American Public Health Association
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Section Activities

National Public Health Week


National Public Health Week occurs annually during the first week of April. This year’s dates are April 1-7, 2013. The theme for 2013 is “Public Health is ROI: Saves Lives, Saves Money”. Watch for more information and get involved in promoting physical activity and public health in your community!


APHA Annual Meeting Call for Abstracts


Each Fall, APHA hosts its Annual Meeting, bringing together researchers and professionals from diverse fields of public health to address current and emerging health science, policy, and practice issues. Like other groups affiliated with APHA, the Physical Activity Section releases a Call for Abstracts inviting students, educators, researchers, health professionals, advocates, and community members to make presentations in a variety of formats (oral, poster, roundtable, etc.). All abstracts undergo a blind peer review process and accepted abstracts are grouped together in thematic sessions. The Call for Abstracts is usually released in the November prior to the next year’s Annual Meeting (for more information, please see APHA’s Annual Meeting Call for Abstracts page). We look forward to receiving your abstract and to seeing you at the Annual Meeting!


APHA Physical Activity Section Awards


Each year at the Annual Meeting, the APHA Physical Activity Section offers awards to recognize outstanding students, researchers, and professionals. Awards are typically presented at the PA Section social during the APHA Annual Meeting. The details of the awards are described below, although more details can be found on the PA Section Call for Abstracts.


APHA Physical Activity Section Student Poster Presentation Award


This award is given for the most outstanding student poster presentation that is related to at least one of the PA Section topics of interest in the Call for Abstracts.


To be eligible, individuals must be a student member (undergraduate, masters, doctoral) of the APHA Physical Activity Section at the time of submission, the first author on the abstract, and the abstract must represent the independent research of the student.


During their assigned poster sessions, nominees will be judged on presentation style, content, contribution to the literature/impact, and quality of methodology and finding.


APHA Physical Activity Section Steven P. Hooker Research Award


This award is given for the most outstanding research abstract that is related to at least one of the PA section topics of interest in the Call for Abstracts.


To be eligible, individuals must be a member (Regular, Student, Early Career Professional, Retired, Special Health Worker) of the APHA Physical Activity Section at the time of submission and the first author on the abstract.


Abstracts are judged on a set of criteria, including content, contribution to the literature/impact, and quality of methodology and findings.


Congratulations to the 2012 APHA Physical Activity Section Award Winners:


Stephen P. Hooker Research Award – Yue Liao, MPH, Doctoral Student, University of Southern California


Student Research Presentation Award – Daniel Bornstein, Doctoral Student, University of South Carolina


APHA Policy Committee – Making the Case for PA in Public Health


Each year, the Physical Activity Section has an opportunity to introduce a policy to APHA’s Governing Council (GC). If accepted by the GC, the policy then becomes an official position of the APHA. In 2012, Amy Eyler led the policy committee in submitting a policy to have APHA officially support the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan ( Fortunately, the policy passed with few, if any, objections!


Annually, APHA publishes a list of policy gaps and encourages the submission of policies to fill those gaps. One of the stated gaps for 2013 is “Building capacity and strengthening the public health workforce.”  In an effort to fill this gap, and to build upon last year’s momentum around the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP), we plan to submit a policy based on a specific “strategy” from the public health sector of the NPAP that reads Develop and maintain an ethnically and culturally diverse public health workforce of both genders with competence and expertise in physical activity and health.” That strategy has subsequent “tactics” which provide more specific actions that are to be taken to realize the strategy. 


Having this policy approved by APHA’s GC may help set the stage for having physical activity become a higher priority within public health and thus able to benefit from acquisition of more substantial resources from government, non-profits, and industry. If you wish to contribute to the development and submission of this policy statement, please e-mail Dan Bornstein.


Student Committee


The PA Section Student Committee’s purpose is to represent the voice and experience of student members to our Section leadership team, to represent the Section in APHA’s Student Assembly, and to serve as a mechanism for involving student members in PA Section committees and student leadership roles.


What We Do

Our committee meets once a month via teleconference, and communicates mostly via email. Although our role is constantly evolving with member input, so far our main projects and functions have been to:

·       Reach out to and maintain contact with new and current student members of the PA Section;

·       Solicit interest and promote available leadership opportunities and committee involvement to students;

·       Advertise abstract submission awards, social events, and other Section opportunities;

·       Contribute to the Student Corner in the Section’s quarterly newsletter;

·       Recruit the help of students during the Annual Meeting to help with local support and logistics;

·       Contribute to any Section activities involving students, such as: student awards, travel scholarships to annual meeting, mentorship programs, social events, and member recruitment.

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