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Dynamic Chiropractic – January 29, 2011, Vol. 29, Issue 03

APHA 2010 Annual Meeting: A Mile-High Affair

By Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC

The APHA is the oldest, largest, most diverse and the most influential public health association in the United States and the world, and its annual meeting and exposition is the largest annual gathering of public health and government officials in the world.

The 2010 annual meeting took place in the Denver, the mile-high city, from Nov. 6-10, 2010, with a theme of "Social Justice: A Public Health Imperative." Chiropractic was well-represented as usual among the 12,000-plus attendees.

A "Who's Who" in Health Care

Opening remarks were made by APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, APHA President Carmen Naverez MD, MPH, State of Colorado and City of Denver political and health officials, and Howard Koh, MD, MPH, assistant secretary for health, Department of Health and Human Services. The keynote speakers at the Opening General Session on Sunday, Nov. 7 were the flamboyant orator/philosopher Cornel West, PhD, from Princeton, and the beloved William Carter Jenkins, PhD, MPH.

The Closing General Session on late Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 10) featured a panel discussion by some of the most knowledgeable experts on the nation's public health policies: Maryland Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene, John Colmers, MPH; APHA President Carmen Naverez, MD, MPH; and George Washington University health law and policy professor, Sara Rosenbaum, JD. Their inspired commentaries showcased the goal of making the United States the "Healthiest Nation in One Generation."

As is customary at APHA's annual meeting, many of the major leaders in government and health were present including the health commissioners of several states; the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS); the Department of Health and Human Services; other officials from WHO, PAHO, HRSA, OSHA and NIOSH; the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, and other former U.S. Surgeons General; various private institutes and voluntary agencies; several current and former elected state politicians and members of Congress; 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.

Strong Chiropractic Presence

As mentioned, the chiropractic profession was well-represented at the 2010 meeting. Two chiropractic college presidents attended - Dr. Joe Brimhall of Western States Chiropractic College and Dr. Mark Zeigler of Northwestern Health Sciences University - along with dozens of other leaders of the chiropractic profession.

Among the 1,000 sessions of 4,000 scientific and technical paper presentations that covered over 30 specialty areas of health care, the Chiropractic Health Care (CHC) section of APHA presented 25 papers in five educational sessions:

  • Educational Challenges: Public Health, Social Justice, and the Chiropractic Student
  • Evolving Concepts in Public Health and Clinical Practice
  • Health Policy, Practice and Regulation
  • Research: Current Status and Updates
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Improve Health Care

Chiropractic Health Care Section Officers*

Chair: Paul Dougherty, DC, DABCO (2011)
Chair elect: Vacant pending special election
Past chair: John Stites, DC, DACBR (2011)
Secretary: Gerald Stevens, DC, MS, MPH (2011)

Section Council
Jason Bartlett, DC (2011)
Rod Floyd, DC, DrPH, MSPH (2011)
Bart Green, DC, MSEd (2012)
Claire Johnson, DC, MSEd (2012)
Michelle Maiers, DC, MPH (2013)
Jason Napuli, DC, MBA (2013)

Governing Council
Mitchell Haas, DC, MA (2011)
John Stites, DC, DACBR (2012)

Committee Chairs
Awards: Bart Green, DC, MSEd (2011)
Membership: Gerald Stevens, DC, MS, MPH (2011)
Nominations: Alisa Fairweather, MPH (2011)
Program: Michael Schneider, DC, PhD (2011)
Resolutions: Mitchell Haas, DC, MA (2011)
Section Manual: Mitchell Haas, DC, MA (2011)
Communications: Claire Johnson, DC, MSEd (2011)

*Terms expire after the annual meeting in the year listed.
These were well-received by the multidisciplinary audience, and several thousand attendees visited the Chiropractic Health Care section's booth in the Colorado Convention Center exhibit hall among the other 650 exhibit booths.

CHC Section Awards for 2010 were also announced in Denver: The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Lisa Killinger; the Distinguished Service Award for 2010 was presented to Dr. John Stites; and the Rising Star Award was given to Dr. Jason Napuli.

The biggest news announced at the Chiropractic Health Care section business meeting in Denver was the decision by Dr. Zeigler that he would begin the automatic enrollment of chiropractic college students into APHA at Northwestern during their public health classes in 2011, as was initiated in 2009 at Southern California University of Health Sciences, New York Chiropractic College, and Western States Chiropractic College.

As reported in this publication ("Public Health Goes to College," Nov. 18, 2009), those three schools began enrolling their public health class students late in 2009. This allows integration of college classroom materials with contemporary public health resources, exposes chiropractic students to mainstream public health endeavors, and inculcates a value of public health and community service to a whole generation of young chiropractors. It also gives the chiropractic profession a bigger and better voice within APHA policy-making, and over time will increase the number of APHA Governing Council seats allotted to chiropractic, along with a bigger working budget for the section. The bold decision by the college presidents to support this is truly a win-win for them and for the entire profession, and Dr. Mark Zeigler deserves our appreciation.

The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners also hosted a marvelous dinner to help the CHC section celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the section's founding in San Diego in 1995. The section was also recognized for this accomplishment at the APHA Awards Ceremony.

APHA 139th Annual Meeting

The 2011 APHA annual meeting will be held in Washington, D.C., from Oct. 29 - Nov. 2. The theme of the 2011 Annual Meeting is "Healthy Communities Promote Healthy Minds and Bodies." This is certainly a theme compatible with chiropractic values.

The 2011 Call for Abstracts has been announced, with an absolute deadline for receipt of abstracts by early February 2011. Abstract submissions must be submitted online at www.apha.org. Paper presenters must be both members of APHA and register for the annual meeting. Paper topics that fit the theme above are encouraged and other topics are welcome as well.

Chiropractors, chiropractic students, chiropractic organizations and chiropractic colleges are encouraged to get involved in mainstream public health using the APHA as their vehicle for entry and integration. Additional information can be obtained at the CHC Web site: www.apha.org/membergroups/sections/aphasections/chc.

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

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