Apologies for the delay in posting this, but it has taken us all a little while to regroup after the Annual Meeting.
The major event every year on Tuesday of the Annual Meeting is the Governing Council session. The IH section was, as always, active and vocal in this year’s session. Nominations Committee Chair and Governing Councilor Amy Hagopian provides a great summary of this year’s session:
The governing council meetings this year were the usual mix of deadly dull and rivetingly interesting. On Saturday we had a lively candidates’ forum, hearing from the six candidates for executive board and the two candidates for chair-elect. The governing council is the electoral body for these positions (although we did vote on a proposal this year to allow the full APHA membership to vote for chair-elect….um, that failed). The candidates for these positions were very high quality this year, and it was hard to choose! Our section was very happy with the results of the election, which took place on Tuesday: Adewale Troutman for chair-elect; and 3 winners for executive board, Lisa Carlson, Durrell Fox and Paul Meissner.
Tuesday’s full-day governing council meeting opened with a riveting (not) discussion of detailed bylaws changes. We did vote on changes to the membership categories, which will favor members who join during their student years and transition into “new professionals.” We voted on the theme for the 2013 conference, and chose (by 54%): “Think Global, Act Local: Best Practices Around the World.”
We adopted 23 resolutions on a variety of policy matters, including six sponsored by the International Health Section:
B1: Improving Access to Higher Education Opportunities and Legal Immigration Status for Undocumented Immigrant Youth and Young Adults
B2: Improving Housing for Farmworkers in the U.S. is a public health Imperative
C1: Prioritizing non communicable disease prevention and treatment in global health
C3: Call to Action to Reduce Global Maternal, Neonatal & Child Morbidity and Mortality
C7: Highlighting the health of men who have sex with men in the global HIV/AIDS response
D1: APHA Endorses the World Health Organization’s Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel
We also approved two policies supported by the IH section:
B6: Reducing PVC in Facilities with Vulnerable Populations (sponsored by our friends in the Occupational Health Section)
LB2: Opposing the DHS-ICE “Secure Communities” Program (in support of immigrant rights)
The governing board also made some changes to the policy submission process. Some highlights:
1) Late-breakers now must be submitted 10 days before the conference
2) There are no longer two categories of policy submissions (short resolutions vs. policy statements); now all policies should be about 10 pages with plenty of evidence and background
Further, we accepted the report of the ad hoc “Policy Working Group,” which worked for two years to discuss how to manage policy resolutions that can be characterized as largely based on qualitative data or are values-based.
And, finally, there was a fun “wild card” vote on a statement to support the Occupy movement. It passed, 76% to 24%:
“The Occupy Wall Street movement is now active in more than 1,000 cities in the US and has related protests around the world. APHA supports its call for greater social equality, social justice, reducing income inequality, and its demand that corporate crime be investigated and prosecuted. We ask members to identify opportunities to build on the energy and enthusiasm of the nationwide Occupy movement and its synergies with public health.”
The governing council meetings are always open to the general membership at the annual conference. Next year, stop in and watch for a while–it’s always interesting! Even during the bylaws conversations!
The section also held its third and final business meeting, during which members discussed the section goals that emerged from the most recent Strategic Plan and ways to implement those in a concrete way. The leadership will continue this discussion in more detail during the next conference call, which (as always) is open to any member who wishes to call in.