APHA Update - January 2016

By Jeanie Holt

APHA--the Go-To Resource on Public Health

As you know, NHPHA is affiliated with the American Public Health Association. This is a multi-directional partnership. APHA depends on affiliates for on-the-ground expertise (both technical and political) on all public health topics. APHA depends on affiliates to get the word out on Federal legislation and to raise many voices in advocating for good public health policy. In turn, APHA provides us with resources for advocacy. Possibly the most critical resource is APHA’s policy statements. From mandating flu vaccine for health care personnel to nutrition to climate change, policy statements are the most complete analysis of the current science on a topic (search for a policy statement here). But the policy statements are not easy to read. They are long, detailed, and scientific. So APHA publishes fact sheets, info graphics, and videos to help us make the case. See, for example, the infographic “Can we become the healthiest nation (in one generation)?”. I could write much more about the importance of the two-way relationship between NHPHA and APHA.

But I also want to highlight another dimension of being affiliated with APHA. We are connected to all of the other APHA affiliates. APHA has 54 affiliates—one in every state, two in California, one in New York City, one in Washington DC, and one in Puerto Rico (field trip anyone?). These affiliates connect to each other within regions and across the country. Those connections help us to exchange ideas, celebrate each other, challenge each other, and give encouragement when the going gets rough. Last year, for example, North Dakota Public Health Association published several letters to the editor on public health topics. Being proud of this accomplishment, they challenged the rest of us to do better. By Annual Meeting in November, several states had out-done North Dakota in this form of advocacy. NHPHA is connected to the other affiliates through our Affiliate Representative to the Governing Council (ARGC). As Katie discussed in her President’s Message, NHPHA needs a new ARGC to represent NHPHA’s interests in the governance of APHA and to provide us with our link to the other affiliates.


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