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Section Newsletter
Fall 2010


Message from the Chair

By: William Pan, PhD, APHA Statistics Section Chair


Greetings Fellow Stati-manics:

It has been a pleasure serving as Chair this past year.  I can definitively say that I have learned a great deal about our Section and I am impressed by the expanding interest of our members to get involved in APHA.  In the past two years, over 10 people who have never been involved in Section Governance have either been elected or volunteered themselves for positions of Chair, Secretary, Section Council, Governing Council, Student Liaison, Webmaster and APHA Leadership Appointments (e.g., Editorial Board, Science Board, Action Board, Education Board, etc.).  With each new person getting involved, our Section becomes even more influential in helping our mission and the mission of APHA.  Congratulations to our newly elected Section Leaders: Jeff Wilson from Arizona State University as Chair-Elect; Marta Mendiondo at the University of Kentucky as Secretary-Elect; Gary Burkholder at Walden University and Bertha Higaldo at the University of Alabama-Birmingham as Section Councilors; and Amy Donaldson at the University of Utah as Governing Councilor.  They will all begin their positions at the end of the Annual Meeting in Denver.  In addition to our elected future leaders, I am happy to announce that we have two Section members recently appointed to APHA Leadership Positions: Linda Chan from the University of Southern California was appointed to the Editorial Board of the AJPH; and Jean Pierre-Pascal from the University of Miami was appointed to the Advisory Board for the Nation’s Health.  Unfortunately, we have yet to have a member appointed to the Science Board, whose mission mirrors our own.  I hope next year we are able to obtain at least one of the Appointments to this Board.

Annual Meeting Highlights

Our Program Chair, Karl Peace, has organized an exciting Agenda for this year’s Annual Meeting in Denver.  We have a full slate of sessions ranging from Applications of Statistics in Rural Health, Smoking and Social Justice to Methodology Sessions in Survey Data Analysis and Statistical Modeling.  In addition to these sessions, Amy Donaldson and Jack Barnette organized our 2010 Student Research Competition, which features 7 PhD and Post-Doctoral students from four universities (Michigan, Connecticut, Harvard, Johns Hopkins).  We were fortunate to receive donations from Jean Orelien (SciMetrika), Karl Peace, and Bill Gould (STATA) to support registration and membership for all of our students competing this year as well as awards for the top three papers to be selected after the session.  Many thanks to Amy, Jack, Jean, Karl and Bill who made the competition this year possible!

Section and Spiegelman Awards: Each year we recognize outstanding members of our section for their commitment and contributions to statistics and public health in industry, government and academia.  This year we honor three excellent people: Charles Disogra of Knowledge Networks, is being recognized with the Industry Award for his innovative advancements in address-based sampling methods and computational metrics; Elizabeth Zell of CDC is being recognized with the Government Award for her long-term contributions and leadership not only at CDC, but in APHA, the American Statistical Association, and vaccine safety research; and Larry Moulton of Johns Hopkins University is being recognized with the Academia Award for his many contributions to statistical methodology in cluster randomized trials and vaccine research, as well as his leadership in our Section and mentorship to junior faculty and students.  In addition to these Section Awards, we have the honor of awarding Nilanjan Chatterjee with the 2010 Mortimer Spiegelman Award.  Nilanjan, who is the Chief of the Biostatistics Branch at the National Cancer Institute, is an outstanding researcher who focused on genetic and environmental causes of cancer.  Congratulations to all of our Awardees.

Lowell Reed Lecture: We are fortunate to have Clare Weinberg of NIEHS giving our Lowell Reed Lecture.  Clare is a renowned statistician who has been dedicated to improving methods for the design and analysis of epidemiologic methods with particular focus on sources of bias, missing data, response heterogeneity, and mis-measurement.  Her talk will focus on contributions statisticians can make to further our understanding of genomics.

History and Future

As I come to the last months of my term as Chair, it is important for me to reflect on what I have learned.  A thorough history of our Section from 1908 to 1972 was sent to me this past summer by Ellen Naor, who was the Statistics Section Secretary in the 1970s, and was written by our 1972 Chair, Helen Chase.  The document is located on our Section website and is a very interesting read.  The Vital Statistics Section started out as mostly physicians who were interested in vital registration and statistics.  It quickly morphed by the 1940s and 50s to a section whose members largely resemble our characteristics today: persons with training in mathematics, statistics, biostatistics, and demography.  Thus, our name was changed to the Statistics Section.  At the pinnacle of our Section, we had 809 members (1969), comprising 3.2% of APHA.  While APHA membership has changed little over the past 40 years, our Section had just 420 members as of August 2010 (1.6% of the total).  While there are likely many reasons for this that involve an analysis of cost, competition and dwindling interest; there are three encouraging signs that give me hope that our Section will continue to increase our influence in APHA:

First, the variation in size of our section has not changed dramatically over the past 5-10 years. We have remained relatively stable with a range of around 400-500 members, yet the past few years we have seen an increase in the number of members who were not previously involved in APHA governance, getting increasingly involved.  Not just in the elected positions of our Section, but in APHA Leadership positions and as volunteers.

Second, a few Section Members have taken it upon themselves to initiate Social Networking pages for our section (thanks to Josh Di Gennaro, Mike Baiocchi and Katherine Lin).  We have a relatively large following on Facebook (you can search American Public Health Association Statistics Section) and a growing group on Linked In.  These are great tools that we can use to quickly communicate Section news and announcements, as well as help students network with potential employers.

Third, the past decade has seen tremendous growth in the Public Health field – not only in the number of accredited Schools of Public Health, but in industries focusing on public health services and research as well as increasing opportunities globally.  The demand for experts in the field of statistics (including biostatistics, demography, economics, etc.) with experience in applications to public health will surely rise.  If our Section is properly oriented to incorporate this demand, we will reap the benefits.

I look forward to seeing you all in Denver!

Bill Pan



138th Annual Meeting & Exposition

The 138th Annual Meeting and Expo will be held this year in Denver, CO from November 6th to 10th.  As the oldest and largest gathering of public health professionals in the world, it will unite the public health community and afford professionals and practitioners the chance to enhance their knowledge and exchange information with their peers.  With more than 1,000 cutting edge scientific sessions focusing on the latest public health challenges, 700 information booths and state-of-the-art public health products and services, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

The theme of this year’s annual meeting and expo will be “Social Justice: A Public Health Imperative”.  As an issue that lies at the heart of public health, social justice is central to public health’s mission and is frequently described as its core value.  The social circumstances in which we are born, live and work play a greater role in longevity and overall health in the United States than genes, health insurance and access to health services.  Many sessions this year will explore why certain populations bear a disproportionate burden of disease and mortality and what the public health community can do to better address the cause of these inequalities.

For this information and more, go to


138th Annual Meeting Statistics Program

(Available online at


Sunday, November 7, 2010

4:00 PM-7:30 PM

288.0            Statistics Section Council Meeting (Closed)                              


Monday, November 8, 2010

8:30 AM-10:00 AM

3066.0          Statistical Aspects of Public Health in the Rural or Underserved  

10:30 AM-12:00 PM

3112.0          Epidemiological research on health disparities                          

TBA (See Epidemiology)


3155.0          Statistical Issues and Challenges in Smoking Cessation Research          

12:30 PM-2:00 PM

3207.0          Epidemiology of obesity and nutrition

TBA (See Epidemiology)


3249.0          Statistics and International Health: Methods for Surveillance, Monitoring and Management                                                                        



3250.0          Student Research Session & Competition                                



3216.1          The Utilization of HIIT To Assist Underserved and Uninsured Populations


2:30 PM-4:00 PM

3349.0          Analysis of Complex Public Health Surveys                             



3350.0          Statistical Applications of Survey Methods                              



3317.2          Electronic Health Records (EHRs): A Role in Eliminating Health Disparities


4:30 PM-6:00 PM

3392.0          GIS, Community Health Planning, and Policy Development         



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

8:30 AM-10:00 AM

4021.0          Cancer epidemiology, screening and prevention                       

TBA (See Epidemiology)


4067.0          Statistical Modeling for Social Justice                                     


10:30 AM-12:00 PM

4124.0          Statistical Modeling in Public Health I                                      


12:30 PM-2:00 PM

4154.0          Poster Session                                                                            



4181.0          Cardiovascular disease epidemiology                                     

TBA (See Epidemiology)


4183.0          Advances in epidemiologic methods, research and surveillance   

TBA (See Epidemiology)


4219.0          Statistical Modeling in Public Health II                                     


2:30 PM-4:00 PM

4259.0          Using Mapping Strategies to Inform Public Health                     



4270.0          Data driven public health practice: a matter of social justice      

TBA (See Epidemiology)


4316.0          Lowell Reed Lecture; Spiegelman and Statistics Section Awards  


4:30 PM-6:00 PM

4390.0          Annual Special Session: Controversies in Public Health due to Misinterpretation of Statistical Information                                                                      



4358.1          Epidemiological and health services approaches to addressing cancer health disparities (organized jointly by Cancer Forum and Epidemiology Section)        

TBA (See Epidemiology)

6:30 PM-10:30 PM

446.0 Statistics Section Business Meeting and Social Hour                           



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

8:30 AM-10:00 AM

5033.0          Using Data-Sharing for Planning, Policy Development, and Enhanced Patient Care -The State of Health Information Technology (HIT) and Quality Improvement at Community Health Centers and Networks Serving Medically Underserved Populations          



5034.0          Community-Based Participatory Research                              


5087.0          Statistics at the State level                                                  


10:30 AM-12:00 PM

5104.0          Asthma epidemiology                                                         

TBA (See Epidemiology)


5136.0          Statistical impact on Public Health Policy                                 



5137.0          Statistical Applications: General Methods                                


12:30 PM-2:00 PM

5153.0          Environmental and occupational epidemiology                         

TBA (See Epidemiology)


5155.0          HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infection epidemiology         

TBA (See Epidemiology)


5190.0          Statistical Applications in Community Health and Epidemiology    



5191.0          Statistical Applications involving Public Health Databases and Data Mining 


Social Events for Statistics Section at the Annual Meeting

Tuesday, November 9th is a day of business mixed with pleasure for members of the APHA Statistics Section.  Starting at 12:15, the section will honor invited guests at its Awards Luncheon.  The luncheon will be held at an offsite location.  Next, the Statistics Section Business Meeting and Social Hour is scheduled at the Denver Convention Center between 6:30 and 8:00 pm.  Light snacks and a cash bar will be available.  Finally, we will end the night with a short walk to a nearby location, for our annual dinner.  This is a ticketed event.  Tickets are $52 each and drinks are included with your meal.  An email announcement for the purchase of tickets will be sent out to attending members at the end of September, and a menu for the event will be available for viewing in October.  Come join the fun!

Please remember to visit the section booth for location details to all events. 

For more information, email Gerald K. Arnold at

Disclaimer: APHA is not responsible for the development, implementation, or coordination of off-site events sponsored by APHA Sections during the Annual Meeting. The listing of off-site events here is for informational purposes only and does not imply affiliation, cooperation or endorsement of such venues, hotels, activities or events by APHA.

2010 Lowell Reed Lecturer

The 2010 Lowell Reed Lecturer is Clare Weinberg, PhD.  The lecture will be given on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at the APHA 138th Annual Meeting in Denver, CO.  Dr. Weinberg is chief of the Biostatistics Branch at The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).  She has focused her research on the development of improved methods for design and analysis that account for sources of bias, missing data, response heterogeneity and mismeasurement in epidemiologic studies. 


Dr. Weinberg is collaborating with Dale Sandler, PhD, chief of the Epidemiology Branch at NIEHS, in a major cohort study of breast cancer, called the Sister Study.  Information on this study can be found at  Along with her colleagues, Weinberg is now undertaking a new study called the Two Sister Study, which builds on the Sister Study with funding from Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  Information on this study can be found at


We are happy to announce Dr. Clare Weinberg as the 2010 Lowell Reed Lecture and eagerly await her lecture at the 2010 Annual Meeting in Denver, which will focus on contributions statisticians can make to further our understanding of genomics.

2010 Spiegelman Award Winner

Dr.  Chatterjee is being honored with the 2010 Spiegelman Award.  He is currently the Chief of the Biostatistics Branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of USA.  He earned his Bachelor’s (BStat) and Master’s (MStat) degree in Statistics from the Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta, India, in the year of 1993 and 1995, respectively.  He received his PhD in Statistics from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1999.


He is internationally known for his leadership on development of innovative and rigorous statistical methods for analyses of modern epidemiologic studies.  He has pioneered methods for analysis of data with complex design and missing data with important applications in statistical genetics.  He has also made vital contributions, sometimes in a leadership role, to the design and analysis of a variety of major cancer epidemiologic studies, including recent genome-wide association studies that have led to the understanding of genetic basis of different cancers. 


He has co-authored more than 150 peer reviewed publications and has published his methodological work, often as a leading or senior author, in top rated statistical and scientific journals such as American Journal of Human Genetics, Biometrika, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (B) and Nature Genetics.  He has received numerous awards including Z.W. Birnbaum Award (1998) for his outstanding PhD thesis, NIH Merit Award (2003) for developing novel designs and methods for epidemiologic studies, DCEG Outstanding Mentoring award (2005)  and Fellowship of the American Statistical Association (2008) for  leadership and creativity in developing study designs and statistical methods for modern epidemiologic studies; for major contribution to high-impact studies; and for strong service to the profession”. 

2010 Statistics Section Award Winners

Dr. Lawrence Moulton is being honored with the 2010 Statistics Section Academic Award for his unwavering commitment to statistical training and mentoring of students from all walks of life, his dedication to the development of statistical methodology applied to cluster randomized trials, vaccine research, and prevention of tuberculosis and HIV and his many contributions to the Statistics Section of APHA.

Larry Moulton is Professor, Departments of International Health and Biostatistics, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He directs the Biostatistics Core of CREATE, an $80 million consortium of tuberculosis trials funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has been the principal statistician on a number of large group-randomized field trials, including pneumococcal and Hib vaccine trials with over 8000 and 50,000 enrollees, respectively.  Dr. Moulton’s expertise is in correlated data analysis, study design, and statistical epidemiology, with a current focus on cluster randomized trials.  His substantive areas of interest include safety and effectiveness of childhood vaccines, and the prevention of HIV and tuberculosis transmission.  At Johns Hopkins University, he directs the Ph.D. program in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control and the Peace Corps/Masters International Program, and is Co-Director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety.



Dr. Elizabeth R. Zell is being honored with the 2010 Statistics Section Government Award for her active participation and contributions to the Statistics Section of APHA and the American Statistical Association and for effective leadership in statistics applied to public health, especially for her accomplishments to advance immunization and vaccine safety research and practice to save lives, both nationally and internationally.

Elizabeth R. Zell is a Mathematical Statistician in the Division of Bacterial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.  Elizabeth has a Masters in Statistics from North Carolina State University.  She has worked with the CDC for thirty years, where she is responsible for statistical quality in the science used for disease-prevention and policy decisions.  Currently, she works with the Active Bacterial Core Surveillance system and with International Emerging Infectious Disease projects.  In prior positions, she has been responsible for updating methods for monitoring vaccination coverage levels including working the NCHS to include vaccination questions on the National Health Interview Survey, evaluating measurement error associated with parental responses to vaccination questions through the National Immunization Provider Record Check Study, and launching the National Immunization Survey. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute.



Dr. Charles A. DiSogra, MPH, is being honored with the 2010 Statistics Section Industry Award for his outstanding leadership and innovative advancements in address-based sampling survey methods, his original contributions to the development of computational metrics for online panels, and his dedication to the statistical excellence of the Knowledge Networks probability-based Web panel as a research tool for public health and other scientific disciplines.

Dr. DiSogra is Knowledge Network's Chief Statistician and heads the statistics unit at the Menlo Park office.  He holds over 20 years experience in survey research, sample design, data analysis, and administration.  Charles’ experience includes malaria eradication work with the Peace Corps in Southeast Asia where he worked and traveled for five years followed by a six-month motorcycle journey through Europe.  He has a Master's degree in public health and a doctorate in nutritional epidemiology with an emphasis in biostatistics and policy analysis from the University of California at Berkeley.  He is a member of the American Statistical Association, Survey Methods Group and the American Association of Public Opinion Research.

New Statistic Section Officers


Dr. Jeffrey Wilson has been elected as Chair-Elect for next year.  He is a Professor of Statistics and Biostatistics and Co-Director of the Biostatistics Core in the NIH Center for Alzheimer at Arizona State University.  He is the former Director of the School of Health Management and Policy.  During his tenure as Director, he moved the School into an agency that facilitates the training of healthcare leaders to address healthcare management and policy issues.  He saw a huge demand for evidence-based management and as such has expanded the School to include biostatisticians and epidemiologists to aid in policy making and research findings.  He was also responsible for starting the First Generation and Underrepresented student mentoring program as well as piloting a program to help students prepare for college and the standardized tests.

His research experience includes grants from the National Science Foundation, United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Health, Arizona Department of Health Services, and the Arizona Disease Research Commission.  In addition, he served as a co-principal investigator for a number of grants including the Arizona Disease Research Commission and the NIH and provided research support to many hospitals and health organizations.  He has published several articles in leading journals.  He has consulted with pharmaceutical companies and hospital while representing them before the FDA and other federal government healthcare agencies.

Professor Wilson has also served as an expert witness in sampling, insurance, patient billing, job discrimination, profiling and construction defect cases.  He has worked with the attorney general offices in Minneapolis, Flagstaff and Phoenix.  In 1997, he was assigned to serve as a biostatistician on the Presidential committee on non-conventional practices to medicine.  He is a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Public Health, and former member of the Journal of Health Education and of the Membership Committee of the American United Program Health Association.  Wilson received his BA in Mathematics from the University of the West Indies and a Master and PhD in Statistics from the Iowa State University of Science and Technology.  Professor Wilson taught in the graduate program in Statistics and the MPH program for over twenty years.

Jeffrey Wilson would like to say, “Dear Section members: Thank you for the opportunity to chair and coordinate this fine group of scholars.  I look forward to working with you and to getting your help and support to make our Section the leader in Statistics and Biostatistics at all levels throughout our nation.”




Dr. Marta S. Mendiondo has been elected as Secretary-Elect for next year.  Dr. Mendiondo holds a Master's in Computer Science from Boston University and a PhD in Statistics from the University of Kentucky.  She is currently responsible for data management and biostatistical analysis in PREADISE, a multicenter Alzheimer's Disease prevention trial.  She has also been responsible for data management and statistical analysis in the Biostatistics and Data Management Core of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at the University of Kentucky.  Her main research interests center around the application of statistical methodology and study design to problems encountered in the area's of Alzheimer's disease, ALS, elder abuse and guardianship, smoking, community medicine, QOL measures, and the analyses of existing surveys as well as the design, administration, and analyses of new surveys.



Section Councilors

Bertha Hidalgo has been elected as a Section Councilor for next year.  She holds a Bachelor's in Human Biology from Stanford University and a MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Southern California.  Her academic interests include natural history of HPV, cervical cancer, and cancer epidemiology.  She is currently working on her dissertation, which will focus on the natural history of HPV as it pertains to Latinas in the US.   Her goal is to attain a faculty position at the university level, although she would be happy to explore any opportunities in epidemiology that may come her way.




Dr. Gary J. Burkholder has been elected as a Section Councilor for next year.  He is currently Senior Research Scholar for Walden University.  Previously, he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs, Interim Executive Director for the Center for Faculty Excellence, and Vice President for the Colleges of Health Sciences and Social and Behavioral Sciences.  He received his PhD in Experimental Psychology (specializing in quantitative methods in psychology) from the University of Rhode Island in May 2000 and has undergraduate degrees in Psychology and in Engineering.  From 1998 to 2001, he was Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Community Research in Hartford, CT, and from 2001 to 2004 served as Director, Survey Center and Data Management for the Institute for Community Health Promotion at Brown University; in both capacities, he served as biostatistician for a number of community – based research grants.  Grants included those related to exercise behavior and nutrition education in diverse populations; community health promotion and community health education; patient-doctor communication; cancer screening; LGBT health issues; and drug use and abuse among adolescents and emerging adults.  Methodological experience includes randomized trials as well as proficiency in a number of multivariate statistical techniques including structural equation modeling, multiple and logistic regression, factor analysis, and instrument/scale development. Gary has authored and coauthored several publications and presentations on individual, community-based, and public health-related research projects as well as on statistical methods in the social sciences.  He serves as a peer reviewer for a number of professional journals, and he belongs to the American Public Health Association and the American Psychological Association.

Gary J. Burkholder would like to say, “I’m very interested in seeing more people who are the users and teachers of statistics joining the Statistics section, and not just the “card carrying biostatisticians” (a term used by a previous supervisor of mine when suggesting I return to school for a second PhD to become one).  I’m really looking forward to working with the leadership team to help grow the section.



Governing Council

Amy E. Donaldson, MS, Biostatistician, has been elected as a Governing Council for next year. As a biostatistician and public health researcher, Amy utilizes statistics to improve emergency medicine and critical care for children through her work at the Data Coordinating Center in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine.  She received her MS degree from the University of Michigan in Biostatistics in 2002.  Amy has previously served as Statistics Section Secretary and has been a member of APHA since 2003.

Amy E. Donaldson would like to say, “As a Governing Councilor, I am committed to staying informed on proposed policy changes and candidates for election to the Executive Board and other offices.  I will work to keep Section members and leadership informed of their choices, and to represent the Section's voice in key voting decisions.”


Below are a number of news briefs submitted by the various members of the APHA Statistics Section.

Clinical Trial Methodology Books

Karl E. Peace has two books, which he co-authored with Ding-Geng Chen, being published on Clinical Trial Methodology and Analysis of Clinical Trial Data.  Information on these books can be located below:


1. Clinical Trial Methodology by Karl E. Peace and Ding-Geng Chen, published by Chapman Hall/ CRC Biostatistics Series

ISBN: 978-1-58488-917-5

Review: "The book is an excellent overview predicated on the first author’s seasoned experiences in designing, analyzing, and communicating the results of clinical trials across a broad number of medical disciplines. … A nice introductory feature is the history of drug law and regulation, which helps to frame the subsequent statistical discussion. … The real-world examples that dominate the last few chapters are fantastic. … There is nothing like a series of examples from an experienced clinical trialist to whet the appetite of those involved in the noble enterprise of medical (and more specifically pharmaceutical) research with the goal of improving the public’s health. This book does an admirable job in giving the regulatory and statistical foundations for clinical trials, coupled with real-world examples of how statistical methodology has guided the development of important medicines. …" ­ Gregory G Enas, Ph.D., Senior Director - Regulatory - Diabetes , Lilly Corporate Center, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN 46285

2. Clinical Trial Data Analysis Using R by Ding-Geng Chen and Karl E. Peace, to be published by Chapman Hall/ CRC Biostatistics Series, December 16, 2010

ISBN:  978-1-43984-020-7

Lack of Evaluation in USAID and Donor Health Efforts

By: David J. Fitch, Guatemala

To evaluate a health program, the experimental program is initiated in a sample of areas selected from some population and results are compared with a sample of areas selected from the same population, with just the regular program.  USAID has never evaluated a health program and evaluation is practically unknown in international health.  UNICEF spent 27 million dollars on expanded health work and their evaluation in Africa.  Experimental and control areas were selected from different populations thus no conclusions could be reached, although very serious ones were drawn.  Programs were ended.  We have a joint program on evaluation with the IHS on Monday from 8:30-10:00.  Let's raise a stink about such statistically poor work when millions of children are needlessly dying.

Predicting & Preventing Homicide Research Update

By: Dr. Robert John Zagar, Chicago, IL

Based on the entire 377 page February 2009 issue of Psychological Reports entitled “Predicting & Preventing Homicide: A Cost Effective Empirical Approach from Infancy to Adulthood” and participation in Mayor Richard Daley’s Youth Violence Task Force, the Chicago Public Schools’ CEO Ron Huberman was able to reproduce the youth teen model of homicide using current school data.  He then obtained a $60M US Justice Department grant to focus on empirical treatments of anger management and jobs and mentoring for 350 ultra-high risk youth in 38 high schools in the fall of 2009, resulting in lowering shootings 86% and violent acts 46%.  The material was presented at the Sixth European Conference on Violence in Psychiatry in October 2009 in Stockholm.  In November 2009, President William Jefferson Clinton commented that the work was “interesting and persuasive,” and forwarded it off to Attorney General Eric Holder.  Northwestern University Kellogg Management and McCormick Engineering Schools and the Farley Entrepreneurship Center partnered with Robert John Zagar, supplying him with an investor, market, and business plans.  Thus, Zagar Safety Group, Inc. was formed.  In the fall of 2010, 2-hour Internet testing will be made available to the military, police and fire departments, nuclear power industry, airlines, the prison systems, and others.  The assessment will include ability, mental health (personality), substance abuse, abuse, and violence potential with a simple and easy to understand report.  Robert John Zagars’ violence risk appraisal tool has an area under the curve of .99 for adults, .91 for youth, and .96 for individuals (combined adults and youth) after more than 2M calculations on data collected in the “first” juvenile court, the Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.  Area under the curve is similar to the receiver operating characteristic, including sensitivity and specificity.  The safety scales will be published in an upcoming Psychological Reports.  Access to this ground breaking work on homicide is available for free at

Statisticians’ Involvement in Evidence-based Public Health Practice Committee Established

By: Lei Zhang, Jackson, MS

Statisticians should get more involved in the evidence-based public health practice.  To achieve this goal, the APHA Statistics Section has decided to establish the Committee on Statisticians’ Involvement in Evidence-based Public Health Practice.  Dr. Lei Zhang, Director of the Office of Health Data and Research at the Mississippi State Department of Health, and Associate Professor of Biostatistics in School of Nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center has been selected as the Chair of this committee.  As the chair, Dr. Lei Zhang would like to invite people with statistics background and great interest in translating research findings into practice, to join the committee.  The committee members will work together to develop goals and work plans.  Some activities may include offering short courses such as Statistics 101 and Evidence-based Practice to public health professionals from state, district, or county health departments.  For more information, please e-mail Dr. Zhang at

Statistics Section member appointed to the Editorial Board of AJPH

Linda S. Chan of the University of Southern California has been appointed by the Executive Board to serve on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Public Health for a three-year term, beginning the end of Annual Meeting 2010 through the end of Annual Meeting 2013.

Teaching Award Received

Dr. Jack Barnette, Professor of Biostatistics and Informatics at the Colorado School of Public Health received the Chancellor's Teaching Recognition Award at the UC Denver Health Sciences Campus Commencement on May 28, 2010.

Newsletter Editorial Staff

EDITOR: Marcia A. Testa, MPH, PhD, Secretary, APHA Statistics Section, Senior Lecturer, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Leia Hall, Phase V Technologies, Wellesley Hills, MA.