Section Newsletter
Spring 2008

Message from the Chair - Martin Weinrich, PhD


Annual Meeting (Oct. 25-29)

Registration is open for this year’s meeting and for hotel reservations. The meeting’s earlier than usual this year (because of the elections), and the less expensive housing is going fast! I hope you’ll be able to attend, particularly since we’re celebrating our 100th anniversary — some even say it’s our 101st, since our 100th birthday actually falls in July 2008.


100th Anniversary

Marcia Testa and her committee have some great plans for our celebration. Although most of the planning is complete, we still welcome your suggestions. Send them to her at We’d really welcome your donations — large or small — to help support the celebration. See the 100th Anniversary Update below for more details.


Section Elections

Special thanks to David Williamson, who organized the nomination process for this year’s Section elections — and thanks to the candidates as well! The candidates were a good cross-section of experienced and newer members; no matter what the results, we’ll be in good hands in 2008-09. 


Section Membership Growth

Both Jim Leeper (our 2008-09 chair-elect) and I have identified increasing our membership as a high priority, and we hope you share this goal. There are two ways you can help right now. First, recruit your colleagues who use statistics, regardless of whether they consider themselves statisticians. APHA gives them the chance to meet a broad and fascinating mix of professionals — much broader than they’d normally encounter in a more specialized professional organization. Second, if you’ve ever mentored anyone, call him or her with an invitation to join APHA. Our section will give them an unusually good chance to participate in professional leadership at the national level and to get to know other leaders in the Section and in APHA as a whole.


I hope to see you in San Diego this October!


Martin Weinrich

2008 Annual Meeting: Public Health Without Borders

The 136th Annual Meeting will be held in San Diego, CA from October 25 to 29, 2008. Advance registration and housing is now open. This year will be an especially exciting one for the Statistics Section which will celebrate its 100th year anniversary.  You won't want to miss it!  See the next two articles for details on the celebration and the scientific sessions.


The APHA Annual Meeting theme "Public Health Without Borders" will explore transnational public health, and will provide a forum to address a diversity of topics including immigrant and refugee health; water and land rights; coordinating disease surveillance and epidemiologic response activities across borders; air and water pollution management across borders; the international impact of trade, arms sales, tobacco sales and gun control policies; and the international transmission of socio-cultural behaviors with adverse health implications. This Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for a better understanding of the aspects of growing multiculturalism that promote healthy living and an opportunity to highlight and foster science based and traditional practices that may serve to protect minority populations as they enter new environments. To learn the latest on registering for the meeting and the program, visit APHA's official website at

APHA Statistics Section Celebrates 100th Anniversary in San Diego


During the APHA 136th Annual Meeting in San Diego, (Oct. 25-29, 2008) the Statistics Section will celebrate its 100th Anniversary. The Section Leadership looks forward to seeing all of its old and new members at the various 100th Anniversary activities that are planned. The Statistics Section 100th Year Anniversary Committee includes Marcia Testa (chair),  James Leeper, Janet Eyster, Amy Ferketich, Larry Moulton, Carol Redmond, Dedun Ingram and William Pan, who have been working on a number of special 100th Year celebration events including:


100th Anniversary Booth: The Statistics Section has reserved a special booth, which will include a mix and mingle area where statistical and probability games will be played and 100th Anniversary prizes will be awarded to the winners.


100 Year Milestones Booth Banner:  We are almost there! Come view the 100-year milestones banner as a “grand finale” to the 100th Year Anniversary Countdown Poster which has been displayed at the Annual Meeting Statistics Booth for the past five years. Remember we were 95 percent confident in 2003, 96 percent confident in 2004, 97 percent confident in 2005, 98 percent confident in 2006, and 99 percent confident in 2007 for reaching the 100th Year Anniversary. The milestone banner will outline the accomplishments of statistics to the field of public health, beginning with the first official 1908 year of the APHA Statistics Section, which was founded by Dr. Cressie L. Wilbur. 


100th Year Anniversary Tuesday Evening Celebration: Every year on the Tuesday evening of the APHA Annual Meeting the Statistics Section holds its annual business meeting, reception and dinner. For the 100th Year Anniversary Celebration the Statistics Section will hold a special 100th Celebration Event at the Convention Center that will include a reception, recognition ceremony, buffet dinner, music and outdoor views from the attached terrace. You may sign up to view the program, make reservations, receive an invitation and be placed on the mailing list to future details by going to the 100th Celebration Tuesday SIGN UP URL at


100th Year Anniversary Donation Information: The Statistics Section is currently seeking donations for supporting the 100th Anniversary Celebration and it will be recognizing donors in the 100th Celebration Program. If you would like to make a donation to support Celebration activities, you may donate to the APHA Statistics Section Enrichment Fund. You may download a copy of the 100th Anniversary Celebration instructions and Donor Form from the 100th Celebration Committee Chair’s Faculty Web page: at

Sneak Preview – 2008 Statistics Section Program

We have a wonderful program planned for the Annual Meeting this year. The invited paper sessions are listed below, and you can get details on ALL of the scientific sessions through the 2008 Annual Meeting online program at  We hope to see you in San Diego!


Invited Paper Sessions


I.                   Statistics and Climate Change:  Is There a Consensus?

(Monday, Oct. 27, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.)


Organizer:  William Pan, DrPH, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


A.     Paleoclimate Temperature Reconstructions:  Implications for Climate Change, Edward Wegman, PhD, Department of Computational and Data Sciences, George Mason University

B.      Climate Past and Climate Future, Douglas Nychka, PhD, Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences, National Center for Atmospheric Research

C.     Climate Extremes and Global Warming:  A Statistician’s Perspective, Richard Smith, Department of Statistics and Operations Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


II.                Hurricane Katrina:  Measuring Health and Population Outcomes

(Monday, Oct. 27, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.)


Organizer:  Stephanie Ventura, MA, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC


A.     Effect of Hurricane Katrina:  Births Before and After, Brady Hamilton, PhD, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC

B.      Measuring Homicide and Other Population-based Rates in Post-Katrina New Orleans, Dominique Meekers, PhD, Health Sciences Center, Tulane University

C.     Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Survey Operations – The American Community Survey Experience, Todd Hughes, U.S. Census Bureau

D.     In the Eye of the Storm:  The Impact of the 2005 Gulf Coast Hurricanes on Population-based Health Survey Operations, Kathleen O’Connor, National Center for Health Statistics


III.             Applications of Bayesian Statistics in Epidemiology

(Tuesday, Oct. 28, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.)


Organizer:  David Dunson, PhD, Duke University


A.     Bayesian Hierarchical Estimation of Dose Response Curves, Richard MacLehose, PhD, University of Minnesota, David Dunson, PhD, Duke University, David Richardson, PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

B.      Role of Bayes in More Realistic Inferences about Exposure-Disease Relationships, Paul Gustafson, PhD, University of British Columbia


IV.              Lowell Reed Lecture

(Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.)


Assessing the Scale of Continuous Covariates in Logistic Regression Modeling, Stanley Lemeshow, PhD, Ohio State University

Action Board Updates

Greetings!  As the Action Board representative for the Statistics Section, I would like to introduce the Board to those of you who are unaware of this group and its function within APHA; update our membership on recent activities; and encourage involvement in advocacy from those who are interested in the public health policies endorsed by APHA.


According to the APHA Web site, “The Action Board is charged with the facilitation and implementation of Association policies and positions.”  The Board consists of representatives from APHA Sections, Caucuses, Special Interest Groups, and Affiliates.  Our role is to coordinate activities related to advocacy with the membership of our respective units.


Below are some examples of regular Action Board or APHA activities.  None of these are restricted to Action Board members; all interested APHA members are encouraged to participate:


  • APHA Action Alerts are urgent requests for communication with senators and congressional representatives regarding legislation relevant to APHA public health policies.  Members can send e-mails to their congressional delegation through a dedicated system (CapWiz) linked to the APHA Web site.


  • At the Annual Meeting, the APHA Governing Council votes on adoption of proposed new policies.  There is also an annual review and archiving process for existing policies.  The Action Board helps to coordinate the participation of all APHA members in this process through contact with our individual Sections, Caucuses, SPIGs, or Affiliates.


  • Each year, APHA recognizes a local, state, or federal lawmaker as the Distinguished Public Health Legislator of the Year.  The upcoming deadline for nominations is June 27, 2008.  More information available at: 

It has been an exciting opportunity for me to serve as your representative on the Action Board.  I look forward to hearing from anyone who would like to learn more about public health advocacy and Action Board activities.  Please feel free to contact me at any time.  Thank you!


-Al Ozonoff, Boston University School of Public Health

Section Councilor and Action Board Representative


Additional links for more information:


Overview of public health advocacy and APHA


CapWiz system to communicate with congressional representatives:


Proposed policies and the policy review process:


General information about the Action Board:

Spotlight - Dedun Ingram, PhD

This issue's spotlight is on Dedun Ingram, PhD. Dedun has been a very active member of the Statistics Section for many years. She has served multiple terms as a Section Councilor, as secretary of the Section (1998-2000), and as chair of the Section (1999-2002).


Dedun considers herself fortunate to be Tar Heel born and bred (Chapel Hill) and also to have had the opportunity while growing up to live in other locales such as Puerto Rico, England and Thailand.  She received a BA with honors from the University of North Carolina in mathematics and psychology in 1975.  After graduating, she worked for several years as a research assistant on a large maternal-infant bonding project in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at UNC, gaining first-hand experience with grant writing, questionnaire design, data collection and analysis.  She also packed those years with travel and outdoor adventures including backpacking, cycling, rock climbing and skiing. Her post-college experiences led her to shift her career focus from child psychology to public health and biostatistics. They also made her an advocate for taking time off between college and graduate school to take advantage of that time in your life when you don’t have a lot of responsibilities and can explore, recharge yourself, and figure out where your career interests really lie.  She entered the PhD program in Biostatistics at UNC and received her degree in 1983 after completing her dissertation in spatial-temporal disease clustering. 


After graduate school, Dedun joined the Office of Analysis and Epidemiology at the National Center for Health Statistics.  She says she is still there after all these years because NCHS has so many rich databases, and there are always interesting epidemiologic and methodological research topics to work on -- and her colleagues are wonderful. Dedun has worked in many different areas including survival analysis, disease trends, urban-rural health, health services, population estimates and statistical matching.


Dedun has two sons who continue to keep her busy.  Her oldest son has just completed his sophomore year at McDaniel College in Maryland.  He is focusing on biology and environmental sciences.  Her younger son is a junior in high school. They all share a love of travel and outdoor adventures.  When she’s not busy with family and work, Dedun spends her time in the garden and with various community service activities.

Statistics Section Officers

Hopefully you all voted in the recent APHA elections.  The results from this year's ballot should be coming out soon and will be announced in the next newsletter. The current officers of the Statistics Section are as follows:


Chair: Martin Weinrich, PhD

Chair-Elect: James Leeper, PhD

Immediate Past Chair: G. David Williamson, PhD


Secretary: Amy Donaldson, MS

Secretary-Elect: Janet Eyster, PhD


Section Council: Diane Makuc, DrPH; Linda Marc, ScD; John Hall, MS JD; Al Ozonoff, PhD; Amy Ferketich, PhD; Bill Pan, DrPH


Student Assembly Liaison:  Megan Price


Governing Council:  Frank Potter, PhD & Marcia Testa, PhD


See the Section Web site,, for more detailed contact information for Section officers. The Web site also highlights other individuals who continue to play a significant role within the Section. Thank you all for your hard work and continued leadership!