American Public Health Association
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School Health Education and Services
Section Newsletter
Winter 2010

Message from the Chair

Dear SHES Members:

Just prior to the meeting in Philadelphia in our newsletter, I had a little message: “NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD PERSONS…” In that message I stressed the importance of getting involved in the Section.  It is time for many to step to the plate since you have been asked to review our program submissions for the 2010 meeting in Denver.  Just as a heads up, those who have been asked to review abstracts will need to turn them around very quickly since our deadline for receipt of abstracts was extended by a week because not many abstracts had been received by APHA.  Although the deadline for receipt of abstracts was extended by a week, the deadline for completion of the reviews is March 12 and is absolutely set in stone.  We need to have these reviews in a timely fashion so we can make decisions and plan our program.


In Philadelphia, we had 21 wonderful sessions (including oral presentations, poster sessions, and round table sessions). We had enough abstracts to fill all the sessions we were allocated.  I was particularly pleased to see so many individuals who attended our student sessions. Remember, the students are the “life blood” of the Section so we all need to be sure to recruit students, as well as other professionals to join our section.  More about that later.  Be sure to mark your calendar to come to Denver for the Annual Meeting, Nov. 6 – 10. We will have a wonderful social there, and you can win door prizes, indulge in excellent food, meet new people, and renew friendships with individuals you may not have seen for some time.

We have already been active in providing information to the Coalition of National Health Education Organizations (CNHEO) in terms of potential revisions to the Code of Ethics for the Health Education Profession. We also provided input to the CNHEO in regard to the potential revision of the goals for The Health Education Profession in the Twenty-First Century, a report that stemmed from a national meeting held in Atlanta in June 1995.  In that document, potential goals both internal and external to the health education profession were delineated.  These goals fell into the areas of Professional Preparation, Quality Assurance, Research Advocacy, Promoting the Profession, and Dynamic/Contemporary Practice.  The suggestions made by our section will be discussed, along with the suggestions from other members of the CNHEO, during the upcoming Advocacy Summit, which will be held in March in Washington, D.C.

Just prior to the Philadelphia meeting we had just under 400 members in the Section.  Unfortunately, the recent report I just received from the Membership Department shows that we have “lost” nearly 50 members!  I am calling upon each member of the Section to work hard to recruit just one person for membership in the Section within the next three months.  Just think, we could double our membership in the next three months if each one of us recruited but one new member.

In the words of Bob Dylan, “The times they are a changin'.”  The Section exhibits will have a totally new look for the meeting in Denver. All the sections will be together in a single area located approximately in the middle of the exhibit hall.  Each section will be given a special kiosk, and your officers have been provided with a potential diagram of how that setting will appear. We actually “lose” some table top space for our exhibit, but we will have a lot more “traffic” in terms of the way the exhibit hall is envisioned for Denver. We are working to get an excellent exhibit put together, and I personally want to thank Nancy Edtl for agreeing to coordinate our efforts for this first year of the “new look.”  If any of you are interested in helping with the design and layout of the booth, please contact me and I will get you in touch with Nancy.  I know she would appreciate the input.

Some of you may know, and some may not know that we are in the process of trying to put together a booklet in which we highlight the past chairs of the SHES Section.  If anyone is interested in assisting with this project, please contact me.  We have had input from several of our members in this effort, notably Terry Wessel,  Dan Adame, Bill Cissell, Judy Drolet and Elaine Vitello.  I hope I haven’t missed anyone in this brief listing.  This would actually be a wonderful project for a student, so if you have a student looking for a project that will make a contribution to the field, please contact me.

I know Dan Adame, as chair of the Section Nominations Committee, has been hard at work putting together a slate of nominees for this coming Section election.  I want to extend my thanks to those who have agreed to toss their proverbial hat into the ring. Becoming an officer in the Section is a great way to learn even more about this wonderful section and the parent organization, the American Public Health Association.

I wish each of you all the best in 2010.  If you think we are having a hard time here in America, just think of the difficulties being faced by children and adults alike in Haiti.  If you submitted an abstract for consideration at this year’s meeting, thanks; those reviews will be completed over the next few weeks.  For those of you who will work hard and actively recruit a new member within the next three months, thanks a lot. For those of you who will volunteer your services and be considered for an elective position, thanks a lot. For those of you who will become involved in the Section in some other capacity, thanks a lot.  For those of you who are going to make a commitment to take one more action steps on behalf of the nation’s children, thanks a lot.

In closing this first message as the chair of the Section, I want to reiterate a slogan that I often use when I make presentations at professional meetings and in classes, “Get Involved, Stay Involved, Make a Difference.” It is time for all of us to look at what we can do to make things move forward, particularly in the school setting, to promote coordinated school health programs. We need to make our voices heard. We need to become proactive. We need to be on the lookout for action alerts and reply to those alerts based upon your view of how to support school health. We need to volunteer for the various activities that our Section is undertaking this year.  In a nutshell, we all need to become more and more involved.

Thanks for all you do for the children of the nation.

Larry Olsen

Chair, SHES Section



APHA Annual Meeting News


Remember the good times or catch up on what you missed!


SHES 2009 Section Council

Back Row from Left to Right: Larry Olsen, Anthony Parillo, Christopher Ledingham, Eric Buhi, Carl Hanson
Front Row from Left to Right:  Daniel Adame, Amy Cory,  Terry Wessel, Theresa Enyeart Smith

SHES 2010 Section Council

Back Row from Left to Right:  Martha Dewey Bergren,  Eric Buhi, Anbthony Parrillo
Front Row from Left to Right: Sarah Lindstrom, Amy cory, Larry Olsen, Daniel Adame, Nancdy Edtl, Christopher Ledingham, Teresa Enyeart Smith



The Nominating Committee for APHA's Governing Council is looking for the following candidates for leadership roles in the organization:


  • APHA President Elect (three year commitment one-year each as president-elect, president and past-president)
  • Executive board – three positions available (4-year term)
  • Speaker of the Governing Council (3-year term)
  • Treasurer (3-year term)

The APHA Governing Council will vote to select these officers at the November (2010) meeting, and they would begin serving immediately after the APHA conference (so terms would start Nov. 10, 2010).


As I'm sure you know, the next APHA Annual Meeting is Nov. 6-10, 2010, in Denver.


Applications are due March 31, 2010 and should include the relevant (attached) one-page form along with resume/CV of the nominee, and any letters of support. The nominating committee will meet May 6 to select the list of nominees for consideration by the Governing Council at the 2010 Annual Meeting.


We hope you will be able to think of individuals who would be excellent candidates for the above positions. 


Should you or a potential candidate wish further information on these positions, please refer to the job descriptions and nomination form available on the APHA Web site at:


If you are interested in running, we suggest you contact your APHA Section, SPIG, Caucus and/or Forum leadership to solicit their support and assistance with your nomination. 


All nominees for the Executive Board are selected from among the membership of the Association, except that the nominees for  Honorary Vice-President may include persons who are not members of the Association.


For more information on the Nominating Committee, contact Ida Plummer via e-mail at

What's New in School Health Services

By Martha Dewey Bergren, DNS, RN


On Dec. 3, 2009, the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation hosted a Forum on the Future of Nursing: Community Health, Public Health, Primary Care, and Long-Term Care in Philadelphia.  It was the third in a series of forums on nursing in various settings.  According to former secretary of Health and Human Services and chair of this inititave, Donna Shalala, PhD, “(t)he end goal of this process is to do nothing short of helping to determine how to transform the way Americans receive health care services.” To ensure the health of Americans, determining the most effective way to deliver nursing services, promote health and prevent disease is key to health reform.      


The National Association of School Nurses submitted written testimony on the need to exploit the role of school nurses embedded in the nation’s communities to reach this goal.  NASN was invited to present oral testimony.  The text of selected testimony follows: 


Martha Dewey Bergren, DNS, RN, National Association of School Nurses Director of Research. 


School nurses are the economical investment in health promotion and illness prevention. In 75 percent of schools, nurses serve where 98 percent of school-age children are daily.  School nurses are champions for healthy eating, physical activity and healthy lifestyle behaviors and provide 40 percent of the mental health care for children.  School nurses are vital to the public health mission in immunization compliance, vision and hearing screening, illness surveillance, connecting families with insurance and medical homes.  School nurses provide health education and promote safe environments, indoor air and green cleaning initiatives, benefiting children and K-12 school staff. School nurses are often the only available health care option for homeless, immigrant and refugee children, and the under-served in both rural and urban areas.  School nurses provide effective case management for chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes and anaphylactic food allergy.  School nurses are a capable, experienced work force, with an average of more than 10 years experience, 37 percent holding state or national certification and 28 percent holding masters degrees.  However, 25 percent of children have no nurse at school, even part-time.  School nurses treat on average 1,151 students and serve 2.2 schools, far exceeding recommendations, and there are wide disparities between and within states. Investing health care dollars in school nursing, maximizes child healthcare dollars and investments in chronic disease prevention.


The opportunity to share school nursing’s promise for the health of children and the population in this influential policy forum was unprecedented.  Many of the other speakers highlighted the promise for promoting the health of communities through schools. 


To see all of the testimony, a Webcast of the event is available:


What's New in School Health Education

We would love to provide our members with an update.  If you would be willing to write this column for the newsletter, please e-mail Sarah Lindstrom Johnson at . 

Coalition of National Health Organizations Update

By Christopher M. Ledingham, SHES Delegate to the Coalition of National Health Education Organizations

The past few months have been very busy for the Coalition of National Health Education Organizations.  We have been working diligently on updating the Health Education Code of Ethics, working on a master plan for Marketing the Profession, planning the Health Education Advocacy Summit and keeping on top of Healthy People 2020 in addition to our regular work.

With regards to the updating of the Code of Ethics, Dr. Mal Goldsmith has been leading a special task force charged with updating the Code.  Dr. Goldsmith along with various other members of the nine Coalition organizations (including our own Dr. Theresa Wessel) have submitted a draft version of the Code to the leaders of the Coalition Organizations for comment.  This comment period has just ended and pending a few modifications the final draft will be submitted to the Coalition organizations for a final vote of approval in the next few months.  What does this mean for you, the health educator?  It means a modified set of ethical guidelines for our profession.  Much of the original Code is still intact, and the proposed changes will help guide us into the coming years giving us a means of monitoring ourselves in our professional responsibilities.  As soon as the Code is approved, look for the new code to be posted on the Coalition Website at as well as in several of our professional journals.

Two questions that seem to pop up very frequently are: what is a health educator? And what does a health educator do?  These are two questions the Marketing the Profession task force have been working to address.  A few years ago, the Coalition contracted with Hezell and Associates to conduct a market analysis to help us define the perception of health educators and their role in public health and the health care system.  Based on the findings from this analysis, the task force under the direction of Dr. Stephen Gambescia is working on putting together a plan of action for increasing the visibility and viability of health educators.  Most recently a discussion has started with regards to use of the term “health educator” versus “health education specialist.”  While these two terms may seem synonymous, these terms in truth are not, and a recommendation to Joint Committee on Health Education terminology, based on one of the recommendations from the Hezell group, is being submitted by the task force to include the term “health education specialist” in the next publication of the Joint Committee.  The final decision and language for the new definition will be shared at a later date as the final draft was not available at the time this article was submitted.

One of the ongoing activities sponsored by the Coalition is the Annual Health Education Advocacy Summit held in Washington, D.C.  This year's priority areas have been set, and health educators from across the country will convene in Washington, D.C., March 6-8 for a series of trainings and “Hill” visits.  This year in conjunction with the Summit, Coalition Coordinator Dr. Mark Temple is holding an Advocacy Leadership Summit.  On March 6, leaders from the Coalition member organizations will meet to start the process of setting a long term advocacy agenda for the profession.  The results and impact of the Summit will be reported on in the next newsletter. 

If at any time you have questions about the work of the Coalition, feel free to visit the CNHEO Website at or contact Dr. Christopher Ledingham at


Advocacy in Action

By Jim Bogden, SHES Rep to the APHA Action Board



Although the Congressional battles over health insurance reform and other critical public health issues get all the headlines (and need your active involvement), the federal government has been making lots of positive changes in how the various departments and agencies carry out their work. The findings of surveillance and research are once again driving policy, and government officials are reaching out for input and ideas.


As evidence of this new practice of active outreach, “Exhibit A” is the message below from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS), sent to dozens of people whom the office’s director, Kevin Jennings, has been regularly meeting with since he was appointed, including APHA staff and several D.C.-based members of SHES. As every member of SHES will appreciate knowing the new direction of OSDFS, the Director’s full message follows below without edits.



Dear Safe Schools Partners:


Today [Feb. 7] the President’s 2011 budget is being released, and I am writing to offer more detail about its implications for federal safe schools work.


The overall news is good: our department is being recommended for a 6 percent increase in 2011, which is a real statement of the Administration’s commitment to education. There is a general drive across the department to consolidate programs into a smaller number of funding streams, motivated both by desire to have more comprehensive approaches to problems as well as to make it easier for our state and local partners to access funds.


OSDFS’s budget reflects this trend of both increased funding and program consolidation. The administration has requested a 12.5 percent budget increase of $45 million to $410 million for our office’s programs in 2011, with a consolidation of our work into 4 major streams:


1.       A Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students program that expands our 2010 K-12 school climate work to put in place measurements for schools that will enable States, districts, individual schools, and their partners to assess the need for, direct the provision of, and provide the resources and supports necessary for safe, healthy, and successful students. Competitive grants will be made to SEA’s (and in some cases, LEA’s or consortia of LEA’s in states that do not participate in the SSHS program, provided that they meet a threshold of total enrollment of all students in the state) who may make grants -- based on the assessment provide by the climate measurement system -- to LEA’s that have demonstrated need for programs designed to improve student mental and physical health and well-being, reduce violence and substance abuse, and promote social and emotional learning so that school climates can better contribute to student academic achievement and overall well-being. To put this in public health/substance abuse terminology, we are looking to systematically measure protective factors and broaden our efforts to a comprehensive, prevention-oriented approach in line with the Administration’s overall drug strategy as led by ONDCP.


2.       Emergency preparedness programs, as this work is not primarily driven by the school climate assessments of the Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students program but remains critical as we have all seen the impact of events such as Columbine, Virginia Tech, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the H1N1 virus on schools’ ability to continue the learning process in the face of disaster.


3.       Safe Schools/Healthy Students, a model of integrated, interagency work for the entire government to emulate.


4.       Substance abuse and violence prevention in higher education, as this work is also not covered by the Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students program but remains an important part of our mission.


The budget also contains funding for continuation awards of current programs where we have multiyear commitments but which will not be funded for new awards in 2011.


I think this offers an exciting new direction for our work. The Successful, Safe, and Healthy Students program will enable states to access federal dollars to both systemically measure and develop and implement programs to improve school climates. We are excited to make this major investment in SEA and LEA capacity to create truly safe schools and look forward to working with you to make this new program the most effective possible.


I strongly urge you all to disseminate to all in your own networks who may be interested in this work, so that our partners understand this new direction and our continued commitment to them.


I welcome your comments, thoughts and questions, and look forward to working with you as our work evolves into what I hope will be an even more effective direction. I am always just an e-mail ( or call (202-245-7830) away, and hope to hear from you early and often!




Kevin Jennings

Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education

Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools

550 12th Street SW, Room 10087

Washington DC 20024-6121

(202) 245-7830


SHES Section Member News

By Sarah Lindstrom Johnson, PhD

In an effort to get to know each other a little better, we will be featuring a member in each newsletter.  If you would like to be featured or better yet would like to feature someone else, please e-mail Sarah at!


This newsletter I will introduce you to Charles P. Holmes.  Charles is currently working on his PhD in Community Health with a focus on Health in Higher Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His dissertation will assess recent and current K-12 health education students’ satisfaction of their curriculum requirements.  His primary research interests focus on examining the standards for K-12 health education and improving the quality of health education graduates from top level institutions. 


Charles has always been headed in the “health” way. 


I became interested in health from a very early age; my mother was always involved in nursing while I was growing up so it seemed like a natural progression for me to become a physician.  So from middle school on I decided that I wanted to be an MD. However, while at Eastern Illinois University one year prior to graduation, I shadowed an ER physician at Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital for a few evenings to gain a better perspective on the work.  Well, after a few evenings I realized that the actual practice of medicine would not be in my future, but that I would not abandon my desire to help others.


Through the help of several instructors at Eastern Illinois University I was directed toward the Department of Health Studies.  I had never heard of such a program, but upon examination of the course work I could see this was my true area of interest.  I would be able to educate individuals on ways to live healthier lives and still have an impact without having to sacrifice a family life for myself.  From that point on I have dedicated myself to the research and improvement of health education, and with the tireless help of Dr. Susan Farner at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign I look forward to becoming a professor of health studies in the near future.


In his free time Charles enjoys both participating in and observing athletic events.  His favorites include skiing, basketball, football, and biking.  Recently though, Charles has found himself devoting quite a bit of time to helping his fiancée plan their September wedding.  Sorry, ladies!  Make sure to congratulate Charles when you see him in November!


Student Section

Congratulations to all our SHES Outstanding Student Abstract Award winners!

In the picture from left to right: SHES Chair Daniel Adame; Grand Prize Winner Julia E. Painter,  Emory University; Honorable Mention Jennifer Fay Mosak, Michigan State University; Honorable Mention Julie A. Cederbaum, University of Pennsylvania; Honorable Mention John Trainor, University of South Florida

Julia Painter, a doctoral student at Emory University, was this year’s recipient of the SHES Outstanding Student Abstract Award.  Her paper was titled “Psychosocial correlates of rural adolescents' intention to receive an influenza vaccination”.  In recognition for her work, Julia received an engraved plaque and a $200 check from the Section.

Julia writes...

I was very surprised that I was selected for this award, and felt extremely honored to be the recipient. I am very passionate about improving school health, and receiving this award was a nice indication that my work is making a meaningful contribution to the field.

I also enjoyed getting to meet the other student award winners, and listening to their presentations, as well.




Conferences and Publications

NASN's 42nd Annual Conference

Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile

June 29-July 3, 2010


Washington DC -  SanFrancisco -  Orlando

       2011                     2012                2013


13th Annual Health Education Advocacy Summit, March 6-8, in Washington, D.C.


2010 Joint Conference for the Society for Public Health Education and CDC Prevnetion Research Centers (PRCs) Program

April 7-9, Atlanta

The theme for the conference is

"Advocate, Communicate and Translate to Enhance Research and Practice."


Improving the Nation's Health through Health Education: A Vision for the 21st Century

The IUHPE is pleased to announce the publication of the Promoting Health in Schools: from Evidence to Action document. This 2010 document complements the recommendations to establish and sustain health promotion in schools set out in the Achieving Health Promoting Schools: Guidelines for Promoting Health in Schools. It is an advocacy document for the health and education sectors to undertake school health promotion activities based on the evidence of effectiveness. It provides succinct evidence-based arguments to support the need for school health promotion. Finally it advocates for a whole school (Health Promoting Schools) approach to strategically plan and implement school health initiatives. The document is available in English on the IUHPE Web site

( and will soon be available in French and Spanish.