The APHA Annual Meeting kicked off today with the Opening General Session, which featured Pamela Hyde, administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association; Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Parks Service; and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. The session began with some very inspiring words from current APHA President Linda Rae Murray; however, I have to confess that I was less than impressed by the speeches – and somewhat baffled by the choices of Jarvis (not quite sure why national parks are relevant to public health) and Daschle (Obama’s first failed choice for Secretary of HHS). That is just my personal opinion, though – many at the IH section’s first business meeting enjoyed the talks.
For some of us, however, the meeting began before the opening session. Section members greeted and helped orient international attendees at our International Welcome Booth, which the Global Health Connections Committee is hosting for the third year in the a row. The GHCC also held its annual meeting in the hour before the opening session. We discussed our progress on the Global Health Expertise Directory and discussed ways to get involved in the section and make connections with other members. After the opening session, the section held its first business meeting, where longtime members reconnected and new members learned about opportunities to get involved.
For many of us, one of the main highlights of the Annual Meeting is the wide array of scientific sections, which begin tomorrow – so get excited! I have my own reason to be excited as well – although I cannot stay for the section’s very first Advocacy Day, I am going to my Congressman’s office to advocate for international aid funding!