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Social Work
Section Newsletter
Spring 2004

Notes from the Chair

Greetings Social Work Section!

I hope the wonder and weather of springtime are approaching you.

The Social Work Section leadership has been working feverishly on your behalf. We have had two conference calls to discuss issues like the program for next year’s meeting, nominations for section officer vacancies, membership, supporting policies adopted by APHA and/or APHA sections, policy review, and increasing our technological capabilities on the internet.

Nancy Claiborne is working very hard towards making our program next year an exciting one. Thanks to Nancy and to all those who volunteered to be abstract reviewers.

Dr. Dennis Poole, University of Texas at Austin, School of Social Work, has agreed to serve as our Action Board Representative and also to represent Social Work as APHA goes through the process of reviewing all its existing policies. Thanks and welcome, Dr. Poole!

Jeanne Saunders, University of Iowa, School of Social Work, has agreed to become our section’s Membership Chair. We welcome her in this role. She is very excited about marketing our section.

We are also working with the Association of State and Terrirotial Public Health Socal Workers and the federal office of Maternal and Child Health on public health social work competencies. Deb Stokes is chairing a committee towards this end. Competencies are sorely needed and we thank Deb for taking this on.

Lastly, thanks to Bari for her work on this newsletter. Please send her articles and updates on what you are doing so we can spread the word about the neat things going on in public health social work.

Take care,


CDC Futures Initiative - CDC is Changing

CDC Futures Initiative Update as of April 19, 2004
(Editor's note: Thanks to Reg Hutchinson for this update on what CDC is doing. This information is based on a presentation made to CDC staff.)

In the last two months, CDC has considered several organizational prototypes, representing varying degrees of change for the organization. These prototypes were shared with partners by mail and at a broadcast on April 12. Full explanation of the prototypes can be found at <>.

Based on input from within CDC and from outside partners, CDC has determined that it can achieve many of its priorities by retaining the best elements of the current structure, while enhancing the ability to address strategic imperatives.

Decisions to date
· CDC is changing. Three prototypes were shared with CDC staff and partners on April 12. We have decided to pursue a variation of Prototype A, with enhancements from Prototype B. Prototype A, which retains the best features of our current structure, relies on Centers that integrate science and program. Prototype B includes robust health marketing and goal management functions. A new hybrid diagram reflecting these changes has not yet been developed.
· Prototype C is no longer being considered. This prototype organized CDC by functions, rather than diseases or populations. The change required to implement this structure would require a major reorganization and does not address CDC’s new strategic imperatives.
· Agency-wide priorities and goals will drive CDC, and elements of CDC’s organizational structure will be designed to support the functions needed to achieve agency goals. For example, CDC will create an organization unit dedicated to agency-wide strategy and goal development. Specific goals that relate both to Preparedness and to Health Promotion and Prevention throughout the lifespan are being developed.
· Centers, Institutes, and Agencies will continue to exist, and will be grouped to achieve greater efficiency and integration. These groupings will be held accountable for achieving health goals. The crosscutting functions of CDC Offices are critical to goal achievement, although the structure of these offices may change. The customer service, workforce development, and scientific support that these offices provide are more important now than ever.
· A new CDC-wide health marketing unit will be established, and health marketing functions will also be integrated throughout the Centers and Institutes and across the agency in order to achieve maximum health impact. Health marketing functions may include delivering information, tools, programs and knowledge to our customers—the people whose health we’re trying to protect—in the most helpful way for them.
· CDC’s partners, current and future, are critical to achieving our public health goals and to delivering our products. Government public health — federal, state, and local health agencies — will continue to be the backbone of the public health system.

Next Steps

· CDC has already accomplished a major milestone in support of public health research goals: the first-ever Health Protection Research Initiative funding announcement based on a research agenda which supports the new strategic imperatives. The announcement is expected to be released on April 23, with a due date of June 22.

In early May, CDC plans to:
· Disseminate draft agency goals for internal and external feedback
· Announce a top-level organizational structure and name the leadership working directly with Dr. Gerberding to make this transformation.
· Establish implementation teams to focus on: goal management, health marketing, coordinating centers, global health, and research.
· Continue to improve and enhance our business services.

CDC continues to invite input from its external partners. Please send your comments to <> with “Partner Comments” in the subject line.

Background on the Futures Initiative and previous communications can be found at

Section Member with APHA for 40 Years!

We are proud to acknowledge that Social Work Section member William R. Montgomery, PhD has been a member of the American Public Health Association for 40 years. Fantastic!

Social Work Section Listserv

Did you know that there is a listserv for the Social Work Section of APHA? If you are a member of the section, you may join by going to <>.

Health Care Social Work Consortium - Annual Meeting

The Annual Health Care Social Work Consortium meeting was held April 27, 2004, in conjunction with the Society for Social Work Leadership’s annual conference. The meeting was exciting. The group finalized case management standards for social work in health care, finalized protocols for bio-psychosocial assessments; explored mutual research interests, discussed performance standards and competencies, finalized a disaster preparedness document for health social workers, and began work on a policy position paper on undocumented patients.

Albeit the roles social workers play in various health settings are different, the group realized and identified many commonalities and is committed to working together and supporting each other’s organizations.

The next meeting is being planned in conjunction with our APHA Annual Meeting in Washington.

If you have questions or want more information, please e-mail Reg Hutchinson at <>.

Community and University Partners - a guest article

Editor's note: I am pleased to reprint an article that appeared in Volume 17, Issue 4 of The ACOSA Update! Winter 2003. It presents an interesting program combining university and community resources. I feel it will be of particular interest to those of us interested in public health social work. A special thanks to Michele Kelley, ScD, MSW (the author with Alejandro Molina and Jeannie Concha, MPH) and Tracy Soska (the ACOSA Update Editor.) More information about The Association for Community Organization and Social Administration - ACOSA - can be found at <>.

The Chicago Puerto Rican Community Responds to the HIV/AIDS Crisis *
by Michele Kelley, ScD, MSW, with Alejandro Molina & Jeannie Concha, MPH

Author's Note: I have been privileged to work with Mr. Molina and leaders of the Puerto Rican community here in Chicago. My work began with a qualitative, action research inquiry of indigenous theories and solutions to infant mortality in the community (funded by CDC and NIB). Since then, I have been actively learning about other community-driven programs, discovering how this wonderful community employs its social and cultural capital to ensure that there are ecologically valid programs to address persistent issues in the community. As an outsider, I could never have conceived of such a program, even though I have credentials as a practitioner and scientist - perhaps because of that! This brings me to my increasing recognition of the power of shared knowledge for reducing health disparities, and why participatory community-based research is becoming more important. Below, I share a synopsis of what I have learned about one program in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. I could not have come to understand this program without taking active participation in the community and without the community taking an active role in the inquiry. In the process, I have reflected on my own cultural knowledge and values in relation to this community and have felt compelled to learn more about Puerto Rican history, culture and experience. I will say more about this in future writings.

The Vida SIDA (Aids and Life) Program

Among Puerto Ricans, both island and mainland, HIV/AIDS remains a significant cause of mortality and morbidity among youth and young adults. In Chicago, the Puerto Rican community has developed a program entitled Vida/SIDA, where HIV/AIDS education and prevention are not only addressed as an individual issue but as a socio-cultural and community issue. Vida/SIDA was established in the late 1980s by its umbrella agency, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC). The PRCC is an organization that deals with important issues affecting the quality of life in the Chicago Puerto Rican community, taking action on social inequality, e.g., education, economic development, political participation, while promoting a positive cultural identity. Based on a philosophy of self-determination, PRCC's programs and initiatives work to promote self-actualization, critical consciousness, and self-reliance among community members. Vida/SIDA 's primary mission is to decrease the incidence of HIV infection and enhance the quality of life among community members living with HIV/AIDS.

Vida/SIDA originated as a prevention project of PRCC's alternative high school where students volunteered to participate in small-scale community education. As the program evolved, Vida/SIDA acquired funding from federal and local public health sources. The objectives of the organization include increasing community awareness about HIV/AIDS and ensuring community involvement with program development and implementation. Other goals address providing programs tailored to specific high-risk sub-groups within the community. In addition to targeted group interventions, Vida/SIDA takes the lead in sponsoring community events such as World AIDS Day, which includes a community art exhibit and a neighborhood walk to raise awareness. "El Grito del Barrio Contra el SIDA" is a collaborative community theater performance that raises awareness about the impact of AIDS. The agency also works with the Department of Public Health to provide health services such as HIV testing. Additionally, Vida/SIDA is actively collaborating with other local and national organizations to address broader social determinants of HIV/AIDS and other health related issues.

The arts, history, and culture are important for Vida/SIDA . These resources allow people to feel connected, hear agency messages, and become involved with the organization. In conjunction with other PRCC activities, the program fosters positive identity, respect, and commitment to oneself and the community at large. The educational philosophy of Paulo Freire, i.e. developing "critical consciousness", underlies change strategies associated with community attitudes and norms by providing opportunities to better understand multiple determinants of the disease, as well as overall health (health literacy), and by empowering people to take individual and collective action. Vida/SIDA's programs create a safe environment for self-reflection and exploration of personal and social issues surrounding HIV/AIDS and related health issues. For example, some programs are named after significant historical events, e.g. "Las Cimarronas" (the runaway slaves from the sugar plantations in Puerto Rico) suggest that women find personal courage and persistence in the face of adversity.

At a macro level, the generation of community trust, social participation in programs and community-building activities, as well as partnerships with other communities affected by HIV/AIDS and governmental and academic public health institutions attest to the significant social capital (both bridging and bonding) within the organization and community. Together with the PRCC, Vida/SIDA innovatively engages with the community to address proximal and distal determinants of HIV/AIDS.

* The research that supported the community participatory ethnography and the findings presented here was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and approved by the University of lllinois at Chicago Office for Protection of Research Subjects.

Dr. Kelley is Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences, at the School of Public Health, The University of lllinois at Chicago. E-mail: <>.

Mr. Molina is Secretary, Board of Directors, Puerto Rican Cultural Center and advisor to the Vida Sida Project. E-mail: <>.

Ms. Concha is a Research Assistant and doctoral student in Community Health Sciences, at the School of Public Health, The University of lllinois at Chicago. E-mail: <>.

APHA Annual Meeting Goes High Tech

Expanded Access to Annual Meeting Sessions

APHA is expanding the educational experience of both presenters and attendees at the APHA Annual Meeting by investing in LCD projectors, computers and new Web-based technology for all scientific sessions. This new technology will enable voice and PowerPoint presentations to be recorded and uploaded to the APHA Web site following the meeting, thus extending the life of the meeting and providing access to hundreds of actual scientific session presentations that Annual Meeting registrants may have missed while attending other sessions.

Annual Meeting attendees can receive full access to these expanded sessions by registering for E-ssentialLearning on the Annual Meeting registration form. Special introductory discounted fees are $25 for Annual Meeting session presenters, $50 for APHA members (who are not session presenters), and $100 for non-members and are in effect for anyone registering for the full APHA Annual Meeting by the Oct. 1 pre-registration deadline. These fees will increase substantially for anyone registering on-site at the Annual Meeting in Washington.

Log-in information and password access to these E-ssentialLearning sessions will be provided to registrants immediately following the Annual Meeting.


NEW! Presenters Able to Upload PowerPoint Presentations in Advance

LCD projectors and computers are now included as part of the standard audiovisual package in each session room. This new technology will enable presenters to upload their PowerPoint presentations in advance of the meeting and have them pre-loaded on the APHA session computers. Individual presentations then begin with a click of the mouse. The cost and inconvenience of bringing a computer to the Annual Meeting has been eliminated for presenters, allowing them to take advantage of new technologies and be a part of the E-ssentialLearning experience.

Message from your Editor

Summer is almost here. I want to thank all of you who have provided information for this issue of the Newsletter. I particularly want to thank the ACOSA folks for their enthusiastic permission for us to reprint the article by Michele Kelley on The Chicago Puerto Rican Community Responds to the HIV/AIDS Crisis. It is important to share resources and information among colleagues.

The next issue of the Social Work Section Newsletter will be out in the Fall. It will contain some information about the upcoming APHA Annual Meeting in Washington in November. In addition, I hope that we can include information on other upcoming meetings of interest, research and/or program initiatives in which folks are involved, and general updates that you would like to share. Please submit articles or items to me at <> by Aug. 1.

Thank you...and have a wonderful summer.