APHA concludes 2015 Annual Meeting

Date: Nov 04 2015


Date: Nov. 4, 2015

For more information, contact APHA Communications at 202-777-3913 or email us.

American Public Health Association concludes its 143rd Annual Meeting in Chicago

Chicago, Nov. 4, 2015 — The American Public Health Association concluded its 143rd Annual Meeting and Exposition today in Chicago, Ill., where more than 13,000 public health officials and experts from around the world came together to present the latest research and explore new strategies to address today’s leading health challenges.

The Annual Meeting began Oct. 31 and featured the Opening General Session, featuring addresses by Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and actor and environmentalist Ed Begley  Jr., who discussed how climate change is a leading health issue. Video of the opening session speakers is available on APHA’s YouTube Channel.

"I believe that engagement and collaboration are leadership functions and we should never be afraid to listen to anyone — and it’s absolutely important to engage everyone,” APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin said during Opening General Session remarks. “We have to try if we’re to make progress and achieve our goal to be the healthiest nation in one generation. We are the American Public Health Association. We are about science but we’re also about action and we’re also about your health.”

On Monday, APHA hosted a scientific session with discussion on the National Prevention Strategy, one of the crown jewels of the Affordable Care Act, with speakers including Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro; Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Jonathan Woodson, Murthy, Benjamin and APHA President  Shiriki Kumanyika.

APHA’s Annual Meeting is the largest public health gathering in the world bringing together some of the most influential health advocates, researchers, practitioners and other specialists.

Centered on the theme “Health in All Policies,” the meeting focused on the complex factors that influence health and equity, also referred to as the social determinants of health, including educational attainment, housing, transportation options and neighborhood safety.

The meeting also hosted APHA’s Public Health Codeathon joining tech developers and public health practitioners to help create mobile apps and other health innovations and APHA’s Global Public Health Film Festival, which showcased more than 115 films.

Additionally, a wide array of new research related to this year’s theme was released to coincide with the meeting, including presentations on health topics explaining how:

  • 1 in 3 college freshmen is food insecure;
  • adolescent alcohol, drug use with or without a parent’s knowledge results in negative consequences;
  • misconceptions of the Affordable Care Act associated with negative opinions of the law;
  • mothers with low milk supply breastfeed longer when using social media, Internet for advice;
  • people lose more weight with financial implications; and
  • TV binge-watching related to negative health effects;

Social media activity among attendees and remote followers was pronounced. Throughout the week, more than 20,000 tweets were generated using the Annual Meeting’s official hashtag, #APHA15.

The 2015 Annual Meeting concluded today with a closing session that focused on building healthy and just communities. Acting Assistant Secretary for Health Karen DeSalvo, at the Department of Health and Human Services, shared her vision for using Health in All Policies approach to create a healthier nation. The session also included a dynamic conversation about health in U.S. cities affected by the gun violence epidemic and civil unrest, including Chicago Health Commissioner Julie Morita, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Leana Wen and St. Louis County Health Commissioner Faisal Khan.

More than 1,000 scientific sessions and more than 500 exhibit booths showcased the emerging public health research and leading advocacy efforts reflecting the broad impact of the field on people’s lives.

The Annual Meeting marked the beginning of the one-year term of incoming APHA President Camara Jones. Additionally, several new distinguished leaders and officers were elected to guide the meaningful work of the Association, including Thomas Quade, as president-elect; and Aaron Guest,  Benjamin Hernandez  and Elena Ong as members of the APHA Executive Board.

Broad coverage of this year’s proceedings is available on the APHA Annual Meeting Blog.

Next year’s APHA Annual Meeting will be held Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 2016, in Denver, themed “Building the Healthiest Nation: Ensuring the Right to Health.”

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APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that influences federal policy, has a 140-plus year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health. Visit us at www.apha.org