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Public Health Nursing
Section Newsletter
Spring 2006

Message From The Chair

Chair, Public Health Nursing Section
Marjory Buchanan

Greetings to All,

As we gathered for the PHN Section 2006 Mid-Year Meeting on March 24 & 25 at APHA headquarters, I was struck by the time and talent contributed by all who make up our leadership and membership.  Over the course of these two days, there was much discussion and action regarding our Section’s priorities, operations, issues and initiatives.   We laughed much, enjoyed the opportunity to come together around all manner of public health and nursing matters, and framed next steps that reflect energy and inspiration.  I find myself thinking in couplets of words as I reflect on those two days:  wisdom and warmth, caring and commitment, creativity and courage, perseverance and power, grace and giving…, and these do not begin to cover the capacities and qualities of the PHN Section.    It was a good meeting with many important next steps outlined and now in the Section’s pipeline!  Check out the list of achievements following my message to read some, but by no means all, of the meeting updates and accomplishments.HIGXYZ68HIGZYX

Many thanks to all of you who attended, called in, and submitted reports for the meeting.  A note of special thanks to Rita Gallagher who again arranged for us to dine at the National Press Club, an event and dinner that was filled with journalism history, a fine meal, and great fun! 

Concerns and Challenges

Over the past couple of years, a number of important public health and nursing issues have emerged that have generated concerns and challenges for public health nursing.    One concerns the public’s health.  The other relates to our place as a specialty nursing group.  The interrelationship of these two issues is integral to moving forward to address both of these matters.  As a result, a great deal of thoughtful discussion as well as strategizing has occurred within the Section.  I would like to take this opportunity to address these with you.

First, it is evident that public health is again a matter of interest to legislators, organizations and the public.  All are acutely aware of the diverse threats to our health and safety from pandemic diseases, an aging society, ongoing health disparities, the increasing number of natural and manmade disasters, and the insufficient progress toward meeting APHA’s Objectives for the Nation.  The fraying public health infrastructure and the diminishing PHN presence in many official health agencies, community-based settings, and other forums require that we name, frame and rise to meet these challenges. 

Second, actions taken by nursing and nursing-related entities are indicative that PHNs are neither sufficiently recognized nor represented when decisions that threaten the role of public health nursing and, subsequently the public’s health are made.  The American Nurses Credentialing Center nearly eliminated the PHN Credentialing Exam in 2005. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing disseminated a draft Vision Statement that delineates advanced practice nursing from clinical specialists, and focused on pharmaceutical intervention as central to advanced practice nursing.  The APRN Stakeholders Group initially did not invite PHN representation in redefining advanced practice nursing until the Quad Council raised a strong voice that demanded PHN participation in these deliberations. 

Public Health Nursing’s population-based practice and focus on health promotion and disease prevention are essential elements in assuring the health of society today.  The updated Public Health Nursing Scope and Standards document, scheduled for release in 2006, will require that Public Health Nursing review our stated role and responsibilities and our core competencies, assuring their congruency and alignment.  This will provide us with the means to articulate our capacity as public health nurses to improve the nation’s health.
Vision, Voice, and Visibility

The Vision, Voice and Visibility Campaign - a strategy for the PHN Section to address these challenges, is emerging.  The objectives of this campaign are to raise awareness and to educate the public and other health care professionals about public health nursing and our essential evidence-based role in the health care delivery system.  In addition, the Vision, Voice and Visibility Campaign seeks to generate support for actively developing and integrating public health nursing in all aspects of public health and nursing practice.    

Campaign planning efforts will begin with the naming and framing of a vision for PHNs in the future health of the nation.  This will be followed by strategic efforts to raise our collective voice so that we are better heard in the din of dialogue concerning the future of public health.  Third, we will undertake specific steps to raise the visibility of public health nursing and the PHN Section in endeavors that advance public health and nursing.  Section leadership is planning one or two PHN Section Conference Calls before the 2006 APHA Annual Meeting.  These discussions will shape this campaign initiative so as to develop a draft proposal for review and final approval by the Section, and plan for a funding proposal to support the Campaign’s efforts.

In closing, I invite all Section members to participate and contribute to this important endeavor.   We must seize this opportunity to take charge of our practice and guarantee our place at the table in order to ensure the future of public health nursing.  We must take action now or risk losing the rich tradition that is ours as public health nurses.  Our future as vital contributors to the health of the public and the nation are at stake.

Public Health Nursing Web Site Re-Launched!

As I write this message, the PHN Section’s new Web site is going live.  This is a landmark moment for Section members.  In the past several years, limitations in our capacity to maintain an active Web site has served as a barrier to communications with Section members and the broad public health and nursing communities.  We are delighted to now provide information about who’s who in the Section’s leadership, discuss activities related to our strategic priorities, and frame the challenges for PHN’s in the public health and nursing arenas.

With many thanks to the folks at APHA who have made this possible, we also want to especially thank two people who have moved us forward in the world of online communications.  Julia Shovein created and managed our first Web site over a number of years from Chico State University.  She helped us learn how powerful this communication mechanism can be and patiently guided our efforts to launch the site.  Carol Graham has now taken on the challenge of moving the Section’s Web site forward in an exciting collaborative relationship with APHA.  She has guided the development of a new look and an approach that begins with an interim modest Web site within APHA, to one that will one day be a fully interactive communication vehicle. 

Sustainability of our Web site has been challenged since Julia first helped us begin this important element of Section effort.  Funding, technology expertise, and coordination with APHA are all essential to ensure the site can be maintained and sustained over time.  APHA is now offering all Sections the opportunity to operate within APHA, rather than each having to scramble and find ways to make this happen.  This will be a long term effort that begins with an interim site with several basic elements that includes PHN role and responsibilities, leadership and committee information, Section priorities and reports of activities.  We are also hoping to begin to introduce commentary on the issues of the day in both public health and nursing. 

More information will follow, but be sure and check us out at!  We welcome all ideas for design, content, navigation, and tools and resources that may prove useful to our members.  Please send these thoughts and suggestions to either Webmaster Carol Graham  @, or PHN Section Chair Marjorie Buchanan @

Congratulations Derryl Block - RWJ Executive Nurse Fellow

The Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Program graduation ceremony held in Washington, DC on April 8, 2006, recognized one of its newest graduates, Public Health Nursing Section member Derryl Block.
Left to right in the photo are Lavohn Josten, Derryl Block, Joy Reed, Debbie Swanson, and Linda Olson-Keller, all members of the PHN Section of APHA. Josten, Reed, Swanson and Olson-Keller are graduates of the RWJ Executive Nurse Fellows Program from the RWJ cohorts of 2003, 1998, 2002 and 2001, respectively.

Legacy Leadership: Beverly C. Flynn

Invitation for Application to The Beverly C. Flynn PHN Mentorship Program

The Public Health Nursing Section of APHA invites graduate nursing students with a public health concentration, Bachelor of Science in Nursing students who plan to engage in PHN practice, and novice public health nurses to submit an application to become a mentee of the Beverly C. Flynn Public Health Nursing Mentorship Program. This program provides mentorship to nurses for one year for the purposes of establishing meaningful connections in the public health nursing community, developing future PHN leaders, maximizing mentee experiences at the APHA annual meeting, and supporting their involvement in the PHN Section. This year we are inviting nurses from Louisiana, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont to apply. The donor of this award values diversity and recognizes the importance of developing PHN leaders from all walks of life. All mentees will be assigned a mentor from the PHN Section. Mentees are expected to attend the APHA Annual Meeting. Conference registration and PHN Section luncheon fees will be provided for each mentee. Eligibility requirements, mentee responsibilities, and an application are attached. For more information, contact Kathleen Russell, or (317) 274-4079, or Anne Belcher, or (317) 274-4750.


Related Files:
Beverly C. Flynn Mentee Elibibility & Responsibilities
Beverly C. Flynn Mentee Application
The Legacy of Beverly C. Flynn

AcademyHealth Call for Nominations

AcademyHealth requests nominations of health services research that has made a positive impact on health policy and/or practice. The lead researcher of the winning impact will receive $2,000, and the research will be disseminated widely as part of AcademyHealth's ongoing efforts to promote the field of health services research and communicate its value for health care decision-making. The award will be announced at the 2007 National Health Policy Conference on Feb. 12-13, and the winner will receive complementary registration, travel and lodging to the conference.

Submit your nominations today!

* Lead researcher receives $2,000.

* Winning research is published & disseminated as part of AcademyHealth "HSR Impact" series.

* Award is presented at the 2007 National Health Policy Conference on Feb. 12-13.

Selection Criteria:

* Quality of research.

* Effectiveness of research dissemination and translation approach.

* Impact of the research.

Nominations must be received by Friday, July 28, 2006

For more information on the HSR Impact Award, please visit The AcademyHealth Web site or contact Jennifer Muldoon,, or (202) 292-6700.

El Paso County Celebrates Public Health Week

The El Paso County Department of Health and Environment celebrated Public Health Week 2006 in their community with advocacy and education. Both the Colorado State and Denver Health Departments also participated in Public Health Week activities. 

El Paso County public health workers sponsored Pandemic Preparedness with an annual meeting for the community.  Public Health Nurses from El Paso County hosted an information session for the community on Child Abuse coinciding with Child Abuse Prevention Month on April 24, with more than 150 community members in attendance.  The Colorado State Health Department focused on the People of Public Health, using posters and information briefs about public health workers, while the Denver Health Department staged a walk to the state Capitol to celebrate public health.

New York City Council Proclaims National Healthy Schools Day

A new report released on April 24, National Healthy Schools Day, shows an estimated 32 million children at high risk for health and learning impairments triggered by their own schools. State-by-state analysis, including personal stories, illustrate the problems are deeper and more widespread than previously acknowledged.

A second report documents the fact that no federal agency is charged with intervening to protect children's health in schools, and meager programs are uncoordinated, leaving children compelled to attend schools that make them ill and leaving their parents without recourse.

To view their nationwide press release, please see:

To access and read the aforementioned two new national reports, please see:

1- WHO's IN CHARGE OF PROTECTING CHILDREN'S HEALTH AT SCHOOL?, a research report reviewing the sciences of school environments, outlining roles of federal agencies, and showing how no agency can protect children, while adults have some workplace protections.

2- LESSONS LEARNED, a first-even national compendium of state by state data and examples of problems, quoting more than 40 parents and teachers.

Joint Environmental Health/Public Health Nursing Task Force Report

The task force is a joint collaboration between the Environment Section and the Public Health Nursing Section.  Throughout 2005, with the support of a mini-grant from Nurses Work Group of Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), the task force developed environmental health "Principles and Recommendations," which were approved in December by the PHN Section and endorsed by the Quad Council of PHN Organizations (ACHNE, ASTDN, ANA).   The "Principles and Recommendations" document will be shared with the Environment Section for the section's endorsement.  Work for the taskforce in 2006 is being supported by another HCWH mini-grant to prepare a "Greenprint for Action," which will serve to raise awareness and foster adoption of the environmental health principles and recommendations for environmental health practice, education, research, and advocacy.HIGXYZ69HIGZYX

For more information on the taskf orce, to receive our "Principles and Recommendations" and/or "Greenprint for Action," or to join the efforts, please contact Co-Chairs Rita Lourie (PHN) and Robyn Gilden (ENV)

Greenprint for Action Project Objectives:

1. Disseminate the approved Environmental Health Principles and Recommendations in both printed and electronic formats through the Quad Council of PHN Organizations (PHN Section of APHA, Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing, Association for Community Health Nursing Educators, and the American Nurses Association), and Health Care Without Harm.

2. Link the environmental health Principles and Recommendations with the ANA 2006 Scope and Standards for Public Health Nurses and the Quad Council Core Competencies for Public Health Nurses.

3. Promote awareness and adoption of these principles and recommendations by PHNs, public health agencies, schools of nursing, professional associations, and others.

4. Foster multi-disciplinary and multi-sector environmental health collaboration with PHNs by environmental organizations and others that reflect the Environmental Health Principles and Recommendations.

Rita Lourie, RN, MPH, PHN, has assumed the role of Environmental Health Task Force Chair and will work with Marjorie Buchanan, Project Director, and Task Force members in this next step to help rebuild the bridge between public and environmental health. The Task Force is accomplishing these next steps via a series of conference calls between June and December 2006. If you have an interest in becoming involved in this effort, or would like additional information, you may contact Rita at , or Marjorie Buchanan at

ASTDN 2006 Conference Highlights

The Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing held another successful conference in Seattle, from April 28 through May 3, 2006. The first conference day ASTDN hosted an Emergency Preparedness Day with guest speaker Roberta Lavin, MSN, APRN, BC, CAPT, of the U.S. Public Health Service’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, who spoke to the “National Perspective on Emergency Opportunities for ASTDN Linkage and Leadership.” Guest speaker Sharon Stanley, PhD, RN, RS, program director, Center for Health Preparedness, School of Public Health at Ohio State University, shared her insights on “Preparedness Resources for Public Health Nurses.” Kristine Gebbie, DrPH, RN, facilitated the afternoon session group that developed Emergency Preparedness goals for ASTDN to work on in 2006.

Sunday’s activities included ASTDN’s Leadership Dinner and Panel program, facilitated by Jack Thompson, director of the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice. Panelists included Clair Millet, APRN, MN, CNS, chief public health nurse, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, who shared a moving presentation of the “Impact & Response the Aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.” Juanita Graham, RN, MSN, health services chief nurse, Mississippi Department of Health, spoke of “Leadership Skills and Lessons Learned from Time of Crisis.” “Supporting the Response in Disasters” was addressed by both Carole Jakeway, RN, MPH, chief nurse of the Division of Public Health in the Georgia Department of Human Services, and Carol Patwari, RN, director of Public Health Nursing, Texas Department of State Health Services.

HIGXYZ70HIGZYX Partner Day, held on May 1, is an annual event that provides a forum for information sharing between national nursing partners and ASTDN. Reports from the following Quad Council members were: the Public Health Nursing Section of APHA, represented by Betty Bekemeier, MSN, MSPH, immediate past PHN Section chair; the Association of Community Health Nurse Educators, represented by President Pamela Kulbock; American Nurses Association was represented by Bobbie Berkowitz and Rita Gallagher. Other national partners included Pat Drehobl from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Mary Shaffran, principal director of public health systems from Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and Grace Gorenflo, National Association of County and City Health Officials senior advisor.

The focus of ASTDN’s Continuing Education Day featured nationally recognized speaker Antonia Villaruel, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, University of Michigan School of Nursing. Villaruel’s presentation on “Achieving Health Equity: From Knowledge to Action,” was inspiring and provided insight for action to address health disparities and inequity. Other featured speakers were Elizabeth Thomas, BSN, MN, ARNP, president of the Washington State chapter of the Mary Mahoney Professional Nursing Association; Rudy Vasquez, multicultural director at Sea Mar Community Health Centers in Washington State; David Harrelson, BA, tribal & health disparities specialist, Washington State Department of Health, Tobacco Prevention Control Program.

The day’s final presentations included Bobbie Berkowitz, who discussed “Leadership Opportunities for Nursing: Building on Past Experiences,” and Betty Bekemeier, who spoke about “Social Justice and the Public Health Nurse.” The day concluded with a facilitated brainstorming session with conference participants to assist ASTDN in identifying elements for an ASTDN position paper outlining public health nursing’s role and responsibility in eliminating health disparities.

Conference attendees enjoyed this year’s conference very much! Conference participants also enjoyed the beautiful Pacific Northwest, visiting the sites of Seattle, enjoying Pacific Northwest cuisine, and networking with colleagues from around the country. Soon to be posted will be conference photos, information, and the link to the educational video presentations from the sessions on the ASTDN Web site at

ANA's Annual QUAD Council Report

Projects/Issues Addressed This Year:

Since the 2005 ASTDN meeting, among other activities, the ANA Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics:
• Adopted the Operating Guidelines (2005-09) and Strategic Plans of the Committee for Nursing Practice Information Infrastructure and the Committee on Nursing Practice Standards & Guidelines.
• Appointed representatives to the Committee for Nursing Practice Information Infrastructure; the Committee on Nursing Practice Standards and Guidelines; and, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations Professional and Technical Advisory Committees.
• Approved the Recognition of a Nursing Specialty, Approval of a Specialty Nursing Scope of Practice Statement and Acknowledgement of Specialty Nursing Standards of Practice and the Position Description Process and Revision Recommendations.
• Recognized Nephrology Nursing and Legal Nurse Consulting as nursing specialties.
• Approved the practice scope of Nephrology Nursing and Legal Nurse Consulting.
• Acknowledged the practice standards of Nephrology Nursing and Legal Nurse Consulting.
• Discussed the replacement of nurses versus critical nursing activities.
• Received organizational and programmatic updates.
• Recommended that the ANA Board of Directors endorse: the Nursing Organization Alliance  Principles and Elements of a Healthful Practice/Work Environment; the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care; and the Essential Nursing Competencies and Curricula Guidelines for Genetics and Genomics.
• Revised the Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics Operating Guidelines. The work of the Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics is accomplished, in part, through the efforts of standing committees which report to CNPE. They are: the Committee on Nursing Practice Standards and Guidelines; and, the Committee for Nursing Practice Information Infrastructure (CNPII).

According to a new survey of registered nurses supported by the American Nurses Association, only 5 percent believe all of their co-workers received an influenza vaccination last year. In response, ANA has launched Everyone Deserves A Shot at Fighting the Flu to urge all nurses and health care workers to get vaccinated against influenza this coming season.

Projects/Issues Pending:

The draft Public Health Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice document has completed the public review comment period resulting in approximately 50 thoughtful and in some instances very extensive responses from individuals, groups and organizations. The workgroup is reviewing each response and item to inform the expert group's thinking as it completes the necessary revisions. The revised document will then be submitted to the formal two-step ANA review process -- first review by the Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics Committee on Standards and Guidelines, followed by final review by the Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics. will then publish the new edition this summer. Joy F. Reed, EdD, RN is serving as chairperson of the workgroup empanelled by the Committee for Nursing Standards and Guidelines. Other members of the workgroup include: M. Beth Benedict, DrPH, JD; Betty Bekemeier, MSN, MPH, RN; Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN; Ellen L. Bridge, BS, MT, RN; Stephanie Chalupka, EdD, APRN,BC; Karen W. Connelly, BSN, MPA, RN; Mary Pat Couig, MPH, RN, FAAN; Philip A. Greiner, DNSc, RN; Glenda Kelly, MSN, RN; Pamela A. Kulbok, DNSc;and Deborah S. Martz, BSN, RN.

Plans for the Future:

CNPE plans include collaboration with the organizational affiliates and liaisons. Comprehensive review and revision of ANA position statements to reflect current practice and ANA policies and initiatives is ongoing. CNPE continues to assess emerging issues that require ANA's attention, including: clinical privileges for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses; principles and models of replacement of RNs with nursing assistive personnel; transforming the work environment for nurses; and Environmental Health Principles. In addition, the Congress continues to advocate for ongoing and timely education and training of registered nurses and other healthcare personnel and expects to complete review of several new and revised specialty nursing scope and standards of practice.

Concluding Comments:

The Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics continues to structure its plan of operation around three overarching focal points: Workplace Issues, Refining and Defining the Practice of Nursing, and Congress Visibility, and will continue to work towards fulfilling the mission and goals of the association. The members of the congress are: Chair Susan Tullai-McGuinness, MPA, PhD, RN; Vice-Chair Mary A. Maryland, PhD, RN, APRN-BC; Esther Acree, RN, MSN, BC, FNP; Karen A. Ballard, MA, RN; Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, CNAA, FAAN; Virginia Burggraf, DNS, RN, FAAN; Sally Burrows-Hudson, MS RN CNN (American Nephrology Nurses Association [ANNA]); Emma L. Doherty, MA, RN; Irmatrude Grant, MS, RN;; Maureen Ann Nalle, PhD, RN; Ann Mabe Newman, DSN, APRN,BC; Susan Foley Pierce, PhD, RN; Tracy A. Ruegg, MS, RN, CNP Lorna Samuels, MSN, ANP, GNP, RN, BC’ Jeanne Surdo RN, BSN, MA; and, Cathalene Teahan, MSN, RN, CNS. Organizational Affiliate CNPE members include: Susan A. Albrecht, PhD (Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses [AWHONN]); Stephanie Davis Burnett, MSN, RN, FNP, CRRN (Association of Rehabilitation Nurses [ARN]); M. David Hanson, MSN, RN, CCRN (American Association of Critical Care Nurses [AACN]); Patricia Kunz Howard, PhD, RN, CEN (Emergency Nurses Association [ENA]); Patrick E. Kenny, EdD, RN, ACRN, CAN, BC, C (Association of Nurses in AIDS Care [ANAC]); Kathleen G. Lawrence, MSN, RN, CWOCN (Wound Ostomy Care Nurses ([WOCN]); Sandra M. Ouellette, CRNA, MEd, FAAN (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists [AANA]); Pauline F. Robitaille, RN, MSN, CNOR (Association of periOperative Registered Nurses [AORN}); Sue Sendelbach, PhD, RN, CCNS (National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists [NACNS]); Joanne Sikkimas, MSN, ARNP (Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association [PCNA]); and, Karen J. Stanley, RN, MSN, AOCN, FAAN (Oncology Nursing Society [ONS]). Organizational liaisons to CNPE include: Katheren Koehn, RN (American Nurses Association Board of Directors); Karen MacDonald, MS, APRN,BC, (American Nurses Credentialing Center [ANCC]); LaTonia Denise Wright, RN, BSN, JD (Center for American Nurses [CAN]); and, Jean Ross, RN, (United American Nurses [UAN]). The Congress is directly supported by ANA staff including: Vernice A. Woodland, BA, Senior Administrative Assistant; Rita Munley Gallagher, PhD, RN, Senior Policy Fellow; and, Mary Jean Schumann, MSN, RN, MBA CPNP, Director, Department of Nursing Practice and Policy. The Congress will next meet in person on September 18 and 19, 2006 at ANA Headquarters.

Submitted by -

Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, CNAA, FAAN, PH: (206) 543-3116/FX: (206) 543-8566

Rita Munley Gallagher, PhD, RN, PH: (301) 628-5062/FX: (240) 363-4919

PHN Section Student Liaisons' Report

This year the PHN Section has two students serving as liaisons for the PHN section: Sabrina Robinson, RN, MS, from the University of South Florida, Tampa, and Melody Coffey-Love, RN, PhD(c), clinical nurse specialist from the University of California, Los Angeles. We have taken responsibility for separate regions of the country. Sabrina will serve as the liaison for the Eastern and Southern United States (East of the Mississippi River except for Wisconsin and Illinois) and Melody as the liaison for West of the Mississippi River, including Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Who We Are:

Sabrina Robinson is a doctoral student in the College of Nursing and a Master of Public Health student in the College of Public Health at the USF, and is nearing completion for both her advancement to PhD candidacy and MPH degree, expecting to graduate in December of 2007. Sabrina's area of specialty is community/public health nursing and cardiac critical care. She also teaches community/public health nursing clinicals for both licensed RNs and generic nursing students at USF. Her research focuses on weight-based victimization and the mental health impact in college students. Sabrina states her "interests have always been public health in general and nursing specifically and the impact we can make on the lives of children and quality of health. I enjoy research which allows me to implement the knowledge that I learned in the classroom setting and impact the health of the communities we serve." Melody Coffey-Love is also a doctoral student in the School of Nursing at UCLA and anticipates graduating in June of 2007. Having completed her course work, Melody is engaged in data collection for her PhD dissertation, a qualitative study looking at nursing relationships. Melody also teaches public health nursing at both the baccalaureate and graduate levels for California State University, Long Beach. Her interests have long been with public health nursing and the impact we can make on the health and quality of life of communities. Melody relates that she "thoroughly enjoy[s] both my research and teaching positions as they keep me in the forefront of public health nursing practice and allow me to be involved at multiple points in our practice."

Student involvement in APHA:

Remember we are your liaisons and link to the APHA PHN section, another resource for students interested in and/or involvement with APHA. As a starting point students are encouraged to visit the Student Section Web page at

This Web site identifies many opportunities for students to spread their wings and get involved. Student involvement contributes to the health and quality of life nationally and globally. Two things that may of critical importance to students are the mentoring program and the student assembly. The mentoring program is a way to link up learners and mentors in an effort to create personalized learning within public health that can offer relevant learning opportunities, prepare you for real world experiences and situations that will increase your professional success, and promote a strong well prepared public health work force. The student assembly is student-led international organization with APHA. This assembly is dedicated to enhance students’ professional development by providing resources, fostering diversity, and promoting opportunities. Please take the time to investigate these two great opportunities for you from APHA. While you are on the web page, also note that there are several other areas that APHA supports students. These include; job listings, career services, access to public health publications, up-to-date public health information, continuing education, networking, and of course the annual meeting. We look forward to getting to know you and hopefully seeing you at the meeting in Boston! And – share the good news about APHA – encourage your student colleagues to join.

Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice

It has been my privilege, by appointment from the QUAD Council, to attend the annual face-to-face meetings (until 2005) and now the teleconferences (because of lack of funding) of the Council on Linkages. I thought you should know what is happening with the Council’s goals and objectives, specifically about the Core Competencies for public health workers developed by COL.

First, since many or you are unaware of the mission of the Council, let me share it with you. The “mission of the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice is to improve public health practice and education by fostering, coordinating, and monitoring links between academia and the public health and healthcare community, developing and advancing innovative strategies to build and strengthen public health infrastructure, and creating a process for continuing public health education throughout one’s career.”

Some history of COL: THE 1988 Institute of Medicine report indicated that there was a gap between the academic and practice communities (IoM, pg. 128) thus, in 1990, national organizations such as the Association of Schools of Public Health, APHA, Health Resources and Services Administration, and Centers for Disease Control established the Public Health/Agency Forum. This organization then issued its final report entitled, The Public Health Faculty/Agency Forum: Linking Graduate Education and Practice. The report recommended several initiatives to improve academics with the public health practice community by building meaningful collaborative relationships between the two sectors. Further, a list of “Universal Competencies” was developed to help guide the education and practice of public health professionals.

Using the mission as a guide, the Council was formed in 1992 to work on several national objectives among which were:

1. Encourage all public health educational programs in academic institutions to engage in collaborative partnerships with public health and health care agencies, associations and organizations.

2. Encourage all public health agencies, organizations, and academic institutions to promote a diverse and culturally competent public health workforce.

3. Enhance the quality of public health education by encouraging the incorporation of nationally agree upon public health competencies into curricula, and Council on Education For Public Health accreditation guidelines for Schools of Public Health and Graduate Public Health Programs.

4. Promote a greater level of awareness about the need for more continuing education opportunities and a system of lifelong learning to improve the knowledge and skills of the public health workforce through collaboration with academic and practice public health agencies and organizations.

5. Advance the improvement of quality, accountability, and the overall performance of public health agencies, systems, and the workforce.

6. Promote collaborative research to advance the field of Public Health Systems Research  and build the evidence base for public health practice.

Struggling with diminishing resources, members of the Council have narrowed their work down to a few objectives, mainly promoting PHSR, workforce retention and recruitment and the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals.

The COL Core Competencies have been used by many academic institutions and practice organizations throughout the United States. They have not been changed and will remain as placed in print in April 2001,  In addition, approximately 100 discipline-specific competencies sets have been developed and are being used for health professionals. The challenge for any of the developed sets of competencies is determining their impact on the ongoing education and workforce development efforts. We need to determine the value of the competencies…understanding whether and how competencies use can lead from improved individual performance by various staff levels of public health workers to improved performance by the public health agency or organization. Should research confirm that competency-based education and workforce development improves performance, and subsequently better health outcomes, then public health will require the tools necessary to successfully implement these competencies.

To that end, a working group of public health leaders chaired by Diane Downing (one of our own APHA PHN members) have begun their task to clarify the distinctions and similarities between the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals and the Association of Schools of Public Health’s MPH competencies and the ways they can be used together. The goal is to produce a brief document designed to help the public health community — course providers, public health agencies, student, workers, etc. – gain a better understanding of when and how to use these key competency sets. Purpose, history, characteristics (structure), applications, strengths, and how the sets can be used together are the main constructs for the document which will be introduced by phases since not all of the MPH competency sets have been completed.

The panel of public health leaders working on this project is comprised of: Diane Downing (Community-Campus Partnerships for Health), David Gregorio (Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine), Colleen Hughes (QUAD Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations), Larry Jones (National Association of County and City Health Officials) from the COL. Other national public health leaders invited to participate are: Elaine Auld (Society for Public Health Education), Joyce Essien (Emory University), Kristine Gebbie (Columbia University), Kathy Miner (Emory University), Jane Nelson (Emory University), Rachel Shnekendorf (Association of Schools of Public Health), Elizabeth Weist (ASPH). The work will be placed on the Public Health Foundation’s COL Web site: I would encourage you to check the updates on the Web site frequently and to make your comments known to any of the members on the task force.

The next steps for this task force will be to expand the guide to address other competencies sets; perhaps updating the list of discipline-specific competencies; and to consider the implications of the existence of multiple competencies sets for health departments as they consider which one to incorporate into job descriptions, etc.

Each year, the COL also sponsors Linkages Awards for collaborative activities between public health practice agencies and academic institutions of higher learning, with special attention to highlighting a successful effort to improve worker recruitment or retention. As a reviewer, I’m always interested in the winning particulars which are on the COL Web site and announced at the NACCHO and ASTHO annual meetings.

Legislative Corner

Register to vote with absentee ballot

This year's election day (Nov. 7, 2006) will happen during the APHA Annual Meeting in Boston.  Make your voice heard in the ballot box by registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot before your state deadline!  Click here for more information:

APHA Tips on Making a Successful Capitol Hill Advocacy Visit

  1. Select a primary spokesperson. Be sure that everyone in the group identifies themselves. Mention that you are a voting constituent and provide some context about where you live and work in the district and state. Explain briefly what you do and how it affects the other constituents in the district/state.
  2. Be brief. Cover only two or three topics. If you are not discussing a specific bill, explain that you want to provide background information or provide your perspective on an issue. Cite evidence or statistics to support your position. Provide illustrations of the policy change impact. Relate any adverse impact. Be concise and honest about the issue and solution.
  3. Listen carefully to the views and comments of the member or his/her staff. Answer clearly any questions they might have. If you do not know the answer, be honest and indicate you will follow up with the answer later. Don’t be argumentative. Be flexible.
  4. Offer assistance or further information. If you know of a particular study, report, or other data, be sure to reference it and indicate your willingness to share it with the Member and his/her staff.
  5. Be sure to get a response — in a nice way. Ask for his/her views and position on the issue and what they plan to do about it.
  6. Leave a business card. Reiterate your willingness and interest to be of assistance — to serve as a resource — for the staff and member. Summarize your requests and any responses made by the staff or member. Summarize any requests made for you and indicate how you plan to respond.
  7. Thank the person for his/her time and courtesy.
  8. Report back to APHA on the results of the meeting.
  9. Follow up with a thank you note later. Be sure to call or write with answers on information requested.
  10. Congratulate yourself on a job well done! You are now an experienced federal health policy advocate.

Be sure to do a similar advocacy visit with the staff in the state offices, and check in with your member when he/she is at home visiting.HIGXYZ82HIGZYX HIGXYZ83HIGZYX

Invitation from the Research Committee

The PHN Section Research Committee welcomes participation by Section members from all backgrounds -- community health, school health, occupational health, public health and government agencies, academe, home health, and other settings. You don't have to have a doctorate! Just an interest in identifying and building the evidence base for public health nursing.

Research Committee members work with the Program Committee in reviewing research abstracts submitted for presentation at the APHA Annual Meeting, and determine selections for the New Investigator session. The committee is completing analysis of responses to an e-mail survey of Section members on public health nursing research opportunities (coordinated by Demetrius Porche). If you have not yet responded to the six open-ended questions, please send e-mail to .

ALL PHN Section Members are welcome to suggest ideas for this committee's agenda: How can the Research Committee serve the Section?

Committee members include Judith Baigis, Kay Bender, Carol Blue, Elaine Conley, May Dobal, Diane Downing, Nancy Fahrenwald, Sherry Hendrickson, Pam Kulbok, Nonie Mandas, Jeanne Matthews, Clair Millet, Kay Sandor, Sue Strohschein, and Carolyn Williams. Contact Committee Chair JoAnne Bennett (New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene) @, or (212) 929-3716.

Research Briefs

Community Health Nursing Education: Research in Brief

A research study was conducted describing the state of community health nursing education in BSN programs in Pennsylvania. Member schools of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Nursing Schools Association were surveyed about their community health nursing courses, the clinical sites utilized, and the most effective clinical teaching methods. Twenty-six of 43 surveys were returned (62 percent).

All but two of the programs had a separate course for community health nursing, indicating a reversal of a prior trend of integrating CHN into other courses. Most programs offered a four or five credit course, which included 1-2 credits of clinical.

A recent national controversy in CHN education has been whether CHN content should be community-based (focused on the care of individuals in the community) or community-focused (directed to care OF the community, not only IN the community). The majority of the programs (46 percent) reported that their CHN course is evenly divided between community-based and community-focused approaches. Nine schools (38 percent) reported their CHN course as being community-focused. Only two schools reported being community-based only. It is clear that the programs are including the population or aggregate approach rather than a focus on the care of individuals.

The programs utilized a wide variety of clinical sites. The more frequently listed sites included: home care (87 percent), school (74 percent), community teaching project (70 percent), community agency (61 percent), hospice (61 percent), industrial setting (57 percent), outpatient clinic (52 percent), senior citizen high-rise or center (44 percent). Nineteen schools (83 percent) used other additional sites. These included parish nursing, shelters for the homeless, health departments, health fairs, wellness programs and prisons. Experiences were often not standardized, with different students having different clinical assignments. The most frequently (41 percent) cited “most effective clinical teaching tool” was the community assessment/community project.

Community-based Research & Practice in Action

The Wood County Child Care Education Initiative

As a public health nurse for the Wood County Health Department, Carrie Engelbright, RN, BSN, works in various parent-child health programs one of which is Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN). This program sponsors a community coalition, “Caring Hands,” that provides education for child-care providers caring for children with special health care needs. Caring Hands is comprised of representatives from the Wisconsin Rapids Public School District, Mid-State Technical College, Child Care Resource and Referral, and the Wood County CYSHCN.

In response to declining participation in coalition sponsored events and seminars, a community needs assessment of Wood County certified or licensed providers identified from the Child Care Resource and Referral address database was completed. The results of the assessment revealed that providers wanted trainings conducted in shorter evening time-periods during the workweek and geographically in north and south Wood County. As a result of the needs assessment findings, four educational PowerPoint presentations based on four of the Healthiest Wisconsin 2010 Health Priorities were developed. These priority area topics included Intentional and Unintentional Injuries in Children, Common Childhood Illnesses, Mental Health Issues in Children, and Nutrition and Kids. Four, two-hour trainings, conducted at sites in both north and south Wood County was provided at no cost to 241 participants. Grant funding to develop this program was obtained from various participating members of the Caring Hands Coalition.

A post-training telephone survey of participants indicated that a majority of the training content information integrated into daily practice and disseminated to other staff members, the parents of CYSHCN children served. In response to the success of the education program and requested by providers, the Caring Hands group will conduce four new training sessions in fall 2006.

The content of this educational program is available at no cost. For further information, or to obtain the CYSHCN provider education presentations for your community providers or community partners, please contact Carrie Engelbright at

Boston Planning Committee Prepares for 2006 APHA Annual Meeting

Dear Public Health Nursing Section Members,

November’s approaching. Have you made your reservations for the 2006 APHA Annual Meeting at the Boston Convention Center?

Please don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to network with colleagues from across the country. In addition to the customary scientific, educational, and poster sessions, many activities have been planned specifically for public health nurses.

The Public Health Nursing Section Reception and the Quad Council Presentation are scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 5. The presentation will be from 7:30-9:30 p.m. A reception follows immediately from 9:30-10:30 p.m. Come enjoy refreshments, silent auction and the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues from across the country!

The Quad Council is comprised of the APHA Public Health Nursing Section, the Association of Community Nursing Educators, the Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing, and the American Nurses Association.

The annual PHN 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 and you must pre-purchase them either through your on-line registration or on-site at the meal-ticket booth in the registration area of the Boston Convention Center. We recommend getting your tickets early as the luncheon frequently sells out!  Later that afternoon, from 6:30- 9:30 p.m., the PHN Student Reception takes place. Students will be recognized and refreshments served at the end of the program.

We encourage you to stop by the Public Health Nursing Section booth in the exhibit hall and pick up information on opportunities and activities of the Public Health Nursing Section, the local affiliate, and the Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses. Come and enjoy a pictorial history of public health nursing.

We look forward to meeting each of you. If you have not yet made your reservations, the new Westin, currently being built, will be attached to the Convention Center. It will be complete and ready to accept reservations in June! The Westin Waterfront Hotel is the only hotel connected directly to the Boston Convention Center. See you in Boston in November!

Sandy Collins, Glynnis LaRosa, & Donna Lazorik

Local Arrangements Co-Chairs