American Public Health Association
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Social Work
Section Newsletter
Winter 2005

Notes from the Chair


The APHA Annual Meeting in Washington was a showcase of the wonderful activities public health professionals are about each and every day. The plenary sessions and the concurrent workshops were excellent. The environmental theme was appropriate and timely. The tsunami disaster is a great example of how health, environmental, and mental health resources interact forming what we know as public health. The sorrow and turmoil of this great tragedy has shocked the world. Before we recovered from the numbing events of this tragedy, California was devastated with mudslides. Further loss of life and injuries. In South Carolina, a serious train wreck and a resulting chlorine gas release occurred. Again, human loss and suffering.

In all of these tragedies public health professionals (including public health social workers) were on the scene responding efficiently and effectively. Be it natural disasters or other tragedies, public health is always there and always ready. Please take a moment and reflect on the human losses of these disasters and say a special thanks to all the wonderful volunteers. AND DO WHAT YOU CAN TO HELP!

The social work presentations at the annual meeting were excellent. Thanks to Nancy Clairborne for your great planning. The business meetings were well-attended and productive. Congratulations to the public health social worker of the year – Deb Schild.

Our Section could not function without the leadership of many. Thanks to: Ed Saunders for managing our booth; Jeanne Saunders for your efforts regarding membership; Bari Cornet for always producing a wonderful newsletter; Deb Stokes for taking the lead on the family violence initiative; Dennis Poole for policy leadership; Kathleen Rounds and Deb Schild our governing council reps; Deb Stokes/Ken Jaros/Ed Saunders, our section councilors; Kathleen Rounds, awards chair; Nancy Clairborne, our program chair; Deloris Berry, chair-elect/nominations chair; and to Claire Rudolph, a mentor and past chair. When you begin to thank people you always manage to forget someone, and if I've done so, my apologies.

Let’s look together with vision toward New Orleans. For members not involved in the Section’s leadership, now is your opportunity! It was great seeing everyone. Please enjoy the newsletter and those that attended the Annual Meeting - enjoy pictures and memories. For those that didn’t attend – see what you missed!!


And an Editor's note....thanks to Reg Hutchinson for all his hard work as Section chair.

Meeting Old Friends

Some of the best discussions were the informal conversations over coffee. We planned collaborative work for dual degree programs. We discussed the direction of the profession and strategies for strengthening public health social work. We considered joint research and publication.

Notes from the Business Meetings - November 2004

Editor's note: these are abstracted from the minutes of the business meetings taken by Theora Evans. Any errors or omissions are mine, and not hers.

What fun to see everyone. There were 29 folks who attended one or more of the Social Work Section Business Meetings. Discussions included issues of Public Health Social Work, APHA administrative issues, and planning for the next Annual Meeting. These notes are a summary. The full minutes of the meeting can be obtained from Theora Evans at <>.

Victoria Rizzo reported on a survey to identify the top 2-3 issues/activities and to recommend topics for the upcoming White House Conference on Aging. Robin Stone will present the survey findings of the work force employed in nursing homes. The qualifications of psycho-social services providers were assessed in preparation for the Conference. A telephone survey of nursing homes and nursing home inspectors indicated that providers were insufficiently prepared to provide social work services. Other topics proposed for discussion were: sex offenders in nursing homes; domestic violence; inter-generational violence; and suicide prevention. The discussion suggested that public health social workers add wellness, HIV/AIDs and economic issues as major concerns.

Deb Stokes reported on the Ohio meeting on public health standards and competencies. They are still in rough form. A draft will be distributed to the PHSW listserve for feedback. Of particular concern is the relationship between the actionable goals and potential training to those standards and competencies. There will likely be an opportunity to apply for training funds via the Health Resources and Services Administration. Current MCH training grants for continuing education might also be used. This is very timely as performance stardards are being required by more and more state public health departments.

Those interested in being a part of the upcoming Family Violence Conference, particularly the Social Policy Committee (chaired by Delois Dilworth-Berry) should contact Reg as soon as possible at <>.

The Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research (IASWR) was created in 1993 to further the role of social work research in the national policy agenda. It has three primary activities: developing research and researchers; summer training workshops; and monthly qualitative workshops bridging research to practice. Discussion included the belief that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and social work should be working more closely. Areas of interest include child maltreatment, preventing violence, cancer control, nursing home care, and others. The APHA Social Work Section was seen as a conduit/partner for IASWR.

The APHA Governing Council continues to work on the structural reorganization (TFAIR) and has extended the process for another year. It is important that members of the Social Work Section remain active and visible on the Governing Council. The Intersectional Council is considering a recommendation to move from sections to divisions. Concern was raised relating to Section identity and membership.

Social Work Section membership is small (between 225 and 250). The Section has the assistance of the APHA offices to increase membership. Of particular importance is recruiting new members, as well as reaching out to student members and to lapsed members. The suggestion was made to be creative in increasing our visibility with catchy items such as T-shirts, pencils, mugs, etc.

Lani Jones will coordinate the Social Work section program for the 2005 APHA meeting. Topics were discussed (and can be found in the Call for Abstracts section of this newsletter).

Deb Schild is Social Worker of the Year

Reg Hutchinson congratulating Deb on her award.
We were pleased to honor Deb Schild as the Insley-Evans Public Health Social Worker of the Year for 2004. The award ceremony took place at the Social Work Reception during the APHA Annual Meeting in Washington in November. Kathleen Rounds spoke about the contributions that Deb has made to the field of public health social work over the years. This was followed by presentations highlighting some of Deb's concerns: maternal and child health, specifially the provision and effects of psychosocial services during pregnancy and the impact of genetic illness on future reporductive decisions. In addition, Deb's contributions to infusing public health content into social work education were presented.

Following the discussion and presentation of the Insley-Evans Award plaque and flowers, members of the Social Work Section joined Deb and several members of her family for light refreshments and conversation. Good going, Deb!

Party Time at APHA

In addition to serious scientific sessions and the business of our early morning meetings, Section members had the opportunity to meet both formally and informally in relaxed social settings. Following the Insley Evans Award session, attendees enjoyed light refressments and lots of conversation. Throughout the Annual Meeting, folks also had the opportunity to chat with friends over dinner and/or coffee. Several also took advantage of the good weather to explore a bit of Washington.

Not Too Early to Plan for New Orleans !!!

The next APHA Annual Meeting will be here before you know it. It is scheduled for Nov. 6-10, 2005 in New Orleans. Now is not too early to put it on your calendar. In addition to the Social Work Section sessions and business meetings, there will be numerous presentations of interest. Plus, this is the one time each year to connect with colleagues from throughout the country doing similar things. Both formal presentations and informal discussions help us to recharge our batteries.

There are several items to consider. More details and events will be in the September Newsletter.

ASTPHSW (Associate of State and Territorial Public health Social Workers) will be meeting the Friday and Saturday before APHA in New Orleans. Details will be forthcoming. It is a great opportunity to connect with our public health social work colleagues in state health departments across the country. Contact Deb Stokes at <> for additional information.

Call for Abstracts for the 133rd APHA Annual Meeting has already opened and will close at midnight PST, Feb. 8, 2005 for the Social Work Section. Abstracts must be submitted online at <>. Contact Lani Jones at <> if you have questions. If you miss this deadline, Late Breaker submissions can be made beginning June 15, 2005. See the article below for further information on the Call for Abstracts.

Call for Abstracts for New Orleans

ACT NOW ! ! !

Most of you will have already received information about the Call for Abstracts for the APHA Annual Meeting in New Orleans in November 2005. However, if you have not, this is a last call (hopefully you will receive this Newsletter before the Deadline of Feb. 8, 2005). Late Breaker submissions will be accepted beginning June 15, 2005. For more information, contact Lani Jones (contact info at the end of this article).

The Social Work section invites abstracts on topics that focus on innovative evidence-based practice, policy and research highlighting this year's theme "Evidence-Based Policy and Practice." Abstracts should be no more than 250 words and must include learning objectives.

Below are suggested topics. However, additional topic areas that discuss public health social work will also be considered:

Adolescent Development: Bullying; Violence; Health;
Mental Health; Sexual Health;
Leadership Genetics: Social Issues; Human Genome Project; Genetic Driven Behavior Theory, Practice & Implications;
Healthy Aging: Health & Mental Health Practice and Policy; HIV Over the Life Span; Environmental Factors, e.g. Housing,Economics, etc.;
Impact of Policies on Practice: Public Health changes; Vulnerable Populations; Maternal child & families;
Suicide Prevention Across the Life Span & Populations;
Violence Across the Life Span & Populations: Intimate Partner Violence; HIV/AIDS, Down-Low, etc.; Practice & Interventions.

Students and new professionals are encouraged to submit abstracts. The abstract must include at least three specific learning objectives that focus on public health social work. This is to be submitted with the abstract for each presentation.

Abstract must be submitted online at <>. The deadline for the Social Work section is Feb. 8, 2005. Late Breaking abstracts will be accepted beginning June 15, 2005. If you have any questions, contact Lani Jones.

Program Planner Contact Information:
Lani Jones, PhD, MSW
University of Albany, SUNY
Phone: (518) 442-5167

National Public Health Week is April 4-10, 2005

This year, National Public Health Week (NPHW) will focus on the challenges of an aging population. This is an opportunity for you and your agency and/or community to focus on the need to enhance preventative service to the elderly population. In the past, agencies have done outreach and education within the community. They have initiated policy discussion. They have highlighted programs. They have furthered discussion on "what is healthy aging?" How do you and your agency plan to focus on the issues of aging? Where does this intersect with your program?

Planning information for NPHW is available from Lakitia Mayo at (202) 777-2515 or at <>.

Membership - Recruiting New Members

The Social Work Section is quite small, but we do acomplish a lot. Our challenge for this year will be to spread the word about the opportunities that we offer and to welcome more colleagues into our Section. Several strategies are being pursued.

We will be continuing the Each One Reach One campaign into this new year. Contact a colleague and tell them of the professional and leadership opportunities that are available through the Social Work Section. Inform them of the benefits of APHA membership, particulary at a time when public health funding is being threatened.

Urge those who are already members of APHA to join the Social Work Section. There are many more social workers within APHA than there are members of the Social Work Section. This is often because of professional constraints that require primary membership in another field. Urge these folks to join the Social Work Section as a Secondary Section. They are welcome at our scientific sessions, meetings and receptions!

Jeanne Saunders, our Membership Chair, is exploring ways to increase the visibillity of our Section. If you have ideas about this (or any other thoughts having to do with membership recruitment and retention), contact Jeanne directly at <>.

Did You Know? .... APHA Member Benefit

Are you taking advantage of the services offered to you as a member of APHA? Here are a few that you may want to consider (if you are not already aware of them).

Did you know that APHA provides members with a 30 percent discount off the list price of all APHA publications and discouted registration for the Annual Meeting?

Did you know APHA members have access to CiteTrack, a tailored and free service that allows them to be alerted to articles and subject matters that they choose? It's available at: <>.

Did you know that APHA members can get weekly updates on important public health legislation when Congress is in session? These are available at <>.

Did you know that you can be a part of the APHA Legislative Action Network? For more information, go to <>.

...and that you can track how members of Congress vote on public health issues at <>?

These are just some of the advantages to APHA membership. They are in addition to receiving the American Journal of Public Health, The Nation's Health, the monthly Member News, and the Section newsletter. Membership provides access to a group of exciting colleagues both at the Annual Meeting and through ongoing contacts during the year. As a member, you also have the opportunity to participate in the professional leadership of public health social work...both through presenting research and program...and through participating in policy discussion.

If you are already a member, we invite you to become more active. If you are not a member, join/renew now and come see us all in New Orleans! Contact Section Chair Reg Hutchinson at <>, and he will be happy to connect you with the leadership of the Section that most closely fits your interests.

Public Health Emergency Response Guide

In keeping with the theme set by our Section Chair in his opening greeting, the Newsletter will repeat a bit of information provided in the December 2004 APHA Member News as follows:

The Public Health Emergency Response Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Public Health Directors Now Available

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created an all-hazards reference tool for health professionals who are responsible for initiating the public health response during the first 24 hours (i.e., the acute phase) of an emergency or disaster. The Public Health Emergency Response Guide for State, Local, and Tribal Public Health Directors provides useful information on the activation and integration of a jurisdiction's public health system into the existing overall emergency response structure during the acute phase of an incident. It also contains guidance that may be unique to specific types of incidents, such as floods, earthquakes and acts of terrorism. To access the guide online, please visit <>.

Message from your Editor

Happy New Year to all of you. May 2005 find Peace for all of us.

As we start a new year, I think about how much I value the perspective of public health social work. It is a combination of the values of individual and community empowerment, as well as the concern for social justice and human rights. I am indeed proud to have those principles (along with others of our profession) as a guide.

This issue of the Newsletter has focused heavily on the events of the Annual Meeting in Washington. In addition to the exciting sessions that I attended, I was particularly pleased to be among colleagues and friends who share a common view of the world. To me, that was the most exciting part of the Annual Meeting. Thank you to all of you who joined in discussions and planning (and a bit of venting). It was great to see you all.

The next issue of the Newsletter will be out in late Spring. I welcome your articles, news, pictures, comments, etc. Please have them to me by May 1. Thanks.

Enjoy the Winter season.