Beginning in the early 1990s, interest emerged among members of the International Health Section of the American Public Health Association to bring a stronger focus to community-based primary health care in developing countries. This interest arose from the fact that top-down, issue-specific approaches tended to dominate the agenda of the Section and the presentations given at the annual meetings of APHA.

For several years, a session on community-based primary health care was held as part of the regular program of the annual meeting of APHA. These were well-attended and well-received. The late Dr. John Wyon, retired Senior Lecturer at the Harvard University School of Public Health and advocate for the community-based approach to public health more generally, began to work with colleagues and interested newcomers in pursuit of the idea of strengthening APHA’s support of the community-based approach to public health and primary health care in developing countries. For several years, meetings were held to discuss how best to move toward this goal. Joining Dr. Wyon in these discussions were:

·        Dr. Ian Aitken

·        Dr. Gretchen Berggren

·        Dr. Warren Berggren

·        Dr. Jack Bryant

·        Dr. Larry Cassaza

·        Dr. Nick Cunningham

·        Dr. Dan Fountain

·        Ms. Connie Gates

·        Dr. Sandy Hoar

·        Dr. Lee Hougen

·        Dr. Adnan Hyder

·        Mr. Ray Martin

·        Dr. Henri Mighala

·        Dr. Ahmed Moen

·        Dr. Jean Mouch

·        Dr. Robert Northrup

·        Dr. Henry Perry

·        Dr. David Pyle

·        Dr. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti

·        Ms. Waverly Rennie

·        Dr. Mandy Rose

·        Mr. David Shanklin

·        Dr. Dory Storms

·        Dr. Carl Taylor

·        Dr. Abiola Tilly-Gyado

·        Dr. Joe Valadez


    Other individuals participated but were less regular in their attendance. This success led to the formal establishment of the Working Group on Community-Based Primary Health Care in 1997 as a formal part of the International Health Section of APHA. 

The one-day workshops sponsored on the Saturday prior to the APHA annual meeting have focused on the following topics:

1999 - Skills-Based Workshop on Community Health, Chicago 

          (practical aspects of the community-based approach to

          primary health care)

2000 - Community-Based Health Care: Lessons from Bangladesh

          to Boston , Boston

          (a two-day symposium in collaboration with the Harvard 

          School of Public Health Alumni Association, supported by

          the Rockefeller Foundation and Management Sciences for

          Health, published by MSH in 2002 as a book by the same

          title, edited by Jon Rohde and John Wyon)

2001 - Community-Based Health Care in Developing Countries:
    Status and Prospects,

2002 - Community-Based Primary Health Care in Developing 
    Countries: Applications, Concepts and Training,


2003 - Community-Based Primary Health Care: Tapping the
    Potential of Adult Learners and Monitoring and
Evaluation, San Francisco

2004 - Community-Based Primary Health Care: Building
    Community Partnerships through Participatory Planning 
    and Uncovering Evidence That the Model Works
    Washington, DC

2005 - Community-Based Primary Health Care: Practical Steps 
   to Achieve Successful Programs,

2006 - Using Community-Based Approaches to Meet the
   Challenges of the Millennium Development Goals in 
, Boston

2007 - The Effectiveness of Community-Based Primary Health
         Care in Improving Child Health: A Review of the Evidence 
         and Findings from the Field
, Washington, D.C.

2008 - Advocacy, Social Mobilization And Behavior Change In CBPHC, San Diego

2009 - Urban Health In Developing Countries A Major Neglected Area, Philadelphia

2010 - Remembering Carl Taylor (1916-2010) While Looking Forward: Pioneering and Visioning For Community-Based Primary Health Care, Denver