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Social Work
Section Newsletter
Winter 2011

Greetings from the Chair


The celebration of the Social Work Section’s 40th anniversary was powerful!  It was wonderful to see members who have retired from the work force, but are still very active in their respective communities. I was overwhelmed by the number of Section members who attended our early morning business meetings.  Even more stimulating was the level of discourse, action plans and the comments from seasoned Section members. No, it was not a “love fest” and we did not sing verses from the song, Kumbaya; but there was energy in those meetings.  A level of energy that only reinforces the desire to thrive and evolve!

I am sending out a challenge to inactive members.  Attend the next APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., Oct. 29 – Nov. 2, and witness the Section’s transformation.  Prior to attending our next meeting,  I encourage you to get involved: join a committee, lend your expertise to policy analysis, advocacy, etc.; ”be about the business of the Section.”  Most of the Section’s members are highly regarded academicians; many are tenured faculty with administrative responsibilities.  Others are skilled practitioners, engaged in public health service delivery; your input is needed as well.  We appreciate your membership, but we want your participation!  It is an exciting time, and I am certain that you will welcome the renewed sense of purpose.

Theora Evans, PhD, MPH, MSW
Section Chair

Action Board Updates

Action Board members are charged with the task of ensuring all represented Sections, SPIGs, and Caucuses participate in legislative alerts.  With possible cuts in public health funded programs, it is imperative that members in the Social Work Section respond expeditiously to these Action Alerts. Legislators love to hear from their constituents. While it is key for social workers to contact representatives, it is vital for the consumer also to express their personal concerns to their congresswoman or congressman.  APHA continues to advocate for the $750 million in public health funded programs, which to date has not been reauthorized. APHA is very proud of the passage of the food safety legislation. Thanks to everyone who contacted their representative.  This legislation gives the Food and Drug Administration more monitoring control over food products. The legislative priorities for 2011 are as follows:

  • Funding for public health programs;
  • Protecting and defending the Affordable Care Act;
  • Defending the Clean Air Act; and
  • Ensuring public health provisions are included in the reauthorization of transportation programs.

Please notify the Action Board Social Work representative of emerging social work policy issues that the Section would like addressed.  Having a policy concern on the forefront with APHA would definitely strengthen the visibility of the Section.


Mark your calendars: National Public Health Week is April 4-10, 2011. The theme for this year is: Safety is No Accident: Live Injury Free. Members may access tip sheets and promotional materials at

Submitted By:

Belinda Tate Hardy, MPA, LCSW                                                                                            Social Work Action Board Representative

A Few Words from the Membership Chair

Greetings! Once again, we are trying to put a face on new members! Welcome to those who are new to the Section, and for those that are not so new, we appreciate having you in the Section. At the Annual Meeting, a concerted effort was made to try to recruit people to our Section, and consider the Social Work Section as a second or third section as part of one’s membership benefits.

“Each one, bring one” – this will continue to be my mantra for the remainder of my term as Membership Chair for the Social Work Section this year!   In our last quarter  (October – December 2010) we recruited 13 new members to our Section, so a big THANK YOU to those of you who helped recruit these members into our Section.

I’m pleased and honored with the responsibility to continue to be membership chair for the section this upcoming year.  APHA has been one of my primary memberships for nearly two decades, and as a social worker working in the field of public health, APHA has been vital. I know I am preaching to the choir as you read this because you are a member of APHA and a member of the Section. My challenge to you this year though is to bring in a new member to our Section, or help a lapsed member find their way back to our Section! This is an ideal time for social work within the organization because many of the upcoming public health initiatives (including Healthy People 2020) support the need for our skills at the table! So, we will look forward to “each on, bring one” as we gain momentum for our fall meeting in Washington, D.C.!

Elaine Jurkowski
Membership Chair

Meet One of Our New Section Councilors!

Derek R. Smith, MSW, MPH, is a public health educator for San Mateo County Health System.  For the last five years, he has served as the project director for a comprehensive tobacco control program that focuses on capacity building and data analysis to support local agencies as they advocate for policy, improvements to systems, and overall community norm change around the single greatest cause of death and disease in the United States.  The work has centered on community engagement, youth development, substance use intervention, and application of data to community issues.  Prior to this work, he has done mental health and community health work in a community hospital, youth farmworker health prevention program, Native American health services, and leadership of a local Native American LGBT group.  Derek is pleased to also serve as president of the Local Lead Agency Project Directors Association, an organization representing all the 61 California county/city tobacco prevention programs.  He joined the APHA Social Work Section team in November 2010 and is excited to support the mission of engaging and supporting other Public Health Social Workers.

Public Health Social Worker Pioneers

Help us to recognize pioneers in the Public Health Social Work field and do your part to help young PHSW-ers identify career role models!


The Section is planning to launch a list of some of our heroes on our APHA-SW website.  A Public Health Social Worker pioneers project has been initiated to create short biographies of people who we need to spread the word about.  The list is already being developed and includes the very earliest sociologists, support workers, and community leaders who were the very founders of the modern Public Health Social Work movement.  We are also highlighting the amazing lives and accomplishments of modern social workers, like you and your peers, who are moving the field forward in the 21st century.


We are looking for volunteers who would like to take on one pioneer (or more) and write up a short biography.  We have a list of potential candidates, or you can recommend your own PHSW pioneer.  The end goal is to have a growing list of heroes who we highlight on a special section of our website.  The PHSW Pioneers project will serve as both a way to memorialize great founders of our field, to highlight new pathways for PHSW-ers, and to inform the next generation of potential colleagues about the amazing professional and personal pathways we take to bring us to the place we call Public Health Social Work.


If you are interested in helping out, please contact Derek Smith:


Derek can help you explore potential Pioneers you may wish to write about, share a couple of sample bios, and give you some guidelines for structuring the write-up.  We need your help, and appreciate your interest in making sure we bring attention to the field and continue to grow our ranks!

Social Work Section Annual Meeting Photos

Attention 2010 Annual Meeting Attendees --

Did you take photographs at the Social Work Section's 40th Anniversary Celebration?!

Velma Anderson, who has been a member of the Social Work Section for 40 years, is seeking photos of her receiving her award at the celebration.  Please e-mail her at if you were snapping photos at the event!

Congratulations again to all of our Section's 40-year members!

Looking Ahead

Mark Your Calendar Now!

The next editions of the newsletter will be published in June and September.

Please send your:

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

for the upcoming 2011 newsletters to the editor,
Jennifer Saunders, at!

Registration Now Open for APHA Midyear Meeting — "Implementing Health Reform: A Public Health Approach"

Registration is now open for APHA’s Midyear Meeting: Implementing Health Reform — A Public Health Approach. Join public health colleagues and partners in Chicago, June 23-25, to better understand the health reform law and its implications from a public health perspective. Gain the tools needed for implementing the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and for improving health outcomes in communities across the country. The early-bird registration deadline is April 15. To register or for more information, visit

TWENTY-FIRST Annual APHA Public Health Materials Contest

The APHA Public Health Education Health Promotion section is soliciting your best health education, promotion and communication materials for the 21st annual competition. The contest provides a forum to showcase public health materials during the APHA Annual Meeting and recognizes professionals for their hard work.


All winners will be selected by panels of expert judges prior to the 139th APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.  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 March 25th, 2011.  Please contact Stephanie Parsons at for additional contest entry information.