Chiropractic Progress Evident at 2002 APHA Annual Meeting
By Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICCThe American Public Health Association (APHA), the oldest, largest and most influential public health association in the world, held its 130th Annual Meeting & Exhibits in Philadelphia, PA., from November 9-13, 2002. The meeting's theme this year was, "Putting the Public Back into Public Health."
Over 4,000 scientific papers were presented in 900-plus sessions. The program was a comprehensive collection of educational sessions, roundtable workshops, poster sessions and panel discussions, all designed to enhance knowledge about public health. Continuing education and relicensing credits were available for several disciplines, including chiropractic CE through the Palmer Institute for Professional Advancement.
Besides the usual contemporary public health issues, considerable attention was given to current threats to the health of the nation and the world: bioterrorism, war and other emergencies.
Billed as the most important public health event of the year in the U.S., 12,100 (over 300 more than at our previous meeting in Atlanta) professionals were in attendance. A new, condensed-schedule format coordinated meetings from Saturday through Wednesday, and sessions were spread out over 16 major hotels in downtown Philadelphia and at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The keynote speaker at the opening general session on November 10 was Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, MD. Other speakers at the opening general session included new Surgeons General Richard Carmona, MD, MPH. The closing general session on Wednesday afternoon featured Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As usual, most of the major leaders in government and health attended, including:
Chiropractic schools represented included Cleveland of L.A. and K.C., Western States, Palmer and Palmer West. Several chiropractic leaders attended, many of whom also hold office within APHA.
The annual APHA Exhibit Hall is the largest of its kind in the world; in 2002, over 600 exhibit booths were displayed in the Pennsylvania Convention. Two impressive chiropractic booths were in the display hall this year: one by the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic, staffed by Director of Admissions Jennifer Boutin; and one by the Chiropractic Health Care Section of APHA, which joined with the vision care, oral health and podiatry sections in the first multisectional "mega-booth." The ICA, ACA, the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) and individual chiropractic colleges donated materials for booth use, and the ACC helped underwrite costs. The public health multidisciplinary screenings, literature and dialogues considerably enhanced the image of chiropractic.
The APHA program was multidisciplinary and multimedium with presentations consisting of scientific sessions; films; poster sessions; policy deliberations; technical exhibits; award presentations; posters; and business meetings. Selected sessions were broadcast via live satellite.
For the 18th consecutive year, chiropractic was represented within presentations covering over 30 specialty areas. This year, there were four program sessions dedicated to chiropractic topics, including 19 paper presentations prepared by 50 co-authors. Several of the authors were associated with more than one paper. Two other chiropractic papers were presented at sessions co-sponsored with other disciplines. As in the past, a large proportion of the papers accepted were from Palmer Chiropractic College researchers.
The titles of the chiropractic sessions were: "Chiropractic Care of Pain: Costs and Outcomes"; "Models of Care Coordination"; "Issues in Chiropractic Education and Training"; and "Chiropractic Professional Issues." These were reasonably well-attended and quite well-received. Multidisciplinary audiences of 30 or more were in attendance, and there were several requests for copies of papers and additional information afterward. Other sections co-sponsored some of the chiropractic sessions, and for the fourth time, some of the other disciplines granted continuing education credit to their own members for the CHC sessions.
Business Meetings: CHC and other section members were highly visible, participating in several APHA meetings and functions while making contacts with key people. Each section holds its annual business meetings in conjunction with the APHA annual meeting.
Dr. Lisa Killinger, the seventh chairperson of the CHC section, presided over its two business meetings. The considerable achievements of the section during 2002 were reported. Section leaders had been quite active at the ACC Annual Meeting in New Orleans in March 2002, where Dr. Michael Perillo featured public health education and the model curriculum project in a presentation.
Membership was the biggest concern during the discussions, as the CHC is now the APHA's smallest section and has grown at a slower rate in the past four years, with a membership of about 215. Several new projects were discussed for recruiting and retaining members.
The listing of science-based references regarding immunization on our CHC section Web site was discussed, and Dr. Monica Smith was commended for her work in this area. Dr. Andrew Isaacs gave a report on diversity in chiropractic, with emphasis on African-American students in chiropractic colleges.
Election Results and Leadership Positions: Several DCs were again elected and appointed to positions as officers of the CHC section for 2003:
(Drs. Killinger and Carpenter will also serve on the Intersectional Council at the 2003 meeting.)
Distinguished Service Award: For the seventh time, the CHC section presented its award for "Distinguished Service and Accomplishments." A 2002 award plaque was presented to Dr. Monica Smith for her many years of dedicated volunteer service and accomplishments within APHA and in public health.
2003 - The 131st Annual Meeting
The 2003 Annual Meeting will be held in San Francisco from November 15-19, with the theme, "Behavior, Lifestyle and Social Determinants of Health."
The 2003 Call for Abstracts has been circulated by Dr. Gloria Niles of Palmer Chiropractic College to various chiropractic organizations, publications, researchers and other sources, with an absolute deadline for receipt of abstracts by February 3, 2003. Abstract submissions must be submitted online (www.apha.org/sections/sectioninfo/chcinfo.html). Paper presenters must be both members of APHA and registered for the annual meeting.
Every healer and student is encouraged to join APHA and participate in its mainstream public health activities. Membership information can be obtained at www.apha.org or by contacting Dr. Smith at 319-884-5173 or .
Rand Baird, DC, MPH
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