American Public Health Association
800 I Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001-3710
(202) 777-APHA • Fax: (202) 777-2534 •

May 2009 Minutes

American Public Health Association

Disability Section Minutes

Monthly Meeting

Conference Call


May 7, 2009



Council members present: Anthony Cahill (Accessibility Co-Chair); Roberta S. Carlin (Communications Chair), Stephen French Gilson (Chair Elect), Catherine Leigh Graham (Accessibility Co-Chair),George Jesien (Membership Chair),H. Stephen Kaye (Program Chair ), Gloria Krahn (Past Chair/Elections Chair), Suzanne McDermott (Policy Chair), Jana Petersen (Student Liaison Faculty Supervisor), Jennifer Rowland (Awards Chair), Meg Ann Traci (Secretary), Anjali Truitt (Student Liaison).

Council members not present: Charles Drum (Governing Council Representative), Willi Horner-Johnson (Treasurer), Don Lollar (Governing Council Representative), James H. Rimmer (Chair).


Opening: Chair Gloria Krahn (serving as meeting chair in Jim Rimmer’s absence) opened the conference call meeting at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) prompting roll call and discussion of minutes from the February 5 and March 5, 2009 meetings.



The February 5 and March 5, 2009 meeting minutes were approved as corrected (mover: Catherine Graham; seconder: Stephen Gilson).


Policy, Chair Suzanne McDermott

Suzanne reported that she and Amanda Reichard are continuing to work on suggested revisions of five proposed APHA policies.

• A7: Ensuring the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals: Strengthening US Efforts to Reduce Global Poverty and Promote Public Health

• B6: Reducing the Burden of Poor Health and Health Inequities through Transportation and Land-use Policies

• C2: Child Health Policy for the United States

• D2: Expansion of Health Promotion Research for Older Adults

• D3: Building Code Development, Adoption and Enforcement Problems Impacting Safety and Usability of Homes and Other Buildings


Elections, Chair Gloria Krahn

Gloria is still working with APHA to get members’ emails. Councilors confirmed receipt of preliminary announcements of upcoming elections, including candidate information.


Program,  Chair Steve Kaye

Steve reported, “The program is set.” People will find out on June 1, 2009 about abstract review outcomes. The invited session on health care reform is still evolving since two of the intended invitees were recently appointed to high positions in the Obama Administration and cannot commit to participating at this point. Steve will ask Donna if we can put “TBN” in for two panelists.


Suzanne asked Steve about ways to elicit abstracts with a standard format from accepted oral and poster presenters for publication in DHJO. Steve/Roberta will email accepted abstract authors to contact Suzanne if they are interested in publishing their abstract, and Suzanne will provide guidelines.


Student Section, Chair Anjali Truitt

Anjali reported on a web survey distributed to student members. Summary findings: 1) students like the Disability Section Newsletter; 2) students would like an opportunity to get-together. Steve reported that he tried to include more student presentations in the program sessions. Last year there was a mentoring/career forum, and Gloria and Jana recalled the Section hosting a pizza social last year. Jana suggested that our email distribution experience with the student web survey improves our capacity to promote a similar social event at the 2009 meetings. Stephen Gilson and Tony Cahill encouraged having such an event. A follow up call was suggested to consider the web survey data and develop social event possibilities (e.g., an event prior to the chair’s forum).


Awards, Chair Jennifer Rowland

Jennifer reported that there had been several nominations for the Allan Mayers, the Life Time Achievement, the New Investigator, and the Student Awards. The Awards sub-committee is meeting next week to consider nominations (adhoc sub-committee members will review nominations with which standing members have a conflict of interest). They plan to meet the June 15th deadline for submission of awardees’ information for publication in the APHA 2009 Program. The sub-committee then will re-visit criteria for traditional awards and will develop a proposal to the Disability Section Council of nomination and selection processes for award(s) for other Sections. Diane Conti had input.


Communications, Chair Roberta Carlin

Newsletter submissions are due to Roberta so she can submit newsletter by May 21st. Newsletters can be viewed at:


There was discussion of where the brochures had gone after the 2009 meetings. Recollections suggested that NCPAD may be the best place to look for these. Roberta will follow up with Jim.


Membership, Chair George Jesien

George said APHA has been losing membership (6-10%). Based on data available the day prior, George reported that although there have been gains and losses, the Disability Section has 248 members (76% regular members; 13.7% student members; 5% retired members). George emailed the nine members whose membership had lapsed (three regular members and some retired and student members), asking why their membership had lapsed.

George promoted Disability Section membership at the State Disability and Health Grantee meeting, and thinks the Section display could have helped. Based on discussion there, there was some interest in using the display at state meetings and conferences (e.g., Meg is bringing the display to Montana for the state Public Health Association meetings in September).


An APHA meeting booth is ready to reserve for the Disability Section, and George asked for discussion of the type of booth in which to invest (e.g., section row, middle row, better positioning ($250 for section row v. $1,800 for middle row v. $2,400 for premium booth). George has a ‘hold’ on the exhibit space next to NCPAD across from the The Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. Gloria surmised from Willi’s most recent treasurer’s report (emailed 4/29/09) that there was at least some money to do this. There was not information about booth positioning and number of visitors. However, the Disability Section display did get a second place ribbon in 2008 and accessibility of the booth may be better with improved location. It was noted that Jim Rimmer (absent) had expressed support for this after Willi’s email to George requesting an update about the potential added expense. Tony said it was worth trying a new location and to evaluate outcomes. Roberta noted that there was a need for new brochures that may affect what funds were available. Gloria moved that if George can confirm with Willi that funds are available, to proceed with procurement of reserved booth (seconder: Stephen; vote= unanimous support).


George said that a major barrier was not being able to register members at the booth in 2008 (i.e., there was no paper process).


Treasurer, Willi Horner-Johnson

·         APHA is purchasing NACCHO mailing labels on our behalf in preparation for mailing of brochures and cover letter.


·         Looking at printing 2,500 more brochures for this mailing in May.  We don’t want to wait until the last minute for that, as the rush fee substantially increases the price.


·         Willi still anticipates having money left, and is trying to get confirmation about carrying that over into next year.  (Some dates for a conference call with APHA budget staff have been put forward, but nothing finalized yet.)


(Treasurer’s report submitted by Willi Horner-Johnson via email 4/29/09)


Accessibility, Co-Chairs Catherine Graham and Tony Cahill

Catherine reported that they are making progress on objectives discussed during the April meeting. She was following up with a couple people who expressed willingness to assist with these activities (e.g., survey development).


Chair’s Forum, Chair-Elect Stephen Gilson

Stephen reviewed the draft chair’s forum proposal that was emailed to councilors prior to the meeting (appendix). He asked that councilors with comments or suggestions email him.


The plans are to: 1) have only works-in- progress per past full-day chair’s forums; 2) select 6-7 short papers to present with time for discussion in mind, allowing that authors would consider and integrate the feedback (i.e., as peer review) into a final paper for submission for publication in a special issue.  


In the proposal, there was a need to clarify whether presenters will submit a paper three weeks or two weeks prior to the 2009 meetings and if the papers will be posted on the Disability Section website or emailed as attachments. Stephen said they would host the submission process with the goal of 3-6 competitively selected presentations.


Gloria prompted review of the topics developed for the forum. Suzanne suggested combining #3 and #5 and revising the wording of the #7 to be less leading. Tony asked if papers for all topics would be covered. Stephen expressed an openness to either presenting all or some topics, stating that he would like to have a panel that wasn’t constrained. Gloria said that the numbers of topics  recognized the breadth of the field, reflecting its maturity. Tony wondered if we would miss the opportunity to develop discussion and ideas. Gloria wondered if the topics were too seamed already recalling that forum topics were disparate in forums a decade ago, and there still was connectivity.  Stephen echoed that remark. Roberta asked for the time frame for the forum. Gloria said 7-8 hours is how much Renee devoted to forums. Steve said that we had 2.5 hours in the afternoon scheduled for this with a poster session at 4:30 and the ‘Meet the Disability Section’ reception at 5pm (5pm) and that Disability Section Executive Council meeting was 9:30 to 1:00pm the following day.  Gloria suggested hosting the forum from noon to five. Councilors expressed enthusiasm for the forum.



Gloria Krahn closed the meeting at 12:03 p.m. (EST). The next Disability Section Council meeting will be held June 4th at 11:00 a.m. (EST). Minutes submitted by Secretary Meg Traci.







Draft Proposal for Chair’s Forum, 2009

[Submitted via email by Stephen Gilson, 5/5/2009]


Public Health and Disability: Is the Lion Ready to Lay with the Lamb?



The Disability Section of the American Public Health Association has the primary role of advancing public health for disabled populations globally, nationally and locally. Identifying the population, its diverse needs, and public health’s role in addressing those needs is critical for fulfilling this mission. Over the past 25 years, models for understanding disability have changed markedly, and public health is shifting from an exclusive focus on disability prevention to incorporating the promotion of health and quality of life for all individuals.   Reflecting this change, the definition of disability has become complex and dynamic, creating conceptual and practical disagreement about who is disabled and how best to meet the needs of this underserved population.  At this year’s 2009 Chair’s Forum at the APHA meeting in Philadelphia, invited speakers will present, analyze and debate divergent scholarly perspectives on disability and public health. 



  • Historical perspectives of disability and public health (and historical tensions)
  • Multiple perspectives on disability definitions-- Creating new conceptual models to unify divergent perspectives 
  • Values inherent in current public health assessment and practices with disabled populations
  • Aging, geography and the distribution of disability
  • Public health advancing equality of access for disabled populations
  • Defining a clear mission for the current and future roles of the Disability Section within the APHA
  • Public health’s ‘disability prevention’ agenda excludes those with the greatest public health needs


Invited and submitted papers will present work in progress to the audience. Papers will be made available two weeks prior to the Annual APHA meeting so that audience members can read and formulate responses.


Work in progress will represent historical, conceptual, and research analyses of disability and public health.

Twenty minute papers will be followed with critical analysis and discussion of ideas presented.


Proceedings will be published that include both the paper, a summary of the critical feedback and a response from the original authors.



  • Distribute announcement via email distribution to the APHA Disability membership
  • Submission of 1 page abstracts will be due four weeks following the newsletter distribution date
  • A review panel will notify submitters of their acceptance by July 1
  • Presenters will submit a five page paper of their presentation 3 weeks prior to the APHA annual meeting
  • Presenters will complete papers, including a summary of criticisms and their responses within 1 month following the APHA annual meeting