January 2009 Minutes

American Public Health Association

Disability Section Minutes

Monthly Meeting

Conference Call


January 8, 2009



Council members present: Anthony Cahill (Accessibility Co-Chair), Roberta S. Carlin (Communications Chair), Charles Drum (Governing Council Representative), Willi Horner-Johnson (Treasurer), Gloria Krahn (Past Chair/Elections Chair), Jana Petersen (Student Liaison Faculty Supervisor), James H. Rimmer (Chair), Jennifer Rowland (Awards Chair), Meg Ann Traci (Secretary), Anjali Truitt (Student Liaison).

Council members not present: Stephen French Gilson (Chair Elect), Catherine Leigh Graham (Accessibility Co-Chair), George Jesien (Membership Chair), H. Stephen Kaye (Program Chair), Don Lollar (Governing Council Representative), Suzanne McDermott (Policy Chair).


Opening: Chair Jim Rimmer opened the conference call meeting at 11:00 a.m. (EST) prompting roll call and discussion of minutes from the December 4, 2008 meeting and from the Annual Meetings in San Diego: 1) October 26, 2008 Section Council Meeting; and 2) October 27, 2008 Business Meeting.


Prior to today’s meeting, George Jesien reported that APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin’s top issue is health care reform. George also mentioned that Benjamin is close friends with President-elect Obama and may be an administration appointee. George suggested having Benjamin on a future call to discuss the disability priorities for health care reform. Jim said he would call Fran Atkinson to see if we can get Executive Director Benjamin on the agenda.



October: October 26th and 27th minutes were approved as corrected (mover: Charles Drum; seconder: Roberta Carlin).


December: Meg reported that George Jesien emailed that the membership number he provided in December was 238.  December 4, 2009 minutes were approved as corrected (mover: Roberta; seconder Charles). 



Jim listed the open APHA Disability Section Executive Committee positions: 1) Communications Chair; 2) Program Chair Elect; 3) Membership Chair; 4) Policy Chair; 5) Treasurer; and 6) two Governing Council representatives. Roberta indicated that she was interested in continuing as Communications Chair. This raised the issue of who is eligible to run for positions and term lengths. Gloria said that all positions are two year terms; that people ending a term in November 2009 can run for other positions; people can run for their same position; and that it is possible to be the only nominee.


Jim asked Gloria if she would be interested in one of the Governing Council positions. Gloria said she would think about it.


Gloria mentioned that a note needs to go out to the Disability Section membership broadly to solicit self-nominations. Gloria will e-mail Roberta this note to distribute.


Gloria is developing an elections committee (minimum of three members) to assure representation from an array of disciplines. Gloria hopes to maintain some continuity in the Executive Committee and to recruit self-nominations representing an array of perspectives and connections for the Section. Gloria hopes to have a similar composition of elections committee members. Jim mentioned that Gloria’s perspectives and connections as a federal representative would be complemented on the elections committee by the university network perspectives and connections Stephen Gilson can contribute. Stephen has expressed interest in serving on this committee. Tony Cahill volunteered to be a third member. Gloria will set up a call for the elections committee to meet. February 9th is the deadline for a full slate of nominations.


Gloria said that we have learned as part of transferring to the general APHA election process, that there are specific Disability Section Executive Committee positions that may not  be on the APHA elections IT template. Therefore, APHA may not be aware we have so many positions open. Program Chair and Elections Chair are probably the standard positions.


ACCESSIBILITY CO-CHAIRS, Catherine Graham and Tony Cahill

Tony reported that he and Catherine are: 1) revising the accessibility survey; 2) working on issues of sign language interpreters; and 3) doing a site review in Philadelphia for the 2009 conference. Jim mentioned that reports and the history from the APHA meetings held in Philadelphia a few years ago could be helpful.   


AWARDS CHAIR, Jennifer Rowland

Jennifer reported that the Awards Sub-committee membership is being finalized (Dot Nary, Jennifer Rowland, Jana Peterson, and other interested members). Jennifer intends to send out award nomination qualifications ASAP to Awards sub-committee members. In particular, the Awards Sub-committee needs to discuss and finalize suggestions for the student award criteria. Jennifer intends to have these revised criteria ready for consideration by the Executive Committee at its February meeting. Also, a question arose about whether nominees have to be Disability Section members and will be considered by the sub-committee.


Jennifer wants to get the word out early about the nominations to meet the deadline to have the awards in the 2009 APHA conference program. She has contacted Natasha Williams at APHA Component Affairs who reported that APHA has not set this deadline yet. Jen would like to distribute the solicitation for award nominations by March.


Jim asked if the Awards Sub-committee could review the nominations process to identify streamlining possibilities-- e.g., a first level screening process (paragraph submission) and then a more detailed process for finalists. Jim mentioned that the process was time-consuming and had prohibited him from nominating deserving colleagues and suspected the process had prohibited other submissions as well. Jennifer said the sub-committee would try though determining finalists might be difficult with limited information. Jim thought a streamlined process would increase the number of nominations. Jennifer thought that this may be accomplished by widely dispersing the announcement. Roberta said she would distribute the announcement routinely through the Disability Section communication channels. Meg wondered if those who submitted promising nominations in the past (i.e., those not selected as awardees) could be asked to re-nominate potential award recipients.  The deadline for submissions was August 1st last year.


TREASURER, Willi Horner-Johnson

Willi has not received an IT invoice from the 2008 meetings in San Diego (e.g., audiovisual aids, conference call). Jim had not seen one either. Willi will check with Fran Atkinson to see if we are waiting on other invoices. Given these questions, Willi’s best treasurer report is that we have $7K in our account. Willi reported that she submitted the annual report to CDC. In this report, Willi reported anticipating $3K in carryover dollars since invited speakers could not be secured for 2008 meetings. She proposed to use those dollars for invited speakers in 2009 and/or to support student scholarships.


Willi suggested that if we get carry forward ($3K), we also will have money from our current budget to support invited speakers and other priorities. She suggested the purchase the NACHO mailing list as a possibility ($600.00). Willi said she could check with Fran Atkinson to see if APHA staff could integrate the mailing list into our distribution database. Jim said to proceed.  Roberta mentioned that AAHD works with NACHO and that NACHO has agreed to put in a blurb about AAHD membership and DHJO in its newsletter. Roberta wondered if we could ask that NACHO include information about APHA Disability Section membership as well.   


PROGRAM, Steve Kaye

In Steve’s absence, Jim mentioned more about the intended symposium that Steve is suggesting. Steve is planning 12 themes and would like to have invited speakers for 4-5 of the thematic sessions. Jim suggested as an option that we could support a symposium where four speakers would present on a stand-out topic or theme to draw CDC staff as well as members of the general public. Jim mentioned that we want to support presentations that will bring ‘fresh blood’ to improve disability and health perspectives. He asked “Who have you heard present in the past, and who impressed you?” Gloria didn’t have a name to put forth, but emphasized the importance of tapping into self-advocacy groups. There was discussion of the APHA 2009 meetings theme of "Water and Public Health: the 21st Century Challenge" and how it would be hard to tie the symposium or invited speakers’ topics to the theme this year. Others suggested the importance of international speakers who could connect disability issues to human rights movements as well as speakers who could elucidate disability issues relevant to health care reform. Jim mentioned maybe international and health care reform issues could be married. Charles mentioned that speakers on the social determinants of health might accomplish this. Jim clarified the speakers did not have to be someone with a disability specialty, but needed to be someone with work that could inform disability with fresh ideas. Meg mentioned Eleanor Smith as a leader from disability advocacy groups as the founder of the visitability movement in the United States. This movement is international (e.g., Rob Emrie from U.K.), and draws interdisciplinary interest (public health, planners, builders, realtors, advocates). Jim mentioned people as well: Lennard J. Davis (author of Obsession); 2) Tony Severs founder of Disability Studies to make a link between disability studies and public health. The latter suggestion raised the question of who (besides Severs) can discuss the intersection between disability studies and public health. Roberta mentioned a resource listing academic programs in disability studies (8 pages) long and suggested it might prompt ideas. Jim said he would review.  Meg mentioned that the multi-media sessions might provide a format for powerful disability studies art exhibits that could educate public health professionals about disability issues. Jim reported that the multi-media facility at the APHA meetings hosts its own topical sessions as well as other sessions that may have one or more multi-media presentations. Roberta suggested as an idea for invited speakers, someone who could present on new methods for disseminating information (e.g., on-line platforms such as Wellsphere that earned an American Heart Association Health Impact award). She also mentioned that inter-face technology and on-line platforms might be a topic for future APHA Disability Section programs.



Jana Peterson will serve as a faculty supervisor for the student liaison.



Membership reports will be available at the end of January; George will summarize these during the February meeting.


Jim mentioned that George should emphasize that APHA members can be members of two Sections and suggested emailing other Sections’ membership chairs to do so.


Meg will email Sandee Couldberson at CDC to see if Disability Section updates can be added to the monthly CDC Disability and Health State Grantee call agenda (i.e., February). For this potential discussion, Jim will email George to discuss how best to highlight the Section’s resources to the network.


Jennifer provided a status report on the Disability Section 1988-2008 History, which George had suggested could be distributed as a recruitment/maintenance strategy for Section members. Jennifer reported that she has recruited students to help move the document forward with interview and historical content. She hopes to have a more final draft by March. Jim intends to push for a polished product (e.g., in MicroSoft Publisher) and to have the report submitted to APHA for processing and approval.



Roberta reported that the Disability Section Newsletter will be submitted this week to APHA. She will remind those still needing to submit information.  Jim reminded everyone that contributions need to two to three sentences in length.


George sent Roberta AUCD’s most recent distribution list, and the Disability Section listserv has been updated.


Roberta will be participating in the APHA E-Communities Webinar. Jim has the opportunity to participate as well, but Roberta will be prepared to report back to the Executive Committee.


Jim mentioned that his staff has been re-considering the format of the NCPAD newsletter and whether to break up information (e.g., I Google;  every two weeks distributed very important information in pieces) to increase the impact of information disseminated through the internet. Stephen Gilson, who has wanted to take a more active role, could consider, with the future Communications Chair, how to disseminate Disability Section information. For example, they could update the current ‘old school’ format of the Disability Section newsletter by considering trends like “most-viewed video clip of the day” and research on information readiness and capacity for information absorption. It was also suggested that these may be a new disability and health topics to research.


It was noted that APHA needs to update its systems with current information technology as well. Such improvements would benefit the our efforts.


Roberta reported that she had been contacted about the Disability Power and Pride Inaugural Ball http://www.disabilitypowerandpride.org that will emphasize health care for all.


POLICY CHAIR, Suzanne McDermott

Jim reported that Suzanne McDermott is participating in the APHA Policy Resolution meeting via conference call to gauge the current policy climate and assess how we might participate in policy development on the front end.



Jim noted that those not on the call today will have priority on next agenda (e.g., Policy and Program Chairs).


New Business




Jim Rimmer closed the meeting at 12:05 p.m. (EST). The next Disability Section Council meeting will be held February 5 at 11:00 a.m. (EST). Minutes submitted by Secretary Meg Traci.