American Public Health Association Seeks To Improve And Rebrand Public Health

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | November 11, 2013

The American Public Health Association adopted 17 new policy statements at its annual meeting Nov. 2-6 in Boston, issuing ambitious recommendations to public health officials and also trying to rebrand the field of public health.

Along with voting for a new president-elect, Shiriki Kumanyika, a University of Pennsylvania medical school epidemiology professor specializing in obesity research, the APHA is stepping into a number of important, sometimes controversial policy areas — for instance, urging a repeal of a federal funding ban for safe syringe access — as part of a broad call to action for expanding preventive health services.

“We’ve developed our new tagline to reflect these values and to act as our rallying cry: For science. For action. For health,” said APHA executive director Georges Benjamin, MD, in a media release.

Reflecting the APHA’s growing interest in epidemiology, next year’s focus will be on “Healthography: How where you live affects your health and wellbeing.” As Kumanyika told a local public radio station, “We don't want people to have to test their water before they drink it.”