Public Health Nursing
Section Newsletter
Winter 2004


It seems like only yesterday that we were together at the Annual Meeting in San Francisco. I trust that you had various holiday celebrations and are getting off to a wonderful and healthy 2004. I am looking forward to a busy, but productive year for the PHN Section! Thanks to all of you who have already assisted me in getting off to a good start. I especially want to thank Sonda Oppewal for her leadership as the Section Chair last year and for her work in this transition.

Among the various activities that we have on our plate for this year include two new working groups within the section. One will focus on Environmental Health and Public Health Nursing and the other will focus on the PHN Workforce. Jean Matthews and Beth Lamanna are co-leading the PHN Workforce Group. Marjorie Buchanan is leading the Environmental Health Work Group, with wonderful assistance from Lil Mood. If you have not already expressed an interest in working with these groups, and you do want to, please just let them know. We are expecting big things to happen!

Beth Benedict, Colleen Hughes, Marjorie Buchanan, and Sonda Oppewal have been working night and day with the APHA staff on the Section’s application to CCNE for provider status. Thank you to that team (and to others that may have been called on to assist with sections of the document) for that hard work.

The Section’s mid-year meeting will be held at APHA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on March 12-13, 2004. We will be working hard that weekend on Section business and planning for the Annual Meeting events. Please let us know if there is anything you would like for us to consider during that meeting.

It is the PHN Section’s turn to chair the QUAD Council this year, so I will also be functioning in that role. If you have issues that you wish to have brought before the QUAD Council, please just let me know. As you are aware, the collaboration among the four nursing organizations with public and community health nursing at heart is a very strong force.

As you may know, APHA initiated a policy review process last year in order to systematically review, archive, and update the organization’s policies. They have asked us to take the lead in reviewing the public health nursing policies. We will have those guidelines soon and will be working on this at the mid-year meeting and for a short time thereafter. If you have an interest in this process, please let me know.

Please join me in thanking Joan Dodgson and Donna Westawski, our Newsletter Co-Editors. They welcome news from you, and your contributions enhance the Section’s work. Please let us hear from you.



Kaye Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN
(601) 984-6220

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

Immediate-Past Section Chair:
Sonda Oppewal, PhD, RN
(919) 843-6169

Elizabeth (Betty) Bekemeier, MPH, MSN, RN
(206) 616-8410

Kathleen May, DNSc, RN

Derryl Block, PhD, MPH, RN

Section Council:

Charmaine M. Fitzig, DrPH, RN

Feleta L. Wilson, PhD, RN

Betty Daniels, MSN, RN

Jean E. Swinney, PhD, RN

Mary Lou England, MS, RN

Jeanne Matthews, PhD, RN

Governing Council:

Aisha N. El-Amin, MN, RN

Rita J. Lourie, MSN, MPH, RN

Rita Gallagher, PhD, RN

Nonceba Lubanga, MPH, BA, RN

Julia Shovein, PhD, MS, RN

Sandra Walls

Armenia M. Williams, DPA, RNC, FNP


American Public Health Association
Public Health Nursing Section

The Public Health Nursing Section of the American Public Health Association is calling for nominations for awards to be presented at the 2004 Annual Meeting. The Ruth B. Freeman Award is for recognition of a person who has had a distinguished career in public health, in service or education. The Public Health Nurse Creative Achievement Award is for recognition of an individual's creative contribution to public health nursing practice, research, education or administration. The Lillian Wald Service Award is for recognition of individuals, agencies or media depicting exemplary public health nursing practice to the public, especially in political, legislative, professional, or interdisciplinary activism.

The deadline for submission of nomination materials is May 1, 2004. Nominees must be members of the American Public Health Association and primary members of the Public Health Nursing Section. The Awards Committee encourages nominations and is happy to answer questions regarding preparation of materials. For questions or to request nomination materials, please contact the Chair of the APHA PHN Section Awards Committee:

Sandra Walls, MSN, RN
Kent County Health Department
700 Fuller N.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
FAX: 616-336-8099
Telephone: 616-336-3036 (direct)


Twenty years ago, there was no venue for articles specifically related to public and community health nursing. This void was filled by the creation of Public Health Nursing, a journal devoted to the concerns of practicing public health nurses, educators and administrators. The original journal editors, Dr. Sherry L. Shamansky and Dr. Katherine Young Graham, were highly successful in establishing the journal and in attracting first-rate research articles and other features. Over time, the focus of the journal expanded to include public and community health nursing worldwide. Drs. Shamansky and Graham retired from their editorial positions at the end of 2003. In conjunction with a panel of editorial advisory board members and the outgoing editors, Blackwell Publishing appointed two new editors, Dr. Sarah E. Abrams and Dr. Judith C. Hays, who began their official duties on Jan. 1, 2004.

Sarah Abrams, PhD, RN, BC, earned her master’s degree from the Yale University School of Nursing and her doctorate in nursing at the University of California, San Francisco. Coming to nursing mid-career from health policy roles in California state government and the University of California, Dr. Abrams has worked to develop programs for older adults in public health and long term care systems. A clinical nurse specialist in community health, she is also ANCC certified as a gerontological clinical nurse specialist. Since joining the faculty of the University of Vermont in 2002, Dr. Abrams has taught in both the undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing in the areas of community health and geriatric primary care. Her program of research is centered on improvement of systems of care for older adults, particularly those with neurocognitive impairments or chronic mental illnesses. The 1990 American Nurses’ Foundation Teresa Christy Scholar, she conducts historical research in the area of philanthropic and religious contributions to nursing. Dr. Abrams serves on the Vermont Department of Health Arthritis Program State Advisory Board. She is a member of the American Public Health Association—Public Health Nursing Section, the American Association for the History of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau, and is currently secretary of the Vermont State Nurses’ Association. She has a daughter currently completing her master’s degree in historic preservation and has recently moved to a country home where, in her free moments, she communes with the wildlife.

Judith C. (Judy) Hays, RN, PhD, is Associate Research Professor at Duke University Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, and the School of Nursing. She earned degrees from Wellesley College (BA/English Literature), Emory University (BSN), and Yale University Schools of Nursing (MSN/Community Health Clinical Nurse Specialist) and Medicine (PhD/Chronic Disease Epidemiology). Duke awarded her a post-doctoral Fellowship in Aging, and she joined the faculty there in 1992. Her research is published in more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals in psychiatry, aging and nursing. Her studies focus on lifespan predictors of adaptation in late life; special interests include residential change, depression, religiousness, and death, dying, and bereavement. She also teaches Population Health in the MSN program at Duke and supervises the research projects of undergraduates, medical students and post-doctoral Fellows. She is married to Richard Hays, PhD, a Distinguished Professor in the Duke Divinity School, and is the mother of two: a son pursuing doctoral studies at Emory and a daughter who is a stage actress in Los Angeles. In her free time, she putters in her rose garden, re-reads Jane Austen novels, and clambers up mountains. Her most strenuous climb to-date was up Mount Ruapehu, the New Zealand volcano portrayed in Lord of the Rings as Mount Doom.

The Public Health Nursing journal of the 21st century has already begun to take shape under the new editors. Working with the journal’s editorial advisory board, they have begun a strategic planning process that involves reviewing the aim and scope of the journal, revision of its format, planning for a fresh new cover image, and increasing journal subscription both in the United States and abroad. Current circulation is to over 1,350 individual and institutional subscribers worldwide. The strategic planning effort will also evaluate the journal’s potential to serve as a vehicle for continuing education for public health nurses.

Charged with bringing new focus to the journal, Judy and Sarah have developed new manuscript types with specific guidelines to ensure timely reporting of cutting-edge research, program evaluations, and case studies, along with features related to health policy, legal and ethical issues, theoretical bases for practice, educational demonstrations, and curricular issues. Both believe in the value of understanding the past as a prologue to future development; therefore, each issue will also address some aspect of public health nursing history. Most significantly, the journal will actively promote an interdisciplinary approach to population-based health care, while retaining its primary mission as a venue for nursing literature.

The editors seek excellent manuscripts from both experienced and new authors and solicit from members of related disciplines manuscripts focused on issues relevant to population-based nursing care. Online manuscript submission was inaugurated in January 2004 at the journal’s Manuscript Central site, <>. An author submitting a manuscript for the first time using Manuscript Central will be directed through the process in a series of steps, with easy instructions and access to the author guidelines for Public Health Nursing This system will facilitate the review and decision process, and allow authors to monitor the progress of their manuscripts at each step.

Welcome the new Public Health Nursing as the pre-eminent publication for public health nurses and others interested in the practice of public health nursing. The editors look forward to meeting PHN section members and to reporting on significant developments within the APHA-PHN section.


Dr. Patty Hale, nursing professor at Lynchburg College, was named a winner of a U.S. Professors of the Year Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Dr. Hale has the distinction of being the first nursing professor to receive this recognition. She is also a PHN section member.

As a community health nursing specialist, Dr. Hale has demonstrated excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. Many of her students exhibit confidence in exploring new areas of nursing and assume leadership roles.

Through Dr. Hale’s leadership, health services and education programs are provided in three inner city Lynchburg neighborhoods. She develops health initiatives with eight different community agencies. She has also worked with students to develop a directory of the community’s healthcare and social services programs. Another initiative has involved community education and programming for young mothers to address the dangers of lead poisoning.

Born in Wisconsin, Dr. Hale earned a PhD in clinical nursing research from the University of Maryland, a master's degree in community health nursing and a family nurse practitioner post-masters certificate from the University of Virginia and a BS in nursing from the University of Wisconsin.

Dr. Hale has held international nursing positions as a visiting faculty member at the University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia and for the World Health Organization in Manila, Philippines.

Please join the PHN section in congratulating Dr. Hale for receiving this honor.


In Memoriam

Jessie Yoas, one of our active public health nurse leaders, passed away Oct. 28, 2003, at the Hospice Austin Christopher House in Austin, Texas. She is survived by her husband, Howard, a loving family, and countless colleagues in the nursing profession and in public health throughout Texas. She was a dear friend to many APHA colleagues as a long-time PHN Section member. She most recently served as PHN Section Program Co-Chair.

Jessie received her undergraduate degree in nursing in 1964, and her MS in Public Health Nursing in 1978. She became interested in public health and began her first position as a staff nurse at the Galveston County Health Department. Jessie’s career took her to the City of Houston Health Department, then to Austin/Travis County Health Department, and finally to the Texas Department of Health.

Jessie was a humanitarian first, always making it her goal to help people. She developed methods and systems for providing more services to clients in need of health care. Her work took her to areas that many people would have turned from: people with leprosy, tuberculosis and venereal diseases. She helped many more people than she realized. She was instrumental in helping control childhood diseases by working to make sure children were immunized by setting up clinics for vaccinations ad going into schools to vaccinate children.

Jessie was active in the Texas Public Health Association since 1970, acting as President in 1988-1989, serving on the Governing Council and the Executive Board, chairing and serving on the Nursing Section Council of TPHA, and serving on numerous committees and chairing many of them. She was TPHA representative to the APHA Governing Council. She received the prestigious James E. Peavy Memorial Award for her lifetime contributions to public health from the TPHA in 1993. Jessie was also a founding director of the Public Health Museum of Texas, a virtual museum chronicling the need and growth of the public health mission in Texas.

Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the Hospice Austin Christopher House at 4107 Spicewood Springs RD, Suite 100, Austin TX 78759-8645; The Public Health Museum of Texas at P.O. Box 4928; or to the charity of one’s choice.


Florence Nightingale Service
Washington National Cathedral
Sunday, May 9, 2004, 4 p.m.

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) founded modern nursing. She was one of the most towering figures in the nineteenth century – a visionary, scientist, practitioner, politician, environmentalist, reformer and feminist. Nightingale’s achievements went beyond nursing to influence medicine and public health. Today, every individual owes a debt of gratitude for her great contributions to modern health care.

The inaugural Florence Nightingale Commemorative Service was held on August 12, 2001, at the Washington National Cathedral. The second Florence Nightingale Service will be held on Sunday, May 9, 2004, at 4 p.m. at the Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, NW, Washington, D.C., to honor Nightingale and nurses as they continue Nightingale’s mission of caring and healing.

Guests are requested to be seated by 3:30 p.m. before the procession begins. Seating will be open to all. The service will last for one hour. To keep updated on featured speakers, event sponsorship, and the event details, beginning in May, see the Washington National Cathedral Web site at <>, click on “Washington National Cathedral,” then click on “Events.”

In the procession will be a representative from the five most influential nursing organizations in the United States – the American Nurses Association, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the National League for Nursing, and Sigma Theta Tau International. To conclude the service, five student nurse representatives from the National Student Nurses’ Association will participate with the five representatives from the nursing organizations. A lighted candle is given to each student to represent the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another, from one generation to the next generation, and highlights the diversity of care given by nurses for the benefit of humanity.


APHA kicked off its 2004 Policy Development and Review Process in January and has provided you with a link to information about how you can become more involved in policymaking at the Association. This information covers both the policy development process as well as the recently adopted policy review process. The review process was created to identify outdated APHA policy for archiving and also to identify gaps in APHA policy.

APHA strongly encourages you to work with the leadership of the PHN Section to become involved in this important process.

Please visit <> to view this year’s policy development guidelines.


David Michaels & Wendy Wagner (2003). Science (302), 2073.

Professional journals are increasingly requiring researchers to acknowledge potential conflicts of interest between their research findings and the source of their funding. In addition, researchers must be able to publish their findings without oversight or control of published results by their funding source. Research that is funded through governmental sources must undergo rigorous and open review. However, when research is funded by private sources (non-governmental sources), the review process may be less rigorous, is not open to public scrutiny, and the funders may assume a proprietary attitude toward the findings. This may lead to only positive findings being published about specific products or medications.

The authors suggest the following changes in policy and regulations to address this issue:

1. Disclosure of conflicts of interest for all researchers regardless of funding source.
2. Disclosure of whether the researcher has a contractual right to be free of funders’ control or oversight prior to publication.
3. Funders who publish study results should disclose if their researchers had a contractual right to publish with out oversight or control.
4. Others (i.e., trade associations, public interest groups) who submit scientific findings should disclose all conflicts of interest of the researchers who conducted the study.

The goal of these suggestions is to make transparent the influences that funders might have on the results of research that is published or made available to the public in any way, as clinicians among others may use these findings to make treatment decisions.


This searchable site is a gateway to information about the infrastructure of public health systems that protect the public’s health. The Public Health Infrastructure Resource Center (PHIRC) provides those wanting to strengthen public health systems with information on the three core areas of infrastructure (as defined by the CDC), which are as follows:

· The public health workforce;
· Information, data, and communication systems; and
· Organizational and systems capacity.

Because the Public Health Foundation selected and annotated everything listed in PHIRC, you can save time finding relevant information. Search by infrastructure subject area or by resource types.

Resource types include Facts and Research (links to publications, Web sites, organizations etc.), Making the Case (presentations, evidence and tools) and Questions to Ask (information on tools to assess your jurisdiction’s infrastructure).

The site is funded by the Public Health Foundation and the Public Health Practice Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Nearly 44 million Americans live without health care coverage – including 8.5 million children. Last year, the number of people without health care coverage increased by more than 2 million, the largest one-year increase in a decade.

From May 10-16, 2004, Cover the Uninsured Week will feature events from coast to coast so that Americans can learn more about why this is a crisis. The fact is, eight out of 10 people who are uninsured either work or are in working families. For them, minor illnesses can become major ones because health care is delayed, and one significant medical expense can wipe out a family’s bank account.

That is why APHA is pleased to announce our support of Cover the Uninsured week 2004. Working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and more than 800 national and local organizations, we hope to elevate this issue on the national agenda and in communities across the country.

For more information on Cover the Uninsured Week, visit <> or contact Don Hoppert at <>.