APHA 2019 Annual Conference: Recap

My name is Christa Cook and I am a Communications Committee Chair.

This year, I was able to attend the annual APHA conference for the first time! My schedule was packed full of sessions and meet-ups and it was all so worth it! I am an infectious disease epidemiologist, so my work is mainly focused on infection control and disease transmission, and I love it… but I’m also interested in other aspects of public health like chronic diseases and social and behavioral health. The conference allowed me to get a little taste of what’s going outside of my focused public health field. I highly recommend attending if your interests in public health are varied.

It’s also a great opportunity to network and meet other members of the sections or committees you’re involved in. I’ve been working with the International Health Section’s Communications Committee for over a year, and I was finally able to meet some of the people I’ve been talking to over the phone with at every month’s leadership call! I attended the business meeting for the section on Sunday and as each representative from committees gave their update, I was able to grasp just how much our section does. Here are a few highlights from each of the section’s committees:

  • The Policy and Advocacy Committee sponsored 3 policy statements, endorsed 2 policy statements, and reviewed/provided feedback to all 17 proposed policy statements.
  • The Communications Committee is now producing the section’s newsletter, the Section Connection. They continue to recruit bloggers for the section website and are active on all social media including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • The Nominations Committee fielded a full slate of candidates for section leadership positions this spring. This year we elected Jirair Ratevosian, Samer Jabbour, and Rania Millerson as governing councilors. Carmyn Polk stepped up to run for secretary-elect, and will assume the secretary position in November 2021. Jay Nepal, Roberto Jorge Esteves and Ucheoma Nwaozuru were elected to the three open section councilor position. Caitlin Wolfe was elected to our section student liaison position. We hope you consider running for a position next year. The latest leadership roster is available here
  • The Membership Committee conducted an online membership survey in Spring and based on the feedback proposed a plan to more actively engage members.
  • The Global Health mentoring program saw an increase in the number of mentor/mentee pairings in 2019 compared to 2018. Applications for the 2020 cohort are now open.
  • The Program Committee created over 40 scientific sessions for this year’s annual meeting on emerging public health issues of international importance, including nine collaborative sessions with association components.

It was so inspiring to learn about the work that each of our committees does! I also was introduced to a few of the International Health section’s different working groups such as the breastfeeding working group, international abortion working group, and the climate health and working group. I wasn’t aware of these groups beforehand and found myself interested in learning more. I even connected one of the heads of the working group with a colleague at the conference because I knew her passion aligned with the group’s mission. 

APHA International Health Section’s Open House

After the business meeting, the section held their Open House. The Open House is an opportunity for all members to get to know the work the section does. This year our Assistant Social Media Manager, Jackie Bell, represented the Communications Committee. The format of the Open House was similar to speed dating where members and potential members would spend a few minutes at a table with each Committee and listen to what each Committee does and ask questions.

On top of attending the country’s largest gathering of public health professionals, you also get to explore a new city. This year, the conference was held in the wonderful and historical city of Philadelphia. I got to sneak away to see where the Declaration of Independence was signed as well as do a cheesy tourist bus ride to learn more about the other historical sites scattered around downtown! I learned SO much inside and outside of the walls of the conference center.

Annual Awards Ceremony and Networking Event

On Tuesday night, I was able to briefly attend the section’s annual Awards Ceremony and Networking event. During this event, section members are able to meet other section members as well as section leaders. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the wonderful global health work our members do. During that time, they also presented awards to people I’d consider to be global health heroes.  To learn more about this year’s awardees, click here.

To summarize the conference events, I’ve found some quick links for both attendees and those who were unable to attend this year. See below:

For attendees:

  • Check out pictures from the fun-filled week right here! Try to find yourself if you attended!
  • Did you attend and forget to file for continuing education credits? Check here for instructions on how to obtain your credits.
  • Did you learn the APHA dance and want to teach others at your workplace? Find the youtube video here!
  • Did you attend and want to share about the conference? Comment on the blog post below or find us on our social media platforms. We may spotlight your experience this month!

For those wanting a recap:

  • The theme of this year’s conference was “Creating the Healthiest Nation: For Science. For Action. For Health”. Read more about what that means in the link above.
  • Some of the best highlights from the conference can be found here on APHA TV! These quick clips can give you a taste of some of the biggest speakers that presented.
  • The annual meeting had many diverse workshops the Saturday before the conference. See a listing of the different options that were available this year here.
  • If you’re interested in reading other’s perspectives about sessions at the conference, check out the blog here. You can also cruise APHA’s social media channels to see what others retweeted or posted about the conference!
  • The conference also had a neat Social Media Lab! Check out the link to see what was available for attendees. This was super beneficial for those wanting to revamp their organization’s social media platforms to increase their public health presence. 
  • Still want more? You can purchase sessions like the opening, general and closing sessions from APHA Live. If you’re a member, it’s half price! 

I hope I’ve convinced you to attend next year’s event in San Francisco!

Now accepting applications for the IH Section’s Global Health Mentoring Program!

The Global Health Mentoring Program is pleased to announce the opening of applications for the 2020 cohort, which runs January 2020 – September 2020.

Please visit the link below to learn more about the Mentoring Program and how to apply.

https://aphaih.org/global-health-mentoring-program/

For any questions please email ih.gh.mentoring@gmail.com 

Brianne Riggin-Pathak and Theresa Majeski
IH Section Mentoring Committee Co-Chairs

Congratulations to the 2019 APHA International Health Section Award Winners!

This year, we had a good pool of candidates for the various awards offered by our Section. Congratulations to our colleagues whose outstanding accomplishments in international health are being recognized by our Section this year.

1. Carl Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award in International Health — Dr. Russell Morgan

2. Mid-Career Achievement Award in International Health — Dr. Jirair Ratevosian

3. Gordon-Wyon Award for Community-Oriented Public Health, Epidemiology and Practice – Dr.  MaryAnne Mercer

4. Distinguished Section Service Award – Ms. Jean Armas

The Awards Committee encourages all to nominate a colleague and/or be willing to be nominated next year. To find out more information about nominating a colleague or to view a list of past award winners, please visit the IH Section’s Awards webpage.

We would also like to congratulate this year’s top-scoring Early Career Professional abstract, Dr Bilikisu Reni Elewonibi. Dr Elewonibi presented her abstract, entitled “Pregnancy loss in Urban Tanzania: Patterns and Predictors,” at this year’s conference. Every year the IH section awards two $500 scholarships to top scoring abstracts submitted by IH Early Career Professionals. Don’t forget to submit your abstract to next year’s meeting in San Francisco!

Welcome to Philadelphia! #APHA2019 #globalhealth #internationalhealth

We hope to see you at any of our events here in Philadelphia. Below are a few ways you can meet us:

IH Section Main Events:

Sunday November 3, 2019, 2:00 to 2:50 PM
Business Meeting, Room 115C PCC

Sunday November 3, 2019, 3:00 to 4:30 PM
Open House followed by Membership Meeting

Tuesday November 5, 2019, 6:30 to 9:00 PM
Networking and Awards Reception

Wednesday November 6, 2019, 12:30 to 2:00 PM
International Health Luncheon (advance ticket purchase required: https://show.jspargo.com/apha19/Registration/login.aspx)

——

Working Group Events:

Sunday, November 3, 2019 9 to 10:15 AM
Global Maternal and Child Health Network Business Meeting

Sunday, November 3, 2019, 9 to 10:30 AM
International Health Advocacy and Policy Committee Business Meeting

Sunday, November 3, 2019, 12 to 1:30 PM
International Abortion Working Group Business Meeting, Room 108A PCC

Monday, November 4, 2019, 6 to 7:00 PM
Health Systems Strengthening Working Group Meeting

Monday, November 4, 2019, 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Climate Change and Health Working Group, Open House

Monday, November 4, 2019, 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Palestine Health Justice Working Group Meeting

Location information for the above events as well as a list of our our entire program can be found here: https://apha.confex.com/apha/2019/meetingapp.cgi/Program/1863

All members are welcome to attend the IH Section Business and Membership meetings. At the Business meeting, we do use a soft version of Robert’s Rules of order to guide meetings. We use this to help visitors feel comfortable knowing how to participate and how to bring up items or questions.

Please visit the International Welcome Desk next to the APHA Meeting Registration Area to let us know you arrived and ask any questions. Also, visit us at the International Health Section booth located in the Public Health Expo. We would enjoy telling you about our Section benefits and learning from you what would be meaningful to you as an IH Section member in the future.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at ihsection.communications@gmail.com   if you have any questions or comments. See you soon!


American Public Health Association
International Health Section
ihsection.communications@gmail.com
www.aphaih.org

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March with public health workers to end unjust deportations, detentions, and border policies – November 5th at 10 AM in Philadelphia

PUBLIC HEALTH WORKERS WILL NOT BE SILENT
NO DEPORTATIONS, NO DETENTIONS, NO BORDERS

Tuesday, November 5 at 10 AM in Philadelphia

March from the Convention Center to ICE Headquarters
Start at Cherry and 11th St., March to 114 N. 8 St.

We are outraged!! Millions are outraged!!! Immigrant children imprisoned, families separated, deaths in detention. Why? Because millions in Central America and elsewhere are living in poverty, displaced by climate disasters, and beset by government tolerated or instigated violence, most of which is caused by the US and other “advanced” nations.

And it keeps getting worse. Trump wants to demand that all migrants seek asylum in the first country they cross and that only those who are self-supporting be admitted. Fewer than ever asylum applications are being granted – only 38.2% in 2017. New Sanctuary in New York City reports only one successful case in the last 20 applicants who appeared without lawyers.

  • Now there are over 200 immigrant prisons, 60% of which are private
  • Over 42,000 people in custody each day on average in 2018
  • At least 2654 children separated from their parents before June, 2018
  • As of June 2019, over 2000 children without parents in ICE custody each week
  • 24 immigrants have died in custody since Trump took office through June 2019, including seven children

As we gather here in Philadelphia to consider how to better the public’s health, we must not allow ICE to lurk unnoticed just a few blocks away. This attack on immigrants is an aspect of growing fascism, which includes racist police killings, mass incarceration, attacks on unions, growing homelessness and inequality, deteriorating schools and health facilities, and the ever increasing threat of war and climate change.

We must fight back on all fronts by building multiracial unity between professionals, students, workers and soldiers, in the US and everywhere.