Public Health Nursing
Section Newsletter
Winter 2006



So much energy and commitment to the Section and to public health was evident at our Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, and I am so excited about the 2006 opportunities that await our attention.  For every question answered at the 133rd Annual Meeting, 10 new queries evolved.  For each new idea, a myriad of directions and paths emerged for new insights, new opportunities for research and new circumstances to discover truths.


The PHN Section Program addressed health of communities through evidence-based practice at the Quad Council Meeting, honored outstanding public health nurses at the Section Luncheon, initiated a mentoring program for selected students in all levels of public health education and sponsored scientific sessions on innovative, relevant, and sometimes controversial 21st century public health issues.  But the 2005 Annual Meeting was not an end, but a beginning for a new year for public health.


The PHN Section lies poised at the forefront of a daunting challenge – refining and rebuilding our public health nursing infrastructure - one that reflects our strongly held values and beliefs, our big vision, our incredible knowledge and skills, and our position in the beliefs and communities of the people we serve.  We are part of both broad and precisely focused efforts to strengthen public health in communities across the United States and throughout the world.   The extent to which we take on and move forth on this adventure rests in the wisdom and will of public health nurses.  


In the wake of political power shifts, war, natural disasters, potential and present pandemic events, ongoing health disparities, longstanding and emerging chronic disease, poor quality of life for too many people, our compassion and concern grows exponentially.  Years of policy, funding, and service delivery models focused on acute care, rather than upstream thinking, and strategies for health promotion and disease prevention have played a significant role in the current crisis in health care economics. 


Public health matters!  We all sense the rapidly growing awareness and urgency for action in and for public health.  It is beginning to seep out to the farthest reaches of societies everywhere.   We can grasp this opportunity, or we can let it slip away.  This “we” refers not only to the PHN Section, but to the public, to other nurses, to our colleagues in other disciplines and sectors, and to the vitally important health, science, and human service organizations that comprise the public health sector.  


We have at our 2006 fingertips all manner of resources upon which to draw:  public health and nursing principles, vision, revitalized scope and standards for our practice, and the professional capacity in our knowledge and skills to exercise our potential for moving forward, positioning in diverse agencies and organizations that encompass practice, education, research, and advocacy roles.


PHNs have long envisioned the possibilities.  The Quad Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations enlarges the lens for thinking about these possibilities, and I believe our generalist and varied clinical specialists in nursing will help us, along with the many multi-disciplinary colleagues and multi-sector organizations with whom we collaboratively work.  Now we must focus our strategic thinking and harness our will for moving beyond vision and strategy, to successful healthful change.  The urgency is clear, so if we can marshal our time, talents, professional touchstones, and the trust in which the public holds us, we can begin our journey to our essential role and to meeting our responsibilities in the nation and the world’s health improvement efforts.  From the discussions, issues, concerns, and accomplishments we shared at the Annual Meeting, the following items highlight some of our work for 2006:


An Action Orientation

·         A broad vision with a focused agenda

·         Published positions on public health and nursing by the Section

·         Funding support to enhance Section efforts that move beyond vision and position to public health action and outcomes

·         Strategic programs and projects reflecting our values, principles, vision, positions, connections, knowledge and skills that move our agenda forward

·         A Section operating system that facilitates and supports the action-oriented approach of Public Health Nursing.


An Action-Oriented Approach

·         Present where the action is

·         Vocal about PHN positions and role

·         Nimble in capacity to lead and respond

·         Flexible in meeting others where they are

·         Broad communications with the public, health care system, and nurses


2006 Agenda

·         Section credibility through support for scope and standards, competencies and credentialing, and collaborations with the public, other professionals, and other sectors

·         Section identity through positions, leadership, communications, and promotional materials

·         Section home with place, people, and communications infrastructure to support Section’s capacity to meet its mission and carry out its activities

·         Section sustainability through fund development, memberships, and partnerships


2006 PHN Section Gatherings

·         Mid-Year Meeting:  March 24-25, 2006 at APHA Headquarters

·         Members Conference Calls:  May 2006, October 2006

·         Annual Business Meetings:  November

·         Annual Program


The APHA Public Health Nursing Section is calling for nominations for awards to be presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting. The Ruth B. Freeman Award honors a person who has had a distinguished career in public health service or education. The Public Health Nurse Creative Achievement Award is bestowed in recognition of an individual's creative contribution to public health nursing practice, research, education, or administration. The Lillian Wald Service Award is awarded to individuals, agencies, or media, for depicting exemplary public health nursing practice to the public, especially through political, legislative, professional, or interdisciplinary activism.

The deadline for submission of nomination materials is May 1, 2006. 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.

A more detailed description of each award and Award Nomination Forms are found below. For questions or to request nomination materials, please contact Susan Zahner, chair of the APHA PHN Section Awards Committee, at the address or numbers listed below.

Susan Zahner, DrPH, RN
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing
H6/246 CSC
600 Highland Avenue Madison, WI 53792-2455
Telephone: (608) 263-5282
FAX: 608-263-5332

Awards Criteria
American Public Health Association
Public Health Nursing Section

Ruth B. Freeman Award
The nominee must have demonstrated a distinguished career, characterized by a continuing record of noteworthy accomplishment, in the field of public health nursing. Accomplishments may include constructive leadership in the organization of community-oriented services toward the betterment of human life, or may present a significant contribution in public health nursing education or research. The nominee must be a current member of APHA, with primary membership in the PHN Section.

Public Health Nurse Creative Achievement Award The nominee must have made a creative contribution to public health nursing either in practice, research, education, or administration by enhancing the quality of care delivered to individuals, families, or a community or by enhancing the professional status of public health nursing. The achievement, with a discussion of the outcomes of this creative endeavor, should have been publicly and professionally disseminated. Written documentation from at least one individual who can validate the creative contribution is required. The nominee’s potential for continuing achievement should also be addressed in letters of support. The nominee must be a current member of APHA, with primary membership in the PHN Section.

Lillian Wald Service Award
Nominees for the Lillian Wald Service Award may include individuals, groups, or agencies that depict exemplary public health nursing practice to the public. Nominees must have demonstrated initiative and resourcefulness in developing efforts to improve the health of the public through political, legislative, or interdisciplinary activism. These noteworthy achievements represent a leadership role in promoting social reform activities for client groups, influencing health policy and health laws, strengthening public health nursing practice, and/or through collaborating with other health care workers, legislators, and public officials. Evidence of the nominee’s contributions must be validated in writing by at least one individual. At least one member of the group must be a member of APHA, with primary membership in the PHN Section.

Award Nomination Form
Public Health Nursing Section
The American Public Health Association

Directions: A person other than the nominee should complete the nomination form. To be considered for an award, the nominee must be a current member of the Public Health Nursing Section of the American Public Health Association.
• Complete the Award Nomination Form;
• Attach current and complete curriculum vitae of nominee including educational institutions attended, degrees, graduation dates, work history, membership in professional organizations (including offices held), honors and awards received, and professional accomplishments that qualify nominee for award consideration.
• Attach letter of support from the nominator.
• Attach at least one other letter of support from a person who can validate the nominee’s outstanding contributions. The letter should describe specific professional accomplishments that qualify the nominee for award consideration. Other letters of testimony supporting the nominee’s qualifications for the award may also be included.
• Clip but do not staple materials.
• Include original packet and six copies of all materials.
The nomination of a person who was not successful at an earlier award consideration is strongly suggested by the Awards Committee.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Check appropriate space

__Ruth B. Freeman Award
__PHN Creative Achievement Award
__Lillian Wald Service Award (For this award, please write name of individual, group, or organization nominated ______________________________________________)

(If nominating a group or organization, complete form for one member who is a PHN Section member).

I. Nominee: ___________________ _________________________ Address:__________________________ ______________________________ ________________________ Phone:____________Fax:________________E-mail: ____________________

I I. Nominee is APHA Member ___ Yes ___ No
PHN Section is nominee’s primary section. ___ Yes ___ No
III. Nominee’s Current Position and Organization or Agency

VIII. Nominator Name:___________________ ______________________________________________________ Nominator’s Current Position/Organization or Agency: ______________________________ ___________________ Address:__________________________________________ Phone:____________________ Fax:_______________________ E-mail:____________________ I

X. Checklist for Nominator. Were the following items included?

___ Nominee’s current and complete curriculum vitae

___ Nominator’s letter of support

___One or more additional letter(s) of support

 ___Original packet and six copies of all materials (not stapled)


The Section’s Environmental Health Task Force (a collaborative PHN Section-Environment Section effort) received a 2005 mini-grant from Health Care Without Harm to develop environmental health principles and recommendations for public health nursing practice, education, research, and advocacy. With organizational endorsements and designated representatives on the Project Team, the Quad Council of PHN Organizations encouraged and supported this effort throughout 2005. They have encouraged continuation of this project and the Task Force is now seeking a 2006 mini-grant to develop a Greenprint for Action based on the principles and recommendations.

The Task Force developed a monograph for dissemination that includes an introduction by Lillian H. Mood, RN, MPH, IOM Study Committee chair and co-editor, Nursing Health and Environment, and PHN Section Representative to the APHA Science Board; a preamble, the 12 principles, and many recommendations. The Task Force views the recommendations portion of the document as an “open” document, with recommendations welcomed at all times.

Presented at a scientific session during the 2005 Annual Meeting, Quad Council representatives on the Task Force each provided organizational perspective on the principles and recommendations: Lillian Mood, PHN Section; Joy Reed, ASTDN, Laura Anderko, ACHNE, and Phil Greiner, ANA. The Project Team then led discussions with participants, seeking feedback and suggestions. These valuable contributions have been incorporated into the final document, which is now available electronically to the membership.

You may contact Task Force PHN Co-Chair Rita Lourie at , or Task Force Environment Co-Chair Robyn Gilden  at , or PHN Section Chair Marjorie Buchanan at  for an electronic copy. They will also be presented at 2006 annual meetings of each of the Quad Council organizations.


1.Safe and sustainable environments are essential conditions for the public’s health.

2.Environmental health is integral to the role and responsibilities of all public health nurses.

3.All public health nurses should possess environmental health knowledge and skills.

4.Environmental health decisions should be grounded in sound science.

5.The Precautionary Principle is a fundamental tenet for all environmental health endeavors.

6.Environmental justice is a right of all populations.

7.Public awareness and community involvement are essential in environmental health decision-making.

8.Communities have a right to relevant and timely information for decisions on environmental health.

9.Environmental health approaches should respect diverse values, beliefs, cultures, and circumstances.

10.Collaboration is essential to effectively protecting the health of all people from environmental harm.

11.Environmental health advocacy must be rooted in scientific integrity, honesty, respect for all persons, and social justice.

12.Environmental health research addressing the effectiveness and public health impact of nursing interventions should be conducted and disseminated.

The PHN and Environment Sections thank the Project Team for this valuable contribution to both public health nursing and the environment: Laura Anderko, Brenda Afzal, Elizabeth Blackburn, Marjorie Buchanan, Patricia Butterfield, Joanne Calvi, Robyn Gilden, Eileen Girling, Anna Gilmore-Hall, Phil Greiner, Colleen Hughes, Kay Kinsey, Rita Lourie, Jeanne Matthews, Lillian Mood, Barbara Sattler, Anne Turner-Henson, and Susan Wilburn.


Public health nurses in Massachusetts are looking forward to again hosting our colleagues from around the country at the APHA Annual Meeting in Boston this November. We have already begun planning for what promises to be exciting events for public health nurses. We encourage all of our colleagues to join us in Boston, the birthplace of public health in the United States, the home of the first city board of health and the first state health department, and the incubator for such grass roots public health developments as the women's health collective that brought us Our Bodies, Ourselves. While in Boston you can walk the Public Health Trails of Boston and visit historic sites, including the house of Paul Revere, famous for his activities during the Revolutionary War and for heading the first board of health in the country. You can also take some time to visit the Public Health Museum on the grounds of Tewksbury State Hospital. There is so much to do!

We look forward to meeting you in November. In the meantime, if you have ideas or suggestions for PHN events at the conference, please e-mail us - we welcome your input.

Local Planning Committee Chairs:

Donna Lazorik, Chair, Public Health Nursing Section, Massachusetts Public Health Association

Sandy Collins, Past President, Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses

Glynnis LaRosa, Senior Public Health Nursing Advisor, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, ASTDN representative from MA, ASTN Secretary


PHN practice, scholarship, and advocacy typically require engagement beyond our “professional borders.” Multi-disciplinary colleagues and strategic collaboration are well-recognized essential elements of PHN work. Two promising new infrastructure opportunities emerged from the 2005 Annual Meeting that will help facilitate both in the future: dual section membership and new PHN Section Liaisons to other sections.

1. Dual Section Membership

APHA’s membership structure has limited us to single section membership in recent years. The 2005 Governing Council voted to end this limitation, approving the creation of multiple membership opportunities. This decision has economic, communications and membership implications. As APHA begins to address these issues we can expect to hear more about how this decision will be implemented. Kudos to the Governing Council for this important action!

2. Inter-Sectional Linkages Through our New PHN Section Liaisons

The PHN Section is launching a new initiative to foster linkages and collaboration with other APHA Sections. Neither structural recognition nor strategies for inter-sectional relationships exist within APHA beyond co-sponsorship of Annual Meeting Sessions. Since this is a vital part of the PHN role, the Section is developing a new PHN Section Liaison role. Members who have particular interests in the work of another Section can serve as communication and collaboration facilitators with that Section. Beth Lamanna, Section secretary, will coordinate this effort at this point, but perhaps others with a focus on communication and collaboration would like to help in this endeavor. Four active PHN Section members have assumed Liaison roles to date:

• Rita Lourie of Temple University with the Environment Section
• Joyce Edmonds of Emory University with the MCH Section
• Louise Ivanov of the University of North Carolina Greensboro with the International Section
• Johanna Holsten with the University of Pennsylvania with the Food and Nutrition Section

They are reaching out to establish formal relationships and a named counterpart in these Sections. Reports on this new initiative will be forthcoming at the Mid-Year Meeting.


Each year at the APHA Annual Meeting, the PHN Nursing Section is pleased to honor those men and women who exemplify distinguished careers and service in public health. At the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Kelly Buettner-Schmidt, RN, BSN, MS, Carol Graham, RN, BSN, MS, Lucy Marion, PhD, RN, FAAN, and the Louisiana Public Health Association received awards.


The 2005 Lillian Wald Service Award was presented to Kelly Buettner-Schmidt.
This award is given in recognition of work that depicts exemplary public health practice to the public. Kelly has demonstrated initiative and resourcefulness in developing efforts to improve the health of the public through her advocacy for tobacco prevention and smoke free environments. She is an assistant professor of nursing at Minot State University and Principal Investigator of the Tobacco Education, Research and Policy Project, North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities, a University Center of Excellence. Her commitment to public health nursing has dramatically improved tobacco legislation in the state of North Dakota. Working with the North Dakota Department of Health, she facilitated the formation of the North Dakota Tobacco Policy Coalition which successfully passed a smoke- free workplace and public place state law during the 2005 legislative session.

The Ruth B. Freeman Award was bestowed upon Carol Graham for her distinguished career as a leader in public health nursing. Carol advanced public health nursing at local, state, and national levels over a career that spanned 36 years and included 25 years in administrative positions. As a director of Public Health Nursing and Public Health Services, she led a team of over 225 public health staff delivering a full range of prevention services. She was effective in developing a public health nursing data reporting system to assist in the community health assessment process. As a direct result of this work, she co-authored a manual titled "Computer Challenged Illiterates-A Guide to the World of Data as Information." Her work in tuberculosis saw the development of Community Tuberculosis Surveillance Plan for Local Health Department. Carol personifies the spirit of the Ruth B. Freeman award through her extremely distinguished career, her exemplary and continuing record of contributions to the field of public health nursing and her demonstration of the essential role for nurses within the field of public health.

Dr. Lucy N. Marion was granted the Public Health Nurse Creative Achievement Award.
During her years of service, Dr. Marion has made noteworthy contributions to her students and to the communities where she has lived and worked. Dr. Marion’s creative use of various academic faculties, students and nurses working in the community is a model for others attempting to serve high-risk populations. One of the more recent highlights of her career is the establishment in Chicago of a showcase academic health center named the Center for Integrated Health Care. The Center integrates primary care and mental health care for community based patients who have persistent mental illness along with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, sexually transmitted diseases or substance abuse. She has been intuitive in identifying circumstances that could be improved, envisioning ways of resolving problems, and resourceful and creative in discovering the means to implement those solutions. Dr. Marion is dean and professor at the Medical College of Georgia School of Nursing.

The 2005 Margaret G. Arnstein Award was presented to the Public Health Nursing Section of the Louisiana Public Health Association. Clair Millet accepted the award on behalf of the Louisiana Public Health Association. Public health nurses in Louisiana presented a united, tireless, resilient, dedicated effort before, during and after the Katrina disaster.


The Wisconsin Public Health Association received the Affiliate of the Year Award from the APHA Committee on Affiliates. This award is given to one of the 53 public health associations in the country to recognize their outstanding accomplishments. WPHA was cited for its success in the areas of collaboration, innovation and growth. • Innovation – contributing to the formation of the Healthy Wisconsin Leadership Institute (HWLI) through a concept paper, representation on the National Public Health Leadership Institute team, representation on the HWLI planning committee and exploration of a public health incubator/institute. • Collaboration – partnering with the Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards on the annual conference and legislative activities, which has resulted in the joint contracting of a lobbyist and an increased presence at the Capitol. • Growth – utilizing past presidents to draft recommendations for the future growth and development of the association in order to become the voice for public health in Wisconsin; being awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to develop the Model State Public Health Act. Additionally, Wisconsin is proud to announce that Board Member Elizabeth Zelazek was elected chair-elect of the Committee on Affiliates, representing a three-year commitment as chair-elect, chair, and immediate past chair. Liz will assume her duties as chair of the CoA at the 2006 APHA Annual Meeting in Boston. Liz was also the recipient of the 2005 Committee on Affiliates Chair’s Citation. Liz received the award for the work she performed in two areas of central importance to the CoA. She chaired a key workgroup within the CoA that, along with the APHA staff, focused on obtaining funding for strengthening the public’s health by empowering public health associations. Liz also served as a member of the APHA Task Force on Joint Membership, charged by the APHA Governing Council with exploring the cost and benefit implications of joint APHA/Affiliated membership. For these contributions Liz became the ninth recipient of this award.


Barbara Kruger, PhD, PPH, RN assistant professor of community and public health nursing at the University of North Florida, received the 2005 Outstanding Public Health Nursing Leadership Award from the Florida Association of Public Health Nurses, Inc. in July. This award honors a nurse who has either planned, developed and/or executed a unique or experimental program addressing a significant public health problem or has been recognized by the community for professional contribution in the field of public health.

Kruger has led the redesign of the School of Nursing undergraduate clinical practice curriculum to better prepare nurses for roles in the community. She has facilitated numerous community-campus partnerships increasing the number of faculty teaching in the community. One aspect of this redesign has students assigned to one community agency, partner or neighborhood to contribute 150 service-learning hours continuously across their time in the nursing program. Students report they appreciate the diversity of nursing roles, health promotion, interdisciplinary opportunities, gain an ecologic perspective and knowledge of community resources and feel that they are contributing to society. Some students also indicate that they will consider community/public health nursing practice in the future. At a School of Nursing accreditation visit in spring 2005, the reviewers called the curriculum “unique, innovative and worthy of replication.”

In the summer of 2005, the president of the University of North Florida awarded the School of Nursing three-year funding to continue to develop this program. In January 2006, the School of Nursing hosted a two-day retreat for all their nursing faculty and community partners facilitated by Community-Campus Partnerships for Health.

Kruger received her doctorate from the University of Florida and two master’s degrees, one in community health nursing from Boston College and the second in public health from the University of South Florida. Kruger was recognized as one of the Great 100 Nurses of Northeast Florida in 2005 and has received academic excellence awards from the University of Florida and the University of South Florida. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Interdisciplinary Honor Society and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Lamba-Rho at-large. She serves as a Board Director for the Florida Association of Public Health Nurses, Inc.


Public Health Nursing, It’s for you…

This is the title of a video that was produced by the Minnesota Department of Health to highlight and promote the practice of public health nursing. We are offering the free video to our membership, particularly those who are affiliated with nursing programs or who might work with young people. The target audiences are junior and senior high school students who are considering a career in health care. College students who have not yet declared a major or students of nursing searching for a specialty area will also benefit from our video. Public health nurses and general audiences will find the video an inspirational and informative tool for recruitment and education.

Public health nurses from local and tribal health departments describe in their own words the commitment and passion they experience in their profession. The video includes footage from actual practice situations. It highlights the themes of caring, variety, making a difference, creativity and independence in public health nursing.

A discussion guide is included with the video that asks viewers to share their reactions and feelings and to identify areas the public health nurses enjoyed about their work. This video was produced with the support of the Linking Public Health Nursing Practice and Education, Practice and Retention Grant 1 D11 HP 00330-1 from the Division of Nursing, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Service Administration.

Copies can be ordered free of change in either DVD or VHS format. For more information or to order, see the Center for Public Health Nursing, Minnesota Department of Health’s Web site: .


Rita L. Ailinger received a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award in Public/Global Health to teach nursing research at the School of Nursing, Universidad Politecnica de Nicaragua, January 7 through 20, 2006. Rita is a professor and director of Nursing Research Development at the College of Nursing and Health Science at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.


The Public Health Education Health Promotion Section is soliciting your best health education, promotion and communications materials for the 16th annual competition. The contest provides a forum to showcase public health materials during the APHA Annual Meeting and recognized professionals for their hard work.

All winners will be selected by panels of expert judges prior to the 134th APHA Annual Meting in Boston. A session will be held at the Annual Meeting to recognize winners, during which one representative from the top materials selected in each category will give a presentation about their material. Entries will be accepted in three categories: printed materials, electronic materials, and other materials.

Entries for the contest are due by April 7, 2006. Please contact Allison Leppke at for additional contest entry information.