October 2009 Minutes

American Public Health Association

Disability Section Minutes

Monthly Meeting

Conference Call


October 1, 2009



Council members present: Charles Drum (Governing Council Representative), Stephen French Gilson (Chair Elect), Catherine Leigh Graham (Accessibility Co-Chair), Willi Horner-Johnson (Treasurer), George Jesien (Membership Chair), H. Stephen Kaye (Program Chair), Gloria Krahn (Past Chair/Elections Chair), Suzanne McDermott (Policy Chair), James H. Rimmer (Chair), Jennifer Rowland (Awards Chair), Meg Ann Traci (Secretary), and Anjali Truitt (Student Liaison).

Council members not present: Anthony Cahill (Accessibility Co-Chair), Roberta S. Carlin (Communications Chair), Don Lollar (Governing Council Representative), and Jana Petersen (Student Liaison Faculty Supervisor).


Opening: Jim Rimmer opened the meeting at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) prompting roll call and discussion of minutes from the September 3, 2009 meeting.


Minutes: The September 3, 2009 meeting minutes were approved as corrected (mover: Suzanne McDermott; seconder: Charles Drum).


To view archived minutes for the APHA Disability Section Council meetings, visit  http://www.apha.org/membergroups/sections/aphasections/disability/roster/  

and scroll to the list of approved minutes available on-line under the leadership list.


Jim asked if councilors had received their invitation to the “Meet the Disability Section” meeting. He also prompted councilors to send him names, affiliation and contact information of suggested invitees for the “Meet the Disability Section” (Goal = 50 invitees).


Awards, Chair Jennifer Rowland

Jennifer reported that Dot Nary will order the awards plaques and will send them to Philadelphia for the Business Meeting and Awards Banquet. Additionally, Catherine Graham will present Anna Keller with a special award from the Disability Section honoring her outstanding efforts to collaborate with us on improving the accessibility of the APHA annual meetings. Jim Rimmer will purchase a $50 Amazon gift certificate to include with the award.  Suzanne McDermott will present the International Health Section with a certificate from the Disability Section to honor the outstanding efforts of its membership to educate and inform APHA executive council about needed advocacy efforts supporting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Evey Cherow and Jirair Ratevosian will attend the Business Meeting and Awards Banquet to accept the award on behalf of the International Health Section.


Jennifer announced the 2009 award recipients: 1) Barbara Altman was selected for the 2009 APHA Disability Section Life Time Achievement Award; 2) Willi Horner-Johnson was selected for the 2009 New Investigator Award; and 3) Cheri Blauwet was selected for the 2009 Student Member Award. Typically, the Student Member Award recipient receives a one-year membership; however, since Cheri is now in a post-doctoral position, she needs a regular membership. Cheri did not qualify for two other membership options that Jennifer explored: 1) APHA’s Special Health Care Worker membership ($20 more than the student membership); and 2) APHA’s transitional membership that is available only to former student members in the first year following graduation. A third option was identified (see Membership below), and George will email Jennifer details.


The Awards Committee will continue to work on objective criteria for reviewing and ranking award nominations. The committee will ask the Disability Section Council to review and comment on these criteria.


Membership, Chair George Jesien

Regarding the APHA Disability Section Booth and Meeting, George will not be able to attend since his AUCD conference is at the same time and asked for volunteers to help with the following items:


1)     Membership Report at the Business Meeting: George will provide Jim with a report in mid-October, and Jim will give the membership report at the Business Meeting.


2)     Disability Section Booth Set Up: Councilors who were involved in ‘set up’ last year recalled that the process took approximately 45 minutes. Councilors with booth materials (see below) should send them to the Pennsylvania Convention Center by Friday, November 6, 2009. On Saturday, Charles and Stephen will coordinate a time between Governing Council sessions and other meetings to set up the booth.


3)     Disability Section Booth Take Down and Materials: Since the Disability Section Booth will be located next to the NCPAD booth this year, Jim and the NCPAD staff will take down the Disability Section booth and send materials back to AUCD office. George will provide label and shipping address.


4)     Facilitate Sign-Up Sheet to Staff the Disability Section Booth: George will distribute a schedule asking people to volunteer in two-hour blocks and provide their cell phone numbers as contact information at the conference. Jim also said that NCPAD staff can help with staffing the booth if there are scheduling gaps. Scholarship recipients will be asked to volunteer.


5)     Identify three people to receive full registrations: These registrations are usually reserved for the membership chair and/or booth staff (November 2nd deadline), but George will not be attending so we need to use these to recruit additional help with membership. Councilors suggested: a) the 2009 Student Awardee—Cheri Blauwet (George will email Jennifer Rowland about this option); b) the Life-Time Achievement Awardee (Charles, who is attending the same conference as the awardee, will ask her); c) Marie Presto from Magee Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center in Philadelphia who has been helping Catherine recruit students to volunteer at the Accessibility Booth; d) Scholarship trainees; e) Independent Living Center staff in the Philadelphia area; f) Invited speakers who have not registered; and g) presenters for the Chair’s Forum.


6)     Promotional items: George will order more Frisbees with the Disability Section logo. Jim will ship the Disability Section long-sleeved t-shirts for conference attendees who join the Disability Section as new members.


7)     Membership forms: George will try to ship these for use at the booth.


8)     Reviewers for student scholarships: Meg and Suzanne volunteered to review the scholarship applications and will receive a password on Monday (10/5/09) to access and submit reviews by Thursday (10/8/09) at 5PM EST.


9)     Brochures: Willi will email Fran and ask: 1) if APHA staff can ship the brochures produced originally for the NACCHO mailing for distribution at the Disability Section booth; 2) APHA staff to ship only 750 brochures (not all 2,500). The remaining brochures should be returned to the Communications Chair (Roberta Carlin).  During our September meeting, Jana Peterson and Roberta Carlin said they have student and regular member brochures from the 2008 meeting in San Diego and will ship those to Philadelphia as well.


Policy, Chair Suzanne McDermott

Suzanne sent two letters to U.S. Senator Max Baucus and the U.S. Senate Finance Committee's Health Counsel, David Schwartz recognizing and affirming inclusion of the Community First Choice option in the Senate Finance Committee bill (See appendix).


The International Health Section has requested that we review the 2009 APHA Position Paper, The Role of Public Health Practitioners, Academics, and Advocates in Relation to Armed Conflict and War. Suzanne requested the Council’s full review since the policy was not central to our Section’s agenda.  Suzanne noted that there is a short time-line to do this and that we need to determine what, if any, changes could be made to support the statement-- “The paper was developed with participation from or endorsement by the International Health Section…the Disability Section…”  Suzanne underscored the Disability Section’s heterogeneous membership and the nuances supporting or not supporting various position papers as further justification for full Council review. Councilors agreed that the summary paper (appendix) was not sufficient for a careful review so Suzanne forwarded the full position paper via email and asked councilors to provide her their immediate feedback. Charles mentioned that position papers are intermediary steps to actual policies, and that our Governing Council representatives also would vote on the position paper and have the option to comment on it before or after the vote as an individual professional and/or ‘on behalf of a Section.’  As one of our governing council representatives, Charles agreed to conduct an especially close review and prepare comments for Suzanne.


For the October 1st meeting, Suzanne emailed a request to councilors to review and provide Suzanne with suggestions and comments on the APHA draft policy, Building Code Development, Adoption and Enforcement Problems Impacting Injury Prevention in, and Usability of, Homes and Other Buildings.


Councilors discussed Catherine’s rejected suggestion to the author, made as an individual APHA Disability Section member and councilor, to replace the wording requiring handrails/grab bars with language requiring ‘reinforced walls’ in private homes. Councilors agreed this revision was needed to garner the Disability Section’s endorsement. Catherine will contact the author of the draft policy and request a phone conference call with Jim, Suzanne, and Catherine.


Elections, Chair Gloria Krahn

Jim announced the results of the 2009 elections:


Program Chair-Elect:  Kyoshi Yamaki

Section Councilor—Policy Chair: Vince Campbell

Governing Councilor: Gloria Krahn


Chair’s Forum, Chair Stephen Gilson

Abstracts submitted for the Chair’s Forum were reviewed. The committee is alerting authors of the six accepted abstracts and is forwarding accepted abstracts to Roberta for dissemination to members to promote the Forum.


Stephen said the Chair’s Forum will be two and a half hours (2:00 to 4:30 P.M.) instead of three and a half hours. Stephen will moderate the chair’s forum. He will enforce the time limit of 10 minutes for each presentation to allow a full 90 minutes of discussion. The accepted abstracts were authored by Jim Rimmer, Renee Jahiel, Gloria Krahn, Suzanne McDermott, Jeffrey Resnick, and Craig Ravesloot et al. Authors will integrate audience feedback into final papers to be submitted for publication in the Disability and Health Journal.


Treasurer, Willi Horner-Johnson

Willi reported that CDC had conducted a thorough audit of its funds at APHA recently.


George and Willi clarified that George will email the names and addresses of the scholarship recipients and Willi will write the scholarship checks and send them directly to the recipients.


Councilors should bring your own beverage to the Sunday morning Executive Council meeting which starts at 9:30 a.m.


Program, Chair Steve Kaye

Steve Kay reported that the program is final and cannot be changed. He does not anticipate additional cancellations at this point. Steve will bring a hard copy of the program to the meeting, and will email the program to the Section membership in advance. There was a discussion of whether to promote presentations and posters relevant to disability and health being presented outside the Disability Section sessions. A primary concern was that the accessibility of the presentations could not be guaranteed. It was agreed that Steve should identify those he thought would be of broad interest to our membership and include them on the Disability Section program with a caveat noting that the Disability Section cannot attest to the accessibility of these presentations and posters.


Accessibility, Co-Chairs Catherine Graham and Tony Cahill

Catherine will email the accessibility guidelines for moderators and for presenters one final time. Catherine also will email these guidelines to Stephen and Steve specifically for their use in orienting moderators on-site at the conference (e.g., hard copy of the moderator guidelines and program in binder at front of session room); Stephen will send them out with his notification to the Chair’s Forum presenters.


No students will be volunteering for a full day at the Accessibility Booth.  Anjali Truitt will give Catherine the names of student members willing to commit to two-hour blocks. Also, any of the five scholarship recipients may choose staffing the accessibility booth as their volunteer contribution. The ADA training for hotel and conference staff is scheduled for Friday, November 6, 2009; Catherine will be conducting the training.


Student Liaison, Anjali Truitt

Anjali reported that the first Disability Section Student Member ‘E-blast’ was distributed in September. The next in the series is planned for December. Councilors should send Anjali information to include in the ‘E-Blasts.’ 



Jim reminded councilors to prepare a brief summary statement for this year’s activities (~5-7 min) for the Executive Council meeting on Sunday morning, and the Business Meeting Monday evening. He will ask each councilor to summarize the past year’s activities for their respective committees.




Jim Rimmer closed the meeting at 12:11 p.m. (EST). The next Disability Section Council meeting on November 5, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. (EST) will be short and the Annual Disability Section Council Meeting will be November 8, 2009, 9:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. EST. Minutes submitted by Secretary Meg Traci.