APHA’s Annual Meeting brings climate change to forefront of public health agenda

Date: Nov 04 2017

CONTACT: Megan Lowry, 202-777-3913


Atlanta, Nov. 4, 2017 – Today, 12,000 public health professionals and over 500 exhibitors will gather in Atlanta to discuss and present the latest research and priorities in public health at APHA’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Expo. This year’s meeting is themed “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health.”

Climate change is happening today and is undeniably affecting Americans’ health. At APHA 2017, public health professionals will learn strategies to address the health effects of climate change, present new cutting-edge research on our changing health and discuss health challenges that communities and public health practitioners are facing now. 

Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA, said, “As leaders in public health, we need to work toward safeguarding all communities against climate risks by protecting people’s health, well-being and quality of life from climate change impacts.” He added, “Climate change is the greatest public health challenge of our generation. And the commitment to solving these problems that I see here at this meeting is truly inspiring.”

This year’s meeting will feature leadership and new thought from across the diverse public health work force and dozens of health disciplines. Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, keynote speaker at the Opening General Session and indigenous activist, will open the meeting on Sunday, Nov. 5, along with U.S. Rep. John Lewis and others. A panel of community leaders will close the meeting Wednesday, Nov. 8, with a discussion about climate change, social justice and health equity. Other leaders in the health care field, including former and current U.S. surgeons general, will join the conversation throughout the meeting. 

“Everything we do in public health and at APHA is rooted in science and evidence,” said Tom Quade, MA, MPH, president of APHA. “At this meeting we’ll see hundreds of pieces of research presented, each filling a knowledge gap. This science underpins all sound public health policy and practice. I’m proud of the work our members do to make sure public health recommendations and actions are built on data and research, not opinion.” 

The 2017 Annual Meeting is designed to be more sustainable and conscious of its environmental impact than ever before. APHA chose to forgo a shuttle service between conference hotels and the Georgia World Congress Center to reduce the meeting’s carbon footprint. We will feature a special session in which speakers will participate by video rather than attending in person to save the carbon output from air travel. APHA 2017 exhibitors will participate in a reuse and recycle program as the meeting ends, sustainably disposing of materials and displays used on the meeting’s Public Health Expo floor. 

APHA members have access to professional development opportunities at the meeting, including continuing education credits. Opportunities like individual career coaching, social media skills development and personal brand building, plus information from APHA’s Public Health CareerMart, make APHA 2017 an important event for all professionals in public health.

Participants can engage throughout the meeting on social media using the #APHA2017 hashtag. Those unable to attend in person can participate virtually through APHA Live, which provides live and on-demand broadcasting of select sessions; Recorded Annual Meeting Presentations, or RAMP; and APHA TV.

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About the APHA Annual Meeting:

APHA’s 145th Annual Meeting is themed “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health.” The meeting will focus on climate change’s impacts today and how it undeniably poses many risks to our health, making it the greatest public health challenge. The Annual Meeting is the single largest annual gathering of public health professionals and features over a thousand presentations on the latest research and newest thinking in the public health field. 

About APHA:

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 145-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.