Creating a healthier nation: APHA announces public health priorities for 2021

Date: Dec 17 2020

Contact: Media Relations  

The American Public Health Association has announced priorities for 2021 in support of the mission to improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status.

“After a very difficult and challenging year for all of us, 2021 offers the chance to develop a clear and bright vision for what’s ahead,” said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. “We vow to work with the new 117th Congress and the incoming Biden administration to promote and adopt policies that protect and strengthen the public health system.”

APHA’s 2021 priorities:

  • Ensure increased funding is available to help the nation’s public health infrastructure and workforce address the COVID-19 pandemic and other ongoing public health challenges, ensure the successful distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine and bolster the core public health infrastructure capabilities of our federal, state, territorial, local and tribal health departments.
  • Expand access to health coverage and services and oppose any effort to repeal or weaken the Affordable Care Act or the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
  • Uphold critical public health laws and regulations and reverse damaging rollbacks that would weaken the process for developing evidence-based public health safeguards that protect our air and water, ensure worker safety, protect communities from exposure to toxic substances, provide our nation’s children with healthier school meals and ensure access to the full range of reproductive health services.
  • Dismantle structural racism through brutally honest conversations, policy and practice changes, and by acknowledging it as a driving force of social determinants of health and a root cause of disparate outcomes for communities of color.
  • Address the health impacts of climate change by cleaning up major sources of pollution. We must also ensure our federal, state and local health departments and agencies have the resources they need to protect our communities and most climate-sensitive populations from the many health threats posed by climate change, including increased heat, more frequent and intense wildfires, extreme weather, increased air pollution and the spread of water-borne and vector-borne diseases.

“At APHA, these are issues we tackle daily, and in 2021 we will continue our work to champion the health of all people in all communities,” Benjamin said. “We look forward to creating opportunities for healthier families, healthier communities, a healthier nation and healthier world.”


The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at