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Denver, Nov. 2, 2016 — The American Public Health Association concluded its 2016 Annual Meeting and Expo today in Denver where nearly 12,000 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. 29 with the Opening General Session featuring a keynote address by Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, who discussed the organization’s 100th anniversary this year and the fight for accessibility and affordability in reproductive health. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper also spoke during the session, proclaiming his goal to make his state the healthiest in the U.S. Video of the opening session s is available on APHA Live.
“Since this Association was founded in 1872, we've believed that health is a fundamental right. Tragically a lot of people don't understand that, of course, until they get sick,” APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD, said. “So we want to make a big point about that: We’re not the healthiest nation. We're all working to do that. It's an achievable goal, we just have to dig in our heels.”
On Monday, APHA hosted a scientific session highlighting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 70th anniversary, with speakers CDC Director Tom Frieden and former directors Julie Gerberding, Jeffrey Koplan and David Satcher.
APHA’s Annual Meeting is the largest public health gathering in the world, bringing together the most influential health advocates, researchers, practitioners and other specialists.
Centered on the theme “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Ensuring the Right to Health,” the meeting focused on the steps the U.S. must take in order to give everyone the opportunity to achieve the highest level of health. The theme spoke of our national shift toward health equity, meaning we must value all people equally, promote prevention and zero in on the social determinants of health.
The meeting also hosted APHA’s Global Public Health Film Festival, which showcased feature films, documentaries, narratives, public service announcements, educational videos and short clips that explored and highlighted public health locally, nationally and globally.
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:
- children who witness violence or are sexually abused are more likely to inject drugs as adults;
- perceptions of tap water quality are linked to PTSD in Flint, Michigan, residents;
- baby and toddler food advertising promotes manufactured foods over healthier options;
- nearly 600 Zika investigations forced Harris County Public Health to ad-lib;
- a sports injury app detects 99 percent more health conditions or college athletes than traditional sports medicine surveillance;
- state policies will determine whether or not most Americans smoke marijuana; and
- a Rhode Island law loophole allows domestic abusers to keep firearms, despite the risks.
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, #APHA2016.
The 2016 Annual Meeting concluded today with a closing session that focused on achieving health equity and the importance of assuring social justice. Speakers included APHA Past-President Camara Jones, MD, PhD, MPH; APHA President Tom Quade, MPH; Association of State and Territorial Health Officials President Edward Ehlinger, MD, MSPH; and National Association of County and City Health Officials Incoming President Claude Jacob, MPH.
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.
APHA adopted 11 new policy statements during the meeting. The new statements, adopted by the Association’s Governing Council, cover public health topics from raising the minimum wage to achieving an HIV/AIDS-free generation to improving transgender health.
The Annual Meeting marked the beginning of the one-year term of incoming APHA President Thomas Quade. Additionally, several new distinguished leaders and officers were elected to guide the meaningful work of the Association, including Chris Chanyasulkit, William Courtney, Betty Daniels and Andre Stanley as members of the APHA Executive Board.
Broad coverage of this year’s proceedings is available on APHA’s Annual Meeting Blog, housed on Public Health Newswire.
Next year’s APHA Annual Meeting will be held Nov. 4-Nov. 8, 2017, in Atlanta, themed “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health.”
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 combines a 140-plus year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at www.apha.org.