Public Health Nursing
Section Newsletter
Spring/Summer 2009

Message from the Chair

Greetings to all public health nurses working nationally and globally who make this a safer and healthier world.  As your Section Chair, frequently I am asked to endorse or participate in a wonderfully active dialog of advocacy on everything from the safety of cosmetics and baby products, to the national effort at health reform.  While I would feel more comfortable if a “democratic” process of involvement would allow me to poll the membership each time the Section is asked to sign on to an issue, the turnaround time is often too tight.  I can only assure you that I do my best to represent the agreed upon priorities of the APHA and the PHN Section.  Here are some examples of issues that the Section has participated in and the role some of your peers have played.


As the United States struggles to find a path towards health reform, I am proud to say that public health nursing has added a voice to the consensus document Commitment to Quality Health Reform: A Consensus Statement from the Nursing Community. While by definition a consensus statement cannot satisfy everyone, our voice is included.  A final product will be posted on our Web site for your review.


APHA and the PHN Section sent a letter of support for the nationally recognized Nurse-Family Partnership model program to President Obama.  A copy of the letter signed by myself and APHA Executive Director Dr. Georges Benjamin can be viewed by clicking here.


As a member of the Advocacy Subcommittee and the Steering Committee of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthier Environments, the PHN Section added its voice to a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson.  It urged her to cancel the Science Advisory Boards’ review of EPA’s Dioxin Reassessment, release this long awaited report, and move ahead to set dioxin policies that will protect the health of our communities.  I urge you to check out the minutes of the May 8, 2009 Steering Committee meeting to see just how effective this group  has been since the inaugural meeting in December 2008.


The PHN Section’s legacy of leadership in APHA continues to be recognized.  Betty Daniels has been appointed to the Action Board. While this is wonderful for the future of the advocacy role for APHA, we also need to take a moment to thank Diane Downing for her outstanding leadership on this very important APHA Board!


Speaking of advocacy, Theresa Heaton has done an outstanding job as Captain of our section’s Governing Councilors. She convened a membership call on April 30, 2009 in which she solicited comments on the APHA 2010 policies. Our voice is strong and confident in the hands of our exceptional Governing Councilors. Thank you, Theresa, and all of our Section’s Governing Councilors for your involvement in policymaking and review.


The role of the public health nurses in containment of the H1N1 flu has been recognized by the New York Times, ( April 27, 2009, 9:00 am, How Queens Flu Outbreak Was Quickly Reported) in the initial eagle eye of the school nurses in New York who recognized and reposted an unusual number of absences. The Arlington County Health Department recognized our own Jeanne Matthews for her efforts in the Georgetown University Medical Center Update (


Rita Gallagher has worked tirelessly as the American Nurses Association’s representative to the Quad Council. She has just recently turned over this particular responsibility to Katie Brewer.  We welcome Katie to the Quad Council and look forward to working with her in the future on issues critical to our nation’s population health and preventive services.


Rita Gallagher and Rita Lourie are co–chairs of the Development Committee, and are doing a wonderful job against economic odds to raise funds for the Section. We all thank them for the leadership role that they assumed this spring.


Public Health Nursing: A class act with a long history of success.   If you have not already read APHA President Cheryl Easley’s Vital Signs column in the May 2009 issue of The Nation’s Health, I urge you to do so.  Cheryl, we thank you for recognizing the work of public health nursing in this article, as well as your leadership, along with your sister Carol, in advocating for programs like the Nurse-Family Partnership, in the current administration’s budget.


You are an active group.  My apologies if I have left out an initiative or individual I should have mentioned.  As we head toward the Annual Meeting in November in Philadelphia, I am acutely aware of the absent faces we will be missing due to the economic realities of many institutional and personal budgets. Please know that with we continue to seek ways of communicating that do not require a plane ticket or hotel stay. Carol Graham is doing a fabulous job with the Web site, and e-commons is coming! Thank you, Carol!  For those of you who are able to make it to the 137th Annual Meeting & Expo, please remember to thank Sonda Oppewal, the chair of the Program Committee, as well as Nancy Rothman and all of the members of the Local Arrangements Committee for their hard work in making the meeting a success.  Plan to stay at The Philadelphia Loews Hotel , the location for all of the PHN events except the poster sessions.


Finally, thank-you Public Health Nurses!  I invite you to join our summer membership conference call in August.  Please watch out for the “Blast E-mail” announcement, and have a safe summer.


Beth Lamanna, PHN Section Chair 2008-09

Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves

When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves.  ~David Orr

It is an exciting time to be involved with environmental health issues! A new White House administration recognizes the importance of the environment for both economic security and the support of a healthy nation, coupled with a growing public interest surrounding a plethora of environmental health issues (e.g., recent public reaction to Bisphenol A in baby bottles).  Public health nurses can, and should, be at the forefront of supporting this growing movement through efforts that impact nursing education, research, practice, and ultimately, influencing healthy public policy. Nurses have two guiding documents which provide a framework for action:

The landmark report Nursing, Health, and the Environment (which was co-edited by Lillian Mood, RN, MPH, FAAN, Public Health Nursing Section member and Institute of Medicine Study Committee chair), proposed specific strategies for preparing nurses to address environmental hazards and issues. The IOM Study Committee called for the integration and enhancement of environmental health into nursing education, practice, and research, made specific recommendations related to those areas, and identified four environmental health competencies for nurses which included: (1) basic knowledge and concepts; (2) assessment and referral; (3) advocacy, ethics, and risk communication; and (4) legislation and regulation.   For nursing practice, the report identifies the importance of environmental health issues in the nursing process. An example would include the nurse understanding the need to assess for pesticide poisoning of a child who was exposed to the chemical on the grass while playing soccer, and is now experiencing an asthma attack, along with a rash. Clearly, there is a need to incorporate more environmental health content into the nursing curriculum for nurses to be prepared to identify environmental exposures as the source of a disease or illness. Finally, the report recommends that nursing research expand into the field of environmental health, with an emphasis on interventions that will reduce risks, in addition to linking exposures with disease.

The Environmental Health Principles for Public Health Nursing, developed in 2005 by the Environmental Health Nurses (EHN) Working Group (a task force of the PHN Section of APHA) used the Nursing, Health, and the Environment recommendations as a template for application to public health nursing. The document includes 12 principles that address topics such as environmental health advocacy, nursing research and environmental health issues, nursing education and environmental health competencies, the precautionary principle, and environmental justice. If you haven’t taken a look at the document, we encourage you to do so. It provides a thoughtful set of guidelines in the area of environmental health, applicable to all public health nurses.

Finally, an exciting opportunity for nurses interested in pursuing the area of environmental health is a new organization entitled:  The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE).  ANHE is an organization of individual nurses and representatives of nursing organizations that are addressing environmental health through nursing and patient education, nursing practice, research and policy/advocacy efforts. ANHE has created a new Web site that provides additional opportunities for nurses to learn and network with one another on a variety of environmental health issues at ANHE supports the efforts of nurses who are greening their curriculum, greening their hospitals, engaging in environmental health research, and advocating for policies at the institutional, local, state, and national level that protect people from environmental health risks and promote a healthy and sustainable world through a variety of workgroups, expert consultation, and providing networking opportunities with other like-minded nurses.

In closing, we invite you to become participate in the EHN Working Group of the PHN Section and the ANHE organization. Nurses can make a difference in improving our environment, healing our earth, and in the end, healing ourselves! Please feel free to contact Laura Anderko at if you would like more information about the EHN Working group or ANHE.

Submitted by Laura Anderko, RN, PhD, Brenda Afzal, RN, MS, & Robyn Gilden, RN, MS

Health Care Without Harm Nurses Workgroup Mini-Grant

The Nurses workgroup of Health Care Without Harm announces a mini-grant funding opportunity.  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.  For an overview of the mini-grant process, click here.  To download the mini-grant application, click here.  For more information, contact either Brenda M. Afzal, RN, MS, at, or Kathryn Hall at

137th APHA Annual Meeting Update

Plan now to attend the 137th Annual Meeting of the APHA in Philadelphia , Nov. 7 – 11, 2009! This year’s conference promises to be informative, fun, stimulating, exciting, and, in short, wonderful.  You’ll have a difficult time choosing what scientific sessions to attend and juggling your time between spending time poster sessions, the exhibit hall, business meeting and social networking opportunities. If this is your first conference, or you’ve gone numerous times, we know that you will leave the conference with new ideas, new friends and mentors, new opportunities, and a renewed passion for improving the public’s health.


Here are a few highlights and considerations:


  • All PHN events except for poster sessions will take place at the Philadelphia Loews at 1200 Market Street.
  • You can reserve your hotel through the APHA Web site beginning June 1, 2009 which is the same day when the conference program goes “live” and will be available to you online. 
  • An early-bird discount is offered for registrations received by August 28, 2009. Click here for the registration site.
  • Check APHA’s Web site for current information about the conference here.
  • The Sunday afternoon “Quad Council: And Drink Plenty of Water” Learning Institute will focus on the conference’s theme of water and health. Brenda Afzal, Director of Health Programs at the Environmental Health Education Center at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, will be the keynote speaker.
  • Calling all students! Encourage nursing students to attend the first “Public Health Nursing Student Business Meeting” on Sunday afternoon.
  • Our PHN Section is organizing one round table session, four poster sessions, and 28 scientific sessions on a variety of subjects of interest to public health nurses and practitioners. Many thanks to everyone who submitted abstracts, those who reviewed the abstracts, and members who helped recruit speakers for the invited sessions.
  • We have a number of distinguished speakers including Tennessee Commissioner of Health Susan Cooper, MSN, RN, who will share her experiences in the session, Public Health Perspectives on Health Reform. We are so fortunate to have many other interesting sessions and highly qualified experts who are willing to share their time and talents.
  • Plan on coming to the “Public Health Nursing Emerging Leaders Recognition and Reception” on Monday evening, Nov. 9. This will be a great time to network with nurses and other public health practitioners. We will recognize all of the students who presented at the conference, and the PHN Section Young Investigator Award will be given for the first time. Sign up to attend the PHN Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, Nov. 10 when you register for the conference.
  • Come to the PHN Business meetings beginning Sunday, Nov. 7 – Wednesday, Nov. 11. Yes, they are bright and early in the morning….but you’ll gain new friends and great opportunities to contribute to the work of the Section.
  • Not sure what to expect or feeling overwhelmed already by the conference? Contact me by sending an e-mail message to and I will try to help identify a PHN Section member to help answer your questions, provide guidance, share experiences, and help make your first APHA conference memorable.
  • If you are interested in serving as a moderator for a session at the conference, please send an e-mail message to Sonda Oppewal at


I look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia!


Sonda Oppewal, PHN Section Program Chair

Physical Activity SPIG Announces 5K Fun Run/Walk

While in Philadelphia for the 2009 APHA Annual Meeting, join your colleagues for the Second Annual 5K Fun Run/Walk on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 10. The 5K (3.1-mile) route will feature views of the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the steps of which were made famous in the movie Rocky. More information about this activity, including a course map, will be published in the fall newsletters of the Physical Activity SPIG and other Sections and SPIGs and will be made available at the Annual Meeting. In the meantime, please contact Genevieve Dunton ( or Jim Konopack ( with any questions. We look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia!

Continuing Education: APHA and Nursing

We are happy to announce that the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC) has granted the APHA’s  Public Health Nursing (PHN) Section’s request to consolidate the re-accreditation dates for our Provider and Approver Units.  The consolidated date will be the spring of 2012 with a two-day site visit, and our self-assessment report is due by Feb. 1, 2012.  This consolidation came about because at our mid-year meeting, the PHN Education Committee discussed with our leadership that our Provider Unit’s re-accreditation was due in the spring of 2010, and the Approver Unit would be in three years.  If the re-accreditation self-assessment reports and site visit could be at the same time, it was to be less effort and a cost-savings.  APHA and PHN Section leadership supported and approved our recommendation to seek a consolidation, and subsequently the request was submitted to the ANCC. 


Nursing Professional Development (NPD): Scope and Standards of Practice

ANA Announcement: 05/26/09 


Public Comments are due by July 26, 2009.

The National Nursing Staff Development Organization (NNSDO)/American Nurses Association (ANA) Collaborative Workgroup requests public comments on the draft revision of the Nursing Professional Development: Scope and Standards of Practice. in the public domain by clicking here.  The NPD Scope and Standards refer to any professional education that is earned once an individual becomes a registered nurse.  It is broad in perspective and encompasses such opportunities as continuing education, in-service, individual study with mentoring, and in a general sense, coursework whether for academic credit or not.

Our Section’s Education Committee is looking to expand its membership.  If you are interested, please contact Beth Benedict

Certify as an Advanced Public Health Nurse Now

New eligibility requirements are in effect for the Advanced Public Health Nurse credentialing exam by the American Nurses Credentialing Center . The new requirements give increased opportunities for public health nurses to certify as an Advanced Public Health Nurse.  To review the requirements and apply for the APHN exam, click here .

CDC Features “Nurses Building a Healthy America”

During National Nurses Week 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention featured five CDC nurses engaged in population-based practice.  View the full story profiling CDC nurses Brant Goode, Jim Schwendinger, Pelagie (Mike) Snesrud, Myra Tucker, and Holly Williams here .

APHA Announces Public Health Fellowship

Call for Applicants: 2010 APHA Public Health Fellowship in Government


The 2010 APHA Public Health Fellowship in Government is now open and accepting applications. This is the third year that APHA has offered this fellowship. APHA is looking for candidates with strong public health credentials who wish to spend one year in Washington, D.C. working in a congressional office on legislative and policy issues related to health, the environment or other critical public health issues.


The fellowship will begin in January 2010 and continue through December 2010. The fellowship is designed to provide a unique public policy learning experience, to demonstrate the value of science-government interaction, and to make practical contributions to enhancing public health science and practical knowledge in government.


Applications and additional information are available by clicking here.  The application, including CV and three letters of recommendation, are due to APHA by June 22, 2009.   


 All candidates must:


·        be APHA members.

·        have five years of experience in a public health position.

·        have a graduate degree in a public health discipline.


For more information, contact Susan Polan, Associate Executive Director of Public Affairs and Advocacy at APHA, at or (202)777-2510.


Public Health CareerMart over 1000 jobs listed!


APHA has created the Public Health CareerMart to be the online career resource center in the field of public health.  Here, you’ll find only qualified, industry professionals.


Job seekers, instead of searching through hundreds of sites looking for the perfect jobs in public health, you will find it all at the Public Health CareerMart Career Development Center at


Employers, instead of being inundated with stacks of unrelated, irrelevant resumes, you’re much more likely to find the candidates with the skills and experience you’re looking for — and spend less time doing it!  After all, where better to find the best public health professionals than the association that represents them? 


Public Health CareerMart  is a member of the National Healthcare Career Network.



Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Manual

APHA is proud to annouce the release of Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention: A Guide for Public Health Practitioners. This manual provides public health professionals with information, skills and tools needed to conduct screening and brief intervention (SBI) to help at-risk drinkers reduce their alcohol use.  Download the manual for free here.



Help Make America the Healthiest Nation in One Generation

Let’s face it – as a nation we’re not nearly as healthy as we should be. Compared to other developed nations, we’re lagging far behind. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With your help, we can make America the healthiest nation in just one generation.


As a central component of this year’s National Public Health Week (NPHW) observance, APHA launched an exciting, new viral video campaign. The Healthiest Nation in One Generation video tells the story of the many ways that public health touches our lives. Nearly 25,000 people have already viewed the video online, and the numbers continue to grow each day. If you haven’t checked out the video, watch it today and be sure to share it with your colleagues, family and friends. And stay informed by visiting – NPHW 2009 is over, but our campaign to make America the healthiest nation in one generation is just beginning…


We all have to do our part. What will you do?

Find out how you can be a part of the Healthiest Nation in One Generation



Your Opinion Counts

APHA wants to know your opinion on whether you would use an online version of the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual.  Help us by taking a survey by clicking here.  We appreciate your input.



New Book On Disability Studies

Disabilty and Public Health, published by APHA, is now available. The publication is an important and overdue contribution to the core curriculum of disability studies in public health education. It is a particularly timely book because, as our nation ages, disability is an increasingly significant interdisciplinary area of study and service domain in public health. Visit the APHA online bookstore at . APHA members can also take advantage of a 30 percent member discount whether ordering online or via our toll-free number, (888) 320-2742.


University of Washington Faculty Position Open

The University of Washington’s School of Nursing’s Department of Psychosocial & Community Health is seeking candidates for a faculty position at the Assistant Professor rank, with research, clinical expertise and teaching in community geropsychiatric nursing.  This is a full-time (100 percent FTE) tenure-eligible position for a service period of nine months per year.  Click here for the full position announcement.

Join the PHN Section Today!

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