Social Work
Section Newsletter
Fall 2009

Greetings from the Chair

Jeanne SaundersDear Social Work Section Members and Friends,

It is hard to believe that the Annual Meeting is only a few short weeks away.  I hope to see many of you in Philadelphia, Nov. 7-11.  It is not too late to make plans to attend and/or encourage a student or colleague to come with you! 

There is a full agenda of Social Work sessions and a great number of session that we are co-sponsoring.  This edition of the newsletter has information about all of these sessions.  Thanks to Program Planner Rob Keefe and all of you who submitted abstracts, reviewed them or helped in other ways to ensure a wonderful program this year. 

Please note a few special activities and look for more details later in this newsletter and e-mail messages prior to the meeting about them:

  • Business Meetings:  Our Meet and Greet Business Meeting will be Monday evening (Nov. 9) at 6:30 p.m.  There are also Business Meetings scheduled for Tuesday morning (Nov. 10) at 6:30 – 8:00 a.m. and Wednesday morning (Nov. 11) from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. 
  • The Insley-Evans Social Worker of the Year Award and Reception:  This year’s recipient is Theora Evans.  Please plan to attend and congratulate Theora on Tuesday evening (Nov. 10) at 6:30 p.m.
  • Join the Scavenger Hunt:  APHA Sections/SPIGS/Caucuses will be conducting a Scavenger Hunt to encourage more meeting attendees to check out our booths.  Stop by the Social Work booth to find the answer to our Section’s question, and you could win the scavenger hunt. 

Business Meetings are open to all members.  Please plan to attend and get involved in the Section activities!  At the Business meetings we discuss activities for the coming year, receive updates on APHA from the Governing Council and Inter-sectional Committee meetings.  This year the Wednesday meeting will be devoted to transitioning to our new officers and leadership. 

If you have items you would like to have added to the business meeting agendas, please send them to me at:

I look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia.

My best,

Jeanne A. Saunders, Phd, MSSW, LISW
Chair, Social Work Section, APHA

Associate Professor and MSW Program Director
The University of Iowa School of Social Work
(319) 335-1276

Are You Ready for the Annual Meeting?

Dear fellow Social Work Section members: 

Rob KeefeI am delighted to share with you some exciting information about the upcoming APHA Annual Meeting to be held in Philadelphia from Nov. 7-11.  The Philadelphia Marriott at 1201 Market Street will be the host hotel for all of the Section’s business meetings, receptions, and poster and paper presentations.  The agenda for the Social Work Section will be very full again this year.  Not only will there be nearly 25 paper and poster presentations delivered by Social Work Section members, but the Section will be co-sponsoring over 375 additional sessions from 21 of the 25 sections, 11 of the 17 caucuses, four of the six forums, and five of the eight special interest groups.  I believe this overwhelming interest from our fellow sections as well as caucuses, forums and special interest groups in co-sponsoring sessions with us speaks to the respect our colleagues have for the social work profession as well as social work’s relevance to public health. 
As many of you know, the Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education meets from Nov. 6-9 in San Antonio.  I realize the overlap in dates of the two conferences has caused much anxiety for those of us who are expected to be at both conferences.  The APHA Program Planning Committee has been very helpful in allowing us to backload our sessions and meetings.  As a result, our agenda will begin on Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m., when the Section will host its opening business meeting and reception, which I hope all of you will attend.  Not only do the meetings serve as a time for addressing the Section’s business, but they also give members an opportunity to network with Section colleagues. 
The Section will host the annual Insley-Evans Award Ceremony on Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. where our colleague Dr. Theora Evans from the University of Tennessee, Memphis will be recognized for her career-long contributions to the field of public health social work.  Special congratulations “shout out” to Ian Holloway, MSW, MPH, who is the first recipient of the Section’s annual Outstanding Student Paper Award.  Ian is a doctoral student at the University of Southern California whose paper titled “Health insurance and diabetes among multiracial men:  The mediation effects of usual source of care” was considered by an ad-hoc committee of abstract reviewers as the finest of those submitted by MSW and PhD social work students from across the nation.  Ian will present his paper on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 8:30 a.m.
I look forward to joining with you in Philadelphia as we move into an exciting time in the field of public health. 
Rob Keefe,
Social Work Section Program Planner

Click HERE for a PDF schedule of the Social Work Section sessions.

Congratulations to the 2009 Recipient of the Insley-Evans Social Worker of the Year Award

Theora Evans, MSW, MPH, PhD, will be honored with the Insley-Evans Social Worker of the Year award at the 2009 APHA Annual Meeting to be held in Philadelphia in November.

Theora EvansEvans is the Associate Dean, Memphis Campus and Associate Professor at The University of Tennessee College of Social Work. She earned her BS and MSW degrees at Loyola University of Chicago, an MPH at the University of Illinois at Chicago and her PhD at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Evans’ research agenda is the healthy transition of adolescents to adulthood, with a specific focus on the psychosocial development of adolescents diagnosed with chronic physical illnesses and disabling conditions (CID). These youth appear to be at-risk for poor emotional, behavioral and social functioning. Dr. Evans’ work not only seeks to enhance the psychosocial functioning of youth but to identify barriers that may contribute to disparities in the delivery of health, mental health and social services to this population.

Theora has been a member of APHA for more than 20 years and has served the Social Work Section in a number of leadership positions; currently, she is chair-elect of the Section and will assume the role of chair at the close of the 2009 Annual Meeting.  Evans was one of the collaborators instrumental in creating the Public Health Social Work Standards and Competencies (2005) that guide practitioners in the field of public health social work. She has been involved in public health social work at the local, national and international levels.

A Message from the Booth Director

Greetings Colleagues,

It’s once again time to think about what you will be bringing for the Social Work Section booth at APHA in Philadelphia.   We encourage you to bring brochures about your educational programs, your agency brochures, or other materials of interest to other social workers or public health professionals interested in public health social work.  We still have some note-stands as a “give away” — with printed APHA Social Work Section identifier — and will have the second edition of our Section brochure to share with interested folks.  We will also have a Ed Saundersflier to give away with information about our Section business meetings and scientific sections at the conference, plus our award reception.  As usual, we will have a sign-up list at the business meetings in hopes that we can staff the booth as much as possible during times when we are not attending sessions/events.  It’s often a nice opportunity to meet colleagues as they stop at the booth, plus we have garnered some new members for the Section by talking with them about the benefits of becoming a Section member. New this year is a Booth Scavenger Hunt coordinated by APHA – look for more details before and at the Annual Meeting.

It’s been many years since I first began “staffing” the booth — when, as chair of the Section, I had a new banner made for the booth and began bringing it and taking it back home every year.   It pretty much guarantees I’m going to show up for APHA — after all, I have the banner! — and it’s always a pleasure meeting old friends and making new friends.   I hope to see you at the booth!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at  or  (319) 335-3316.

2009 APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition

Annual Meeting 2009 Logo

Register for the meeting and make your hotel reservation soon!

Advance registration closes Oct. 2, and housing closes Oct. 9.

Note: Presenters must be individual members of APHA to present their paper(s) and must register in advance for the meeting. Session organizers and moderators are also required to be members and pay the appropriate registration fee.

Hope to see you in Philadelphia!

Election Results

We had a full slate of candidates for our elections this year.  Thanks to all who volunteered or accepted a nomination to run for one of the leadership positions.  And thanks to Theora Evans who has served as the Nominations Chair for the past two years and was responsible for coordinating the election slate.  

Congratulations to:

Chair-Elect: Rob Keefe

Secretary: Julia Hastings

Section Councilors: Michele Kelly and Jamie Wyatt Marshall

Governing Councilor: Elaine Congress

The term of each of these positions begins at the close of the Annual Meeting in November 2009.  We look forward to your leadership.

Notes from the Action Board

The summer has been extremely busy for members of the Action Board.  Following its mid-year meeting in May, members were charged with resuming advocacy efforts to ensure that health care reform remains a top agenda item.  In August, Social Work Section members received an e-blast from the PHACT Campaign asking members to attend town hall meetings, or at a minimum, voice to their local legislators the importance of supporting APHA’s health care reform agenda.  Because of its strong public health implications and impact on social work practice, members are encouraged to post comments pertinent to the issue of health care reform on the social work e-communities  Web site.  An excellent policy statement on this topic can be located on APHA’s Web site.  On the APHA PHACT Campaign site, members may also: 

  • Download a Health Care Reform Toolkit.
  • Review material comparing the current bills in Congress.
  • Obtain key talking points to counter anti-reform attacks.

During the annual Action Board meeting scheduled for Monday, Nov. 9, 2009 at 10:30 a.m., the advocacy session will also convene.  This year, three dynamic speakers will share their efforts in advocating for and supporting a public health issue.  The session will be informative and provide essential grassroots strategies needed to sustain a vital public health concern.  For more information on the work of the Action Board, you may contact the Social Work representative at   

I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the Annual Meeting in November. 
Belinda Tate Hardy, MPA, LCSW

Student Assembly Liaison Update

Amanda HorowitzThere are no updates from the Student Assembly at this time – I’ll be updating everyone at Annual Meeting and in the next edition of the newsletter on Student Assembly issues and activities.

--Amanda Horowitz

Notes From the Field

7 Not So Lucky - How many near-misses does it take to kill a pedestrian?
Media Advocacy: From Classroom to Crosswalk

Jaime Elizabeth Lederer, MSW
Siphannay Nhean, MPH
Melanie Pennison, MPH
Maegan Siobhan Berliner, MPH

When the Boston University School of Public Health expanded into a new building near campus in early 2008, many were concerned about the safety of the school’s students, staff and faculty. The new building is situated on the corner of one of the busiest intersections in Boston. Despite the heeded concern, it was hard to predict exactly how dangerous this situation would present itself to the BU community.

A campaign that started as a class project for a course in public health advocacy blossomed into a campus-wide campaign to address pedestrian safety. The student-led project highlighted the dangers of the intersection and called attention to the urgency needed to address those dangers, particularly for all who crossed the busy thoroughfare daily. When it was realized that at least seven people had been hit while crossing with the “walk signal” since the building opened (and countless near-misses), something had to be done.

Attending class or going to work has become a life or death situation for many at the school. The difficulties faced by employees, students and the public are tremendous. In order to get into the building, individuals must cross through the intersection as there is no University Shuttle stop on that side of the street. Also, one of the main public bus lines used by students does not stop by the building (but on the other side of the intersection), and the rest of the campus (including parking lots) is diagonally across the intersection. In order to get into the building everyone has to cross through the intersection. In addition to the school, Boston Medical Center - one of the city’s busiest hospitals - is also located at this intersection.

Using a stakeholder analysis, the campaign focused on changing traffic lighting patterns to promote and improve pedestrian safety. The use of advocacy tools such as press releases, framing, messaging and letter writing were employed to bring this public health concern to the attention of key university administrators and city officials.

Disappointed in the school’s lack of response and coupled with the city’s unfulfilled promises of changing light patterns and repainting crosswalks, it was evident that a public demonstration was the only effective way to attract the attention of the key stakeholders. Pedestrian Safety Demonstration

Students organized a public rally at the intersection to attract attention from media, school officials, and the Boston Transportation Department. On a Monday afternoon more than 50 people attended the rally, including faculty and staff. Attendees held colorful signs and conducted a walking demonstration of the dangers of designated crosswalks and pedestrian signals. People from offices and buildings surrounding the intersection attended and shared stories about the daily occupational hazard of going to and from work.

The rally was covered in three newspapers, local television stations and the university's online daily news. Using media as leverage, this student-led campaign was able to successfully bring this public health issue to the attention of the Boston University administration and the Boston Transportation Department. As a result of the demonstration, University and city officials have agreed to work together to make changes to the dangerous intersection. This issue is now a priority for all stakeholders.

Through this event, it is evident that media advocacy can be a vital component in advancing public health agendas and bringing attention to matters that directly impact the health and safety of the public.

We will be presenting this at the Committee of Affiliates Student Posters on Monday, Nov. 9 at 10:30 a.m. We’d be happy to discuss this more and share any updates we may have.

APHA Career Guidance Center

Don't miss this opportunity! Sign up now for a one-on-one or a group session with a professional career coach at the APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition. These coaches can guide you in strategizing the next phase of your career and help you define your goals. Select a 45-minute individual session or a 90-minute group session. The group sessions are designed according to your career needs. To see which session is the best fit for you, please read about each coach's experience and education before setting an appointment. If you have never experienced coaching before, this is a wonderful introduction to what may become a useful service for your career! 
Visit the the Career Guidance Center's Web page.

Looking Ahead

The Winter issue of the newsletter will be published in February.

Please send your

  • Articles
  • Announcements
  • Photos
  • Book Reviews
  • Project Updates
  • News
  • Notes

for the upcoming Winter Newsletter to the editor,
Jennifer Saunders, at!

Stay In The Loop

Public Health Twitter
Stay up-to-date on the latest APHA and public  health  events, news, resources, activities and more

APHA Facebook Page
Network with members and others interested in APHA, share information and learn more about APHA activities

Three New Books from APHA Press

APHA Press has three books in production of interest to epidemiologists and other health professionals that will be available at the annual meeting.  They are: "Chronic Disease Epidemiology and Control," 3rd edition by Patrick Remington, Ross Brownson and Mark Wegner and two books by Steven S. Coughlin, "Ethics in Epidemiology and Public Health Practice," 2nd Edition and "Case Studies in Public Health Ethics," 2nd edition.

Announcements from the Harvard Injury Control Research Center

The Means Matter Campaign
While most efforts to prevent suicide focus on why people take their lives, the Means Matter Campaign focuses on an often overlooked, but no less important issue: how a person attempts — the means they use — plays a key role in whether they live or die. The Means Matter Campaign aims to increase the proportion of suicide prevention groups who promote activities that reduce a suicidal person’s access to lethal means of suicide. For example, some state suicide prevention groups train mental health providers, pediatricians, clergy and others on how to talk with a suicidal person and their family about temporarily storing guns and lethal doses of medication out of the home or securely locked up until the situation improves. Means Matter is sponsored by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center with funding from the Bohnett Foundation and Joyce Foundation.

Please visit the Web site to learn more about the issue and ways to get involved:

The National Center for Suicide Prevention Training Online Workshops
The National Center for Suicide Prevention Training (NCSPT) is a free online educational resource to help public officials, service providers, and community-based coalitions develop effective suicide prevention programs and policies. There are currently four workshops being offered, the newest of which is the “The Research Evidence for Suicide as a Preventable Public Health Problem.” The first workshop “Locating, Understanding, and Presenting Youth Suicide Data” was recently updated to keep pace with changes in sources of local and national data on suicide.

Continuing education units (CEUs) are available for social workers and health educators for all workshops. NCSPT is a joint project of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Funding for development of the workshops was provided by the U.S. Health Resources and Service Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

To learn more about the workshops, please visit:

The Fourth International Jerusalem Conference on Health Policy

Register Now!!!
ICC Jerusalem Conference Center, Jerusalem
Monday – Thursday, Dec. 7-10, 2009
Who is Responsible? Who is Accountable?
Conference Chairmen                                                                                
Prof. Avi Israeli - Jerusalem, Israel
Prof. Steve Shortell - Berkeley, USA
Public Accountability / Governance and Stewardship
Chairpersons: Prof. Gabi Barbash & Prof. Richard Saltman
Social Support
Chairpersons: Prof. David Chinitz & Prof. Martin McKee
Personal Responsibility
Chairpersons: Prof. Mordechai Shani & Prof. Rosalind Raine
Performance Management
Chairpersons: Prof. Amir Shmueli & Prof. Alan Garber
We are pleased to invite you to register for the conference. 

A reduced registration fee is available up until Oct. 15, 2009.
For more information, please see The Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research Web site

Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Announcements

HCUP’s 2007 NIS Released!

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is pleased to announce the release of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) featuring 2007 data.  The NIS is the largest all-payer inpatient care database in the United States and is updated annually.  It is available from 1988 to 2007, allowing analysis of trends over time.

As part of the HCUP database family, the NIS is considered by health services researchers to be one of the most reliable and affordable databases for studying important health care topics.
The 2007 NIS can be purchased through the HCUP Central Distributor.  Some 2007 NIS data are available in HCUPnet, a free online query system.  More information about the NIS and other HCUP products can be found on the HCUP-US Web site.  If you have questions, please contact HCUP user support at

HCUP’s New 2006 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample Released!
AHRQ is pleased to announce the release of its newest Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) database, the 2006 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS). The NEDS is the largest all-payer emergency department (ED) database in the United States.  The NEDS was created to enable analyses of ED utilization patterns and to support public health professionals, administrators, policymakers, and clinicians in their understanding and decision-making regarding this critical source of health care.  
The 2006 NEDS can be purchased through the HCUP Central Distributor. Some 2006 NEDS data are available in HCUPnet, a free online query system.  More information about the NEDS and other HCUP products can be found on the HCUP-US Web site.  If you have questions, please contact HCUP user support at

Childbirth Injuries Fall Sharply but More Could Be Prevented

Injuries to mothers during childbirth decreased significantly between 2000 and 2006, according to the latest report from AHRQ. The number of mothers who experienced injuries while giving birth vaginally without the use of forceps or other instruments dropped by 30 percent. For mothers giving birth vaginally with the use of instruments or by cesarean section, injuries declined about 20 percent.

For more information: Potentially Avoidable Injuries to Mothers and Newborns During Childbirth, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #74).

Sports Injuries Caused 1 in 5 Emergency Department Visits for Kids

Sports-related injuries such as bruises, scrapes, and broken bones accounted for 22 percent of hospital emergency department visits for children ages 5 to 17 in 2006, according to the latest report from AHRQ.

For more information: Sports Injuries in Children Requiring Hospital Emergency Care, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #75).

Osteoporosis-Linked Fractures Rise Dramatically

The hospitalization rate of patients admitted for treatment of hip, pelvis and other fractures associated with osteoporosis increased by 55 percent between 1995 and 2006, according to the latest report from AHRQ.

An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, which causes bones to become brittle and weak. Fractures associated with osteoporosis can be slow to heal, and they also can cause debilitating pain, disability, deformities, and occasionally death.

For more information: U.S. Hospitalizations Involving Osteoporosis and Injury, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #76).

Four in 10 Emergency Department Visits Billed to Public Insurance
More than 40 percent of the 120 million visits that Americans made to hospital emergency departments in 2006 were billed to public insurance, according to the latest report from the AHRQ.

According to the analysis by the federal agency, about 50 million emergency department visits were billed to Medicaid and Medicare. The uninsured accounted for another 18 percent of visits for emergency care, while 34 percent of the visits were billed to private insurance companies and the rest were billed to workers compensation, military health plan administrator Tricare, and other payers.
For more information:  Payers of Emergency Department Care, 2006 (HCUP Statistical Brief #77).
Patients Increasingly Leaving Hospitals Against Medical Advice
The number of hospital stays that ended with patients leaving against the advice of medical staff increased from 264,000 cases to 368,000 — about 39 percent — between 1997 and 2007 according to the latest report from AHRQ.
For more information:  Hospitalizations in which Patients Leave the Hospital against Medical Advice (AMA) (HCUP Statistical Brief #78).