American Public Health Association
800 I Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001-3710
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comments@apha.org • http://www.apha.org

About Social Work

What is public health social work?

Public health social work uses a research-based epidemiologic approach to identify and address social problems that affect the health status and social functioning of population groups. It incorporates a broad array of studies that address systems, policies, and personnel that work to prevent disease, prolong life, and promote better health care; and, it emphasizes interventions that address primary prevention and includes practice at multiple levels (NASW).

About the social work section

Mission
Establishes standards for social work in health care settings; contributes to the development of public health social work practice and research; promotes social work programs in the public health field.

Purpose
The Social Work Section was established in 1970 and provides a focus for social work within the American Public Health Association. The section provides an opportunity for social workers to collaborate with other health professionals and the general public around APHA activities designed to develop health policy to improve the quality of life.

Who we are
Some of us are social workers working in public health settings, some are public health professionals interested in social work, and still others are professionals who pursued both MSWs and MPHs, in combined programs or at different times.

View a directory of joint MSW/MPH programs.