June 2009 Minutes

American Public Health Association

Disability Section Minutes

Monthly Meeting

Conference Call


June 4, 2009



Council members present: Anthony Cahill (Accessibility Co-Chair); Roberta S. Carlin (Communications Chair), Charles Drum (Governing Council Representative), Stephen French Gilson (Chair Elect), Catherine Leigh Graham (Accessibility Co-Chair), George Jesien (Membership Chair), Willi Horner-Johnson (Treasurer), H. Stephen Kaye (Program Chair ), Gloria Krahn (Past Chair/Elections Chair), Don Lollar (Governing Council Representative),

Suzanne McDermott (Policy Chair), Jennifer Rowland (Awards Chair), James H. Rimmer (Chair), Meg Ann Traci (Secretary), Anjali Truitt (Student Liaison).

Council members not present: Jana Petersen (Student Liaison Faculty Supervisor).


Opening: Jim Rimmer opened the conference call meeting at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) prompting roll call and discussion of minutes from the May 7, 2009 meeting.


Minutes: The May 7, 2009 meeting minutes were approved as corrected (mover: Suzanne McDermott; seconder: Stephen Gilson).


Accessibility, Co-Chairs Catherine Graham and Tony Cahill

Catherine has been organizing student staffing for the APHA 2009 meetings booth for accommodations (Sunday through Tuesday 8:30 to 2:30). Student volunteers may get a free pass for one alternate day at the conference. Catherine also is planning the pre-conference training (Thursday or Friday) on accessibility of rooms and communications for hotel staff and convention center staff. Information on the accessibility of the hotels and all the rooms (described by hotels) has been distributed. Catherine will send Roberta the file with info about access of hotels for Roberta to email members prompting them to make their reservations early. Jim emphasized importance of reducing distance from hotels to convention center (e.g., Marriott is best). Catherine announced that she plans to work earlier with hotels for the Denver conference on accessibility.


Gloria recalled an emergency evacuation of the Philadelphia convention center during a previous APHA conference and asked Catherine about plans to improve some of the problems that occurred. Catherine said she would plan to integrate relevant information, assessment and resources into the site visit, recommendations for changes, and training.


Treasurer, Willi Horner-Johnson

Willi noted that based on information about CDC carry-forward requests, APHA advised us to spend out our 2008-2009 budget by May 31. We moved forward with: 1) printing more brochures, purchasing NACCHO mailing list, and paying APHA to prepare a mailing; and 2) purchasing small and medium Disability Section t-shirts. However, we have run into an obstacle with the NACCHO mailing.  NACCHO has not approved our cover letter to go out with the brochures, so we were unable to complete this activity by May 31. If the amount allocated ($2,000) is carried forward, it is unclear whether we also get the $15,000 requested for 2009-2010 or whether or reward will be reduced by the amount of the carry forward.  If the budget is reduced, Willi reported that we may not be able to fund a more prominent booth at the 2009 APHA meeting. Willi and Jim will discuss options to fund a better location for the Disability Section booth after today’s meeting (e.g., reduce the number of student scholarships).


The idea for a Section Leaders Meet the Disability Section meeting (Sunday at 5pm) following the Chair’s Forum was conceived after our proposal submission so we may need to request a change to fund the meeting refreshments. Also, we will need to consider next year’s plans and what not to fund. 


NACCHO mailing list: In order to purchase their mailing list, we need to revise and resubmit our cover letter since there was some concern on the part of NACCHO that we are trying to poach their members. The purpose of the cover letter is to inform NACCHO members (many of whom are already APHA members) about the activities of the Disability Section. George Jesien suggested rewording the cover letter to include information that an APHA member can join a second section for only $30. Willi will send the revised letter to Roberta Carlin who will follow up with some of the contacts she has within the NACCHO workgroup on health and disability. Gloria asked Willi to contact the workgroup’s chair (Noel le Wiggins) for advice on how to revise the cover letter for the NACCHO mailing.


NACCHO has two types of membership (retrieved from World Wide Web 6/23/09: http://www.naccho.org/membership/lhd/) (see rates in appendix).


1. LHD Membership

Local health department (LHD) membership covers the health official and his/her entire agency—staff, volunteers, and board members…Membership dues are based on the size of the population served by the agency. (Rates range from $55 to $3,625 per year.)


2. Affiliate Membership

    A. Individual (Student- $25/year, Retiree- $50/year, Alumini-        $50/year, Other- $110/year)

    B. Organizational (State Public Health Department-        $340/year, Government Agency-$340/year, Non-Profit-        $340/year, School of Public Health-$340/year, For-Profit-        $2,490/year)


A few Councilors suggested reaching out to CDC Disability and Health staff if there are any future issues working with NACCHO.   


Communications, Chair Roberta Carlin

The newsletter came out today. Newsletters can be viewed at: http://www.apha.org/membergroups/newsletters/sectionnewsletters/disability/


Anjali and Roberta have discussed a student monthly newsletter. APHA is rigid about newsletter format and support, so students would have take on this initiative independently.


There are about 175-275 brochures left at NCPAD and AAHD. Willi and Jim are planning to reprint brochures, and will discuss off-line with George Jesien.


Policy, Chair Suzanne McDermott

Suzanne asked for guidance on a protocol she can follow in response to requests for Disability Section endorsements of policies, particularly APHA policies and position papers.


After discussion, Jim suggested:

1) to respond that the Disability Section will examine requests;

2) to move forward with chair’s recommendation when the policy or position paper is clearly related to our work;

3) for policies that are not directly related to our work, the chair could: 

a) email the policy or position paper to councilors and request an anonymous email vote* (i.e., respond to Suzanne only, not using “reply all”; or

b) ask the secretary to put the request on the agenda and email councilors pertinent documents in time for meaningful discussion on vote*. 

* A simple majority will carry the vote.


Consequently, Suzanne emailed an APHA position paper, The Role of Public Health Practitioners, Academics, and Advocates in Relation to Armed Conflict and War, and prompted a YES/NO email vote.


Awards, Chair Jennifer Rowland

Reviews of award nominations are on-going. The Awards Committee includes Dot Nary, David Keer, Elizabeth Depoy, Jana Peterson, Jennifer Rowland, and an adhoc sub-committee member, Ann Goerdt, who will serve on reviews where a conflict of interest exists. They plan to meet the June 15th deadline for submission of awardees to APHA program. The sub-committee will develop a proposal to the Disability Section Council of nomination and selection processes for award(s) for other Sections. They are considering questions on how to elicit nominations—e.g., how to implement a call for nominations; call for internal and external nominations and reviews; whether to award disability content or following accessibility guidelines; whether to present awards to recipients for work from the preceding or current conference. There was some discussion about these considerations. To award adherence to accessibility guidelines or some aspects of content, a sub-committee of volunteers might be needed to attend nominated sessions. There was discussion about whether to recognize sections v. individuals. If the Disability Section recognized other Sections, we could consider recognizing the International Health and Epidemiology Sections for their work on common goals.


Elections, Chair Gloria Krahn

Gloria reported that she is working with APHA on a re-vote election due to an error in the voting form (e.g., prompted voting for two people for single positions-- Governor’s Council and Policy Chair). Only current members can vote.


Membership, Chair George Jesien

George reported that the Disability Section has maintained 248 members. Willi, Jim, Steve and George will stay on to discuss the budget and booth options for the 2009 APHA meetings.


Jim asked about a plan to cover George’s duties during the 2009 APHA meetings because George will be attending the AUCD conference. It was suggested that the incoming membership chair be trained to assume those duties.


Program, Chair Steve Kaye

Noting time left in meeting, Steve suggested a separate meeting with Jim and Willi to discuss the Program budget.


Chair’s Forum, Chair-Elect Stephen Gilson

Stephen reported that the sub-committee (Jim and Gloria) integrated feedback of councilors to revise the proposal for the Chair’s Forum— e.g., combined some topics and defined time slot to fit between Executive Council meeting and ‘Meet the Disability Section’. The process defined key steps: 1) email invitation to submit abstracts for possible acceptance to Chair’s Forum; 2) newsletter distribution of accepted abstracts; 3) submission of 3-5 page papers that will be distributed two weeks prior to the Chair’s Forum; 4) Presentation/discussion of papers at Chair’s Forum; 5) completion of final papers including summary of responses for publication within a month of the Forum. 


The plans for the Forum are to have six to seven works-in- progress (e.g., per past full-day forums) presented with time for discussion, providing authors would feedback (i.e., as peer review) to integrate into a final submission for publication in special section.  


Student Section, Chair Anjali Truitt

Jim asked if Anjali’s questions about supporting a student committee to work on a student newsletter could be tabled until next month. Anjali said they could wait.



Jim Rimmer closed the meeting at 12:05 p.m. (EST). The next Disability Section Council meeting will be held July 2nd at 11:00 a.m. (EST). Minutes submitted by Secretary Meg Traci.