APHA Update - December 2015

By Jeanie Holt

APHA has a goal. A BIG goal. In fact, the leadership at APHA calls it a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal): the US will be the healthiest nation in the world by 2030. During the Affiliate Day at APHA Annual Meeting we questioned APHA’s Executive Director, Dr. Georges Benjamin, about this. Is this even remotely realistic? Dr. Benjamin made several points in his response.

First, he acknowledged that it is a pretty big goal, bordering on unrealistic. But, he said, a “stretch” goal, pushes you to achieve what you didn’t think was possible. Even if we don’t make it all the way to the BHAG, we will be much closer to it than we could have imagined if we had set our sights lower.

Secondly, Dr. Benjamin pointed to one segment of the APHA strategic map: Create a Public Health Movement. He pointed out how much has been happening in that sphere. “It is no longer just public health folks who are demanding sidewalks and walkable communities. It is no longer just public health folks who push for healthy menu options and health information at restaurants. And public health are not the only people talking about justice and living wages and affordable housing.” The movement is underway.
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