Campaign Around A Public Health Issue

2. 3192.0: Monday, Nov. 6, 2006: 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. - Advocacy Law Rules and tools of non-profit lobbying

3. 3008.0:
Monday, Nov. 6, 2006: 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. - How to Write a Good Policy


4. 5031.0: Wednesday, Nov.8, 2006: 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. - Impact of the Midterm Elections

5. 3288.0: Monday, Nov. 6, 2006 - 2:30 p.m. - Vermont: A state-level advocacy best practice

6. Tuesday, Nov., 7, 7:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. – Election Night Party

You're invited to an Election Cocktail Night Party co-hosted by the Action Board & Student Assembly.  Cast your vote for public health and then come watch the election night returns with your fellow public health advocates!

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Boston, Lobby Bar and Lounge One Avenue De Lafayette, (A short walk from the Downtown Crossing T stop).

FEATURING: Cash bar with election-night-themed drinks, TV's to watch election night results and analysis, Election charts and info, APHA voting records, Information about APHA advocacy... and much more!  Please Join Us!



Related Files:
Election Night Flier

PHN Section Newsletter Readership

Ever wonder how the PHN Section Newsletter compares to other sections' newsletters?  On average, the PHN Section's June Newsletter was read for almost 8 minutes (7 minutes and 45 seconds to be exact) - the most of any other section newsletter!  It was viewed 302  and visited 256 times.  Many thanks to our contributors and to you our readers!

Related Files:
APHA June 2006 Newsletter Statistics

Announcement: Health Care Without Harm, Nurses Workgroup Mini-Grant

Health Care Without Harm: The Campaign for Environmentally Responsible Health Care  Mini Grant Guidelines: Round Five




Application Deadline: Nov. 30, 2006




The HCWH Mini Grant program welcomes all applications for funding from:


·        Members of the HCWH Nurses Workgroup as well as members of other HCWH Workgroups, which seeks to work substantially with nurses on environmental health issues;

·        Participants of any RN-No-Harm Workshops;

·        American Nurses Association’s Constituent Member Associations;

·        Specialty Nursing Organizations;

·        Unions representing nurses;

·        Luminaries and Beacons of the Luminary Project;

·        Schools of Nursing; and

·        Nurse participants of Clean Med 2006.


If you have any questions about your eligibility to submit a proposal, please contact Brenda M. Afzal, RN, MS, at or (410) 706-1778.





The Mini Grant program is designed to support innovative efforts that expand and deepen the involvement of nurses in environmental health issues, to promote advocacy activities and to encourage those initiatives that showcase collaborative efforts between nurses and environmental organizations.

Examples of successful proposals and ideas that would be seriously considered include:


·        Plan and implement a bipartisan legislative environmental health conference for state legislators with a focus on chemical policy issues.

·        Educate a workplace health and safety committee, nursing association or specialty nursing organization about occupational chemical hazards and implement a plan to evaluate and select less toxic substitutes for chemical hazards in the workplace, engaging occupational health & safety, infection control and purchasing departments. 

·        Support for state or regional environmental initiatives that would build bridges between nursing and environmental organizations. 

·        Hold an invitational summit to engage nurses and others in discussions about Green Health Care.

·        Develop and implement environmental health conference panel presentations or pre-conference workshops for state or national nursing conferences.  Any educational effort must be action oriented. (Funds may be used to cover travel and lodging expenses for consultants.)

·        Develop an environmental task force/committee within a nursing organization.

·        Develop and implement an environmentally responsible health care project at a local hospital, where nurses and other health care providers could rotate through the program on a monthly basis to learn about environmental toxins used in health care and waste minimization efforts.

·        Organize a planning meeting for the initiation of a statewide Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E) project including the state hospital association, nurses association and, as appropriate the state departments of health and ecology or the state level environmental protection agency. 


(Applicants are encouraged to be creative in their approaches.)


The Mini Grant program will not fund projects that:


·        Provide general support for an organization. 

·        Make large equipment purchases.

·        Lobby or otherwise attempt to influence legislation, attempt to influence the outcome of any specific public election, or directly or indirectly include voter registration.

·        Support litigation or training on litigation

·        HCWH will not fund an individual; there must be a fiduciary agent.




Members of the Mini Grant Review Committee of Health Care Without Harm will act as a decision-making body for this program. The Review Committee is composed of members of the Nurses Workgroup and other HCWH members interested in having input into the Mini Grant program. 

Committee members will review the proposal and evaluate it based on a number of considerations, including its conformance to these guidelines, completeness, likelihood of achieving the stated goals, clearly stated outcome measures, and opportunities for follow-up work.

The Committee is also interested in funding work that has the potential for long-term sustainability (i.e. supported by other sources of funding that are more long-term than Mini Grants). Due to limited resources, the Mini Grant program is unable to fund duplicate training events across the country.

The Committee may not immediately decide “yes or no” on a particular proposal, but may ask for clarification on certain aspects of it and offer suggestions for improvement. Typically, many of the questions arising from a proposal review involve the follow-up to the proposed activity, the need for outcome measures, and the accuracy of the budget. 

Proposals may be accepted as is, or funding may be granted for certain aspects of the proposal but not others.

A member of the Review Committee may submit a grant proposal; however, that person will be excluded from the review process when their proposal is reviewed.

Organizations will rarely be awarded a mini grant more than once during a 12-month period.

Remember: Applicants must have proof of a fiscal sponsor.


Organizations that receive HCWH Mini Grants will be required to submit a one-page, mid-year report and a final report describing the outcomes of the initiative, the follow-up work done and an itemized accounting of how the mini-grant funding was spent. 

Applicants are encouraged to become members of Health Care without Harm ( .  Applicants are encouraged to submit their names and organizations to the Luminary Project ( for recognition of their work. 

One critical aspect of this report is a section on what lessons were learned by the organization in the process of completing the funded project. This summary will be distributed throughout the HCWH Campaign to help diversify and strengthen other groups engaged in similar activities. We want to build on each project's successes and avoid its pitfalls.


Applications are limited to 5 typed written pages, including the itemized project budget.  In addition, please include the following items as appendices to your proposal.

·        The most recent financial statement for the organization that shows income and expenses. If you a have an audit, please include a copy of the most recent year's audit. 

·        A list of the organizations board of directors/visitors, if there is one. 

·        Although not required, additional information may be included about your group that will explain its involvement in environmental health issues, i.e., one or two newspaper clippings or a brochure or flier that will help explain the group’s history or  involvement in environmental health.  If this is a first step into environmental issues for the organization, please include general information about your organization. 

·        Information about any partnering organizations (no more than one page per organization).


All proposals that include a meeting or workshop component will be asked to review and incorporate “Green Meeting Guidelines” to the degree feasible. 

Applicants will be notified that their proposals were received.

Applicants of accepted proposals will be notified by Dec. 22, 2006

We strongly encourage applicants to apply by e-mail.


E-mail applications to Brenda Afzal at and Jolie Rosst at

Jolie Patterson Rosst

2005 Mini-Grant Proposal
Health Care Without Harm
Grants Administrator
1755 S Street, NW, Suite 6B
Washington, DC 20009


Brenda M Afzal, RN, MS

Environmental Health Education Center
U of MD, School of Nursing
655 West Lombard Street, Room 665
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Office (410) 706-1778

Related Files:
Grant Requirements

12th World Congress on Public Health: Turkey 2009

The World Congress on Public Health convenes every three years and is a fabulous opportunity to expand your public health knowledge – gaining an international perspective on health issues, and how to solve those issues together – as a global community!

In August 2006, I had the opportunity to attend the 11th World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is impossible to fully describe the impact of that meeting on the participants. The theme of the 11th Congress, “Public Health in a globalized world: Breaking down social, economic and political barriers,” promoted discussion and recommendations related to universal health care, social and environmental determinants of health (the causes of the causes of disease and illness), and the inequities present both between countries and within countries. I was fortunate to be able to take my 13-year-old daughter, Marylynne, to the World Congress.  As a result, we have three new friends from Brazil – a dentist and her two teen daughters who were also attending the meeting with their mother. We are talking about faculty exchange and high school exchanges. The opportunities are limitless . . . we’ve started our savings account for Turkey 2009. Will you join us?

Local Arragements Committee Prepares for Boston

Dear Public Health Nurses,

November’s approaching quickly. We are looking forward to seeing all of you next month for the APHA Annual Meeting at the Boston Convention Center.

Many activities are planned for the Section, including the Public Health Nursing Section Reception and the Quad Council presentation on Sunday, Nov. 5, from 7:00-9:30 p.m. A reception follows immediately from 9:30-10:30 PM. Come enjoy refreshments, and bid on many wonderful, donated, silent-auction items. Reconnect with colleagues from across the country!

On Monday, Nov. 6, a Student Reception, combined with a Public Health Nursing Town Meeting, will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. During the evening, we will recognize students and discuss public health nursing topics with public health nursing leaders. Refreshments will be provided.


The annual Public Health Nursing Section luncheon is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 12:30-2:00 p.m. This program features the presentation of various nursing achievement awards. Tickets are required for this event. If you do not purchase tickets prior to this event, you can buy them onsite at the meal-ticket booth in the registration area of the Boston Convention Center. We recommend getting your tickets early. This luncheon sells out!

Please stop by the Public Health Nursing Section - Booth #108 in the exhibit hall and pick up information on opportunities and activities of the APHA public health nursing section, the local affiliate, and the Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses. See pictures on display of “public health nursing past, present, and future.” We will have items that you can purchase to remember your time in Boston.


We look forward to meeting you. The committee has worked hard to assure a memorable visit to the great city of Boston in November!


Local Arrangement Co-chairs


Sandy Collins, RN Past President MAPHN

Glynnis La Rosa RN, Public Health Nursing Advisor MDPH

Donna Lazorik, RN, MPHA Public Health Nursing Section Co-chair