The 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA) had been scheduled for Nov. 5-9, 2005 in New Orleans, La., but Hurricane Katrina - which not only devastated lives and property, and created one of the worst public health crises in American history - also forced the rescheduling and relocation of the APHA's 133rd Annual Meeting, Convention and Exhibit Hall from New Orleans to Philadelphia, Pa.in mid-December.
This year, the APHA meeting theme was "Evidence-Based Policy and Practice." An exciting array of topics was covered among the more than 4,000 scientific papers presented in over 900 sessions. The 2005 APHA program was a comprehensive collection of educational sessions, roundtable workshops, poster sessions, institutes and panel discussions, all designed to enhance knowledge about public health. Selected sessions were broadcast live via satellite and available in various formats. Besides the usual contemporary public health issues, considerable attention was given at this meeting to emergency preparedness and response. Hundreds more sessions dealt with a full range of other pressing public health issues, including emerging infections; environmental topics and issues; access to care; obesity, physical activity and exercise; health disparities; and wellness topics. Billed as the most important public health event of the year in the United States, the final attendance was approximately 11,700 public health professionals who braved the wintry Philadelphia weather to participate.
The keynote speaker at the Opening General Session on Sunday, Nov. 7 was former presidential candidate and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry. He described his commitment to, and the government's role, in attempting to ensure (and insure) health for all Americans. Other speakers at the opening session included the APHA president and executive director; Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; Maryland state Rep. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam; and a distinguished panel of speakers who discussed the "Tragedy on the Gulf Coast."
As usual, most of the major leaders in government and health were present, including: the health commissioners of several states; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); OSHA; NIOSH; the U.S. Public Health Service; the Department of Health and Human Services; various private institutes and voluntary agencies; officials from WHO, PAHO and HRSA; 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, dignitaries, etc.
The chiropractic profession was very well-represented at the APHA Annual Meeting.
The following chiropractic associations had formal representation at the event:
- American Chiropractic Association (ACA)
- Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC)
- International Chiropractors Association (ICA)
- World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC)
Many individual chiropractic colleges were represented, including Palmer, Western States Chiropractic College, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, New York Chiropractic College, Northwestern Health Sciences University, Life University College of Chiropractic, University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Cleveland Chiropractic College (both Los Angeles and Kansas City), and others who find APHA's annual meetings an excellent venue for presenting their research papers.
The APHA program was multidisciplinary and multimedia in nature. For the 21st consecutive year, chiropractic was included among the 900 scientific and technical paper presentations that covered over 30 specialty areas of health care. This year there were four program sessions dedicated exclusively to chiropractic topics, plus a shared session with the Vision Care Section. These included some 17 paper presentations prepared by 37 co authors.
Chiropractic session titles and moderators included "Progress in Spinal Pain" by John Stites, DC, DACBR; "Implementing Evidence-Based Health Care Within the Chiropractic Profession" by Craig Nelson, MS, DC; "Best Practices in Chiropractic" by Sharon Jaeger, DC, DACBR; and "Public Health Education and Service in Chiropractic" by Lisa Z. Killinger, DC. A jointly sponsored session with the Vision Care Section was "Public Health Issues and Their Impact on Delivery of Care," with two papers presented by Dr. Lisa Killinger.
The 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Chiropractic Health Care Section within APHA was celebrated during the conference. At the 1995 APHA Annual Meeting in San Diego, the chiropractic profession was granted full section status, achieving equity and parity in full partnership with all other health disciplines. During the meeting in Philadelphia, the APHA officially congratulated the chiropractic members for their anniversary and high level of participation within APHA for the past 10 years. Section Chair Dr. John Hyland spoke at the APHA awards ceremony. In addition, individual distinguished service awards were presented to three chiropractors: Lisa Killinger, DC; John Pammer, Jr., DC, DACBR; and Michael Perillo, DC, MPH.
Every year the APHA Exhibit Hall is the largest and most diverse of its kind in the world. In 2005, 680 exhibit booths were displayed in the Pennsylvania Convention Center's exhibit hall. The Chiropractic Health Care Section joined with the Vision Care, Oral Health, and Podiatry sections for the fourth time in a multisectional "mega-booth." The ACA, ICA, Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC), and individual chiropractic colleges donated materials for booth use. The public health multidisciplinary screenings, literature distributed, and dialogues considerably enhanced the image of chiropractic. Several hundred registrants visited the chiropractic exhibit booth to obtain literature and ask questions.
New Officers Announced
Chiropractic Health Care Section officers for 2006 were announced at the meeting (see table below).
Chiropractic Health Care Section Officers
Chair: Andrew Isaacs, DC
Ashley Cleveland, DC, MA
Kurt Hegetschweiler, DC
Awards: Sharon Jaeger, DC, DACBR
134th Annual Meeting - 2006
The 2006 Annual Meeting will be held in Boston, Mass., from Nov. 4-8, 2006. The theme of the 2006 meeting will be "Public Health and Human Rights."
All doctors of chiropractic, chiropractic students and faculty members are urged to join the Chiropractic Health Care Section of APHA now. Chiropractic can continue to succeed in enhancing chiropractic credibility and communication in mainstream public health activities by its membership and active participation in the APHA. Information and membership applications can be obtained at www.apha.org.
A hurricane couldn't stop us from participating in 2005. Don't let anything stop you from participating in 2006!
Click here for previous articles by Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC.