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Dynamic Chiropractic – January 29, 2004, Vol. 22, Issue 03

The Annual Meeting

By Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC
The American Public Health Association, the oldest, largest and most influential public health association in the world, held its 131st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Francisco, Nov. 15-19. The theme of this year's event was, "Behavior, Lifestyle, and Social Determinants of Health."

A huge number of diverse topics were covered in more than 4,000 scientific papers presented in more than 900 sessions. The program was a comprehensive collection of education sessions, roundtable workshops, posters, and panel discussions, designed to enhance knowledge about public health. Besides the usual contemporary issues, considerable attention was given to the threats to the health of the nation and the world, including bioterrorism, emergency alerts, severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreaks and war.

Billed as the most important public health event of the year in the United States, 13,635 professionals attended - an increase of more than 1,500 attendees from the 2002 meeting in Philadelphia. Sessions were spread out over 14 major hotels in downtown San Francisco and at the Moscone Convention Center.

The keynote speaker at the opening general session on Sunday, Nov. 16, was David Heymann, MD, MPH, representative of the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO). Other speakers included San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown; Hon. Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; Hon. Barbara Lee, U.S. House of Representatives; John Baldacci, Governor of Maine; and other well-known leaders in government and health. The closing general session on late Wed. afternoon was a panel discussion featuring Julie L. Geberding, MD, MPH, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga.

As usual, most of the major leaders in government and health were present, including the health commissioners of several states; OSHA; NIOSH; various private institutes and voluntary agencies; the New York Academy of Medicine; the U.S. Public Health Service; the Department of Health and Human Services; other officials from the WHO, PAHO, CDC, and HRSA; two former U.S. surgeons general; several current and former elected state politicians and members of Congress; several college and university presidents, deans, program directors and department heads; various international, federal, state and local health officials; and other educators, authors, researchers and dignitaries.

Many chiropractic schools were represented, including Cleveland College of Chiropractic - Los Angeles and Kansas City, by myself, Ashley Cleveland, and Thomas Carpenter; Western States, by its new president, Dr. Joseph Brimhall, along with Dr. Mitchell Haas; Parker, by Dr. Cheryl Hawk; Palmer, by a large contingent of researchers and faculty; Palmer West, by campus student leaders, including Student ACA Chair Andrew C. Cohen; Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, by Academic Dean John Mrozek and Cameron Borody, DC; and Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS), by Samir Ayad, MD, and Gary Jacob, DC, MPH.

Several other chiropractic leaders were among those attending, many of whom also hold office within APHA.


The APHA Exhibit Hall is the largest of its kind in the world: More than 620 exhibit booths were displayed this year. The Chiropractic Health Care (CHC) section joined the Vision Care, Oral Health, and Podiatry sections for the second time in a multisectional "mega-booth" (see page 38). The ACA, ICA, and Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC), and individual chiropractic colleges donated materials for booth use, and the ACC helped underwrite some costs. The public health multidisciplinary screenings, literature distributed, and dialogues considerably enhanced the image of chiropractic. The booth tied for the first-place ribbon for best exhibit, and was visited by several thousand attendees. Interestingly, several requests were received for referrals for chiropractic care all over America; one came from a U.S. Navy aerospace medicine/flight surgeon who was seeking DCs in Hawaii to whom Navy patients could be referred.


The APHA program was multidisciplinary and multimedia in nature, 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 19th consecutive year, we were represented among the scientific and technical paper presentations covering 30-plus specialty areas. Four program sessions were dedicated to chiropractic topics, including 17 paper presentations prepared by 34 co-authors. Several were associated with more than one paper, and some were presented at sessions co-sponsored with other disciplines. As in previous years, a large proportion of the papers accepted were from Palmer Chiropractic College researchers.

Session titles and moderators were "Integrating CAM Curricula into Medical Education," by Monica Smith, DC, PhD; "Prevention in Chiropractic," by John Pammer, Jr., DC, DACBR; "Chiropractic Professional Issues: Populations, Conditions, Settings," by Rand Baird, DC, MPH; and "Healthy Aging: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives," by Lisa Killinger, DC.

The sessions were reasonably well-attended and quite well-received. Multidisciplinary audiences of 30-45 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 fifth time, some of the other disciplines granted continuing education credit to their own members for the CHC sessions.

Business Meetings

The CHC section members and the chiropractic members who belong to various other sections were highly visible and participated in several meetings and functions while making contacts with key people. All sections hold their annual business meetings in conjunction with the APHA annual meeting.

Dr. Thomas Carpenter, the eighth chairperson of the CHC section, presided over two of its business meetings. The considerable achievements of the section during 2003 were reported. Section leaders were active at the ACC Annual Meeting in New Orleans in March 2003, where a special appeal authorized by the ACC resulted in several new members.

Membership was the biggest concern during the business meetings, and several new projects were discussed for recruiting and retaining members.

Election Results (See table below)

Officers Committee Chairs
Chair: Lisa Killinger, DC
Chair-Elect: John Hyland, DC, MPH
Past-Chair: Thomas Carpenter, DC
Secretary: Elaine Morschhauser, DC
Awards: Michael Perillo, DC, MPH
Diversity: Andrew Isaacs, DC
Membership: Bonnie Hillsberg, DC, MEd, MHA
Nominations: Sharon Jaeger, DC, DACBR
Occupational Health: Robert Mootz, DC, DABCO
Program: Maria Hondras, DC, MPH
Publicity: John Pammer, Jr., DC, DACBR
Resolutions: William Meeker, DC, MPH
Section Manual: Mitchell Haas, DC, MA
Newsletter Editor: to be determined
Action Board Representative: Rand Baird, DC, MPH
Section Council
Andrew Isaacs, DC
Fred Colley, PhD, MPH
Sharon Jaeger, DC, DACBR
Eric Hurwitz, DC, PhD
Ashley Cleveland, DC, MA
Karen Konarski-Hart, DC
Governing Council
William Meeker, DC, MPH
Monica Smith, DC, PhD

2004 - the 132nd Annual Meeting

The 2004 Annual Meeting, themed "Health and the Environment," will be held in Washington, D.C., Nov. 6-10, 2004. The 2004 Call for Abstracts will be circulated by Dr. Hondras, of Palmer Chiropractic College, to various chiropractic organizations, publications, researchers and other sources, with an absolute deadline for receipt of abstracts of Feb. 3, 2004. Abstract submissions must be submitted online via the Web site ( Paper presenters must be members of APHA and registrants of the Annual Meeting.

Rand Baird, DC, MPH, MPH, FICA, FICC
Action Board representative, Chiropractic Health Care Section
American Public Health Association
Torrance, California

Click here for previous articles by Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC.

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