CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — 142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition


Healthography: How Where you Live Affects Your Health and Well-being

Submission Deadline: Friday, February 14, 2014

The Environment Section is seeking abstracts and full session proposals for the 2014 American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting & Exposition to be held November 15-19, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The theme of the 142nd Annual Meeting and Expo is “How Where You Live Affects Your Health and Wellbeing.” Many environmental public health impacts affecting our health and wellbeing begin where we live. Please consider this theme as you build your abstract for the 142nd Annual Meeting.


Full “Invited” Session Proposals

Due: January 24, 2014

Successful Full Session Proposal Applicants Notified: on or about February 7, 2014 

Presenter’s abstracts for Accepted Full Sessions Proposals Due: April 22, 2014


Individual Abstracts (Hard Deadlines set by APHA)

Due: February 14, 2014

Accept, Reject, or Waitlisted Assignments: on or about June 3, 2014


Student Achievement Poster Award Abstracts

Due: February 14, 2014  

Accepted Student Achievement Poster Award Abstracts Notified: April 19, 2014

Student Achievement Poster Award Revised Abstracts Due: May 20, 2014

(For additional information, see description below.)


Presenter and Presentation Requirements


All persons making a presentation at the Annual Meeting & Exposition must pay a registration fee in order to participate in the program. All persons presenting an abstract must be an individual member of APHA during the time of the meeting. APHA does not pay an honoraria or expenses to any presenter.



Presentations may NOT be submitted to multiple Sections, SPIGs, Caucuses, or Forums and may be presented only once during the Annual Meeting & Expo. The presentation may NOT be presented or published prior to the APHA Annual Meeting. However, it is acceptable for students having abstracts accepted to finish MPH, MS, PhD or DrPH projects in partial satisfaction of degree requirements by May-June or August-September before Annual Meeting.


Descriptions of Session Formats

Oral Session:  90 minute session with 3-5 presentations, each 15–25 minutes in length.

Poster Session:  Sets of 10 posters organized and presented together within a 60 minute session

Roundtable Session:  90 minute session with a set of “round tables” where each table has a different speaker. Participants rotate from table to table to participate in different discussions. NOTE:  Audiovisual equipment (e.g., computer, LCD projector, etc.) is not available during roundtable sessions.

Panel Discussion: 90 minute session comprised of 4-5 panelists discussing a specific topic or set of closely related topics.


Descriptions of Session Types

Research Presentations

Abstracts describing scientific research projects should focus on new knowledge of environmental public health issues. The abstract and presentation should include the purpose of the study, a hypothesis or study question, detailed methods and results, and specific conclusions.


Policy or Program Presentations

Policy or program abstracts should describe the application of knowledge to real-world problems or policies. Many times these types of abstracts are referred to as public health in practice. The abstract and presentation should include a problem statement and conclusions describing resolution of the problem. Strong preference will be given to abstracts that include systematic assessment of the policy or program, with detailed description of methods and findings.


Topics of Interest

The Environment Section encourages you to submit Abstracts and Full Session proposals describing research studies, innovative policies, or programs and practices including interventions addressing global environmental public health problem by instigating a solution at the local level. While abstracts reflecting any innovative work highlighting environmental public health science and policy will be reviewed, the Section will place emphasis on abstracts related to the following topics:

The topics and examples listed above are meant to stimulate ideas for abstract submission. The topics are not exhaustive or mutually exclusive. In fact, the Environment Section encourages integrative approaches to environmental public health. When choosing a “topic session” for abstract submission, authors should select the one they feel best represents the major focus of the abstract.

Full “Invited” Session Proposals

Deadline: January 24, 2014

Proposals for Full Sessions are welcome. Full Sessions are comprised of invited speakers who will address different aspects of the same topic of high interest. A variety of formats are acceptable including oral sessions, roundtables, and panel discussions. 


To submit a proposal, you must:

All Full Session Proposals will be peer-reviewed and ranked for quality, topic applicability, adherence to Full Session Proposal Form requirements, and relation to overall Section priorities. Please review the Evaluation Criteria (below). The Program Planning committee will make extra efforts to fill Sessions that relate to the APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition theme. 


Applicants will be notified of the status of their proposal by February 7, 2014. If a Full Session Proposal is accepted, submitter(s) will then be directed to enter the individual abstracts comprising the Full Session online during the APHA window for “invited” abstract submissions, April 18, 2014.


If the Full Session Proposal is not accepted, the Environment Section encourages submission of the individual abstracts by February 14, 2014.

Individual Abstract Contributions

Deadline February 14, 2014 (uploaded by 11:59 PM PST

Individual abstracts are welcome. Program Planners will combine accepted individual abstracts into 90 minute sessions (4-5 individual abstracts of 10-20 minute oral presentations) or sets of poster presentations. Please state your preferred format: oral presentation or poster presentation or either option.


All abstracts will be peer-reviewed and ranked for quality, topic applicability, adherence to abstract requirements, and relation to overall Section priorities. Please review the Evaluation Criteria (below). Every effort will be made to accommodate the author’s presentation preference for accepted abstracts (e.g., oral presentation or poster). However, the Environment Section may not be able to accommodate all presentation preferences.


To submit your abstract, you must:

Student Achievement Poster Award Track

Deadline February 14, 2014 (uploaded by 11:59 PM PST) 

Students of programs in environmental health, public health, and other related fields are encouraged to submit abstracts pertaining to their academic research. Interested students should submit their abstract online via APHA’s Website; abstracts should be submitted into the Environment Section’s “Student Achievement Poster Award Track.”  Please note that abstracts submitted into other topic related tracks will NOT be considered for the award, but, students may be considered to present in both the Student Poster Award Session(s) and a topical session.


Students must submit an abstract including a well thought out study purpose and detailed methods (300 words or less). Submitted abstracts will be reviewed for relevance to environmental public health and the student’s clarity in describing the work that will be or has been done. While it is understood results may not be available by the February 14, 2014 abstract submission deadline, it is expected that final student posters (and revised abstracts due late, if accepted) will include details about the study purpose, methods, results and specific conclusions.


Up to ten abstracts (and 1-2 alternates) per group (1-2 Sessions conducted in past years) will be selected for poster presentation during the Environment Section’s Student Achievement Poster Award Session, which is typically on Monday mid-morning. During the poster session, students and their posters will be judged for presentation style, knowledge of the subject matter, and project quality. Up to three finalists will be honored at the Environment Section’s Social Hour.


Eligibility requirements:

  1. Work must have been completed by the student as part of an environmental health, public health, or other health related degree program.
  2. A student must be enrolled as a full or part-time student in the fall semester 2013 and spring semester 2014 and remain in good standing or have graduated from their program between May-August 2014. If the abstract is accepted for presentation, proof of student status will be requested.
  3. The student must be the first and presenting author on their contributed abstract.
  4. To be eligible for an award the student must present the work at the APHA meeting and attend the Environment Section Social Hour, which is typically on the Monday night.
  5. Students that have received an award in previous years are not eligible to resubmit unless they are working on a different degree, (e.g., doctoral degree at present but master’s before).
  6. At the time of presentation, the student should be an Environment Section Member.


Student Travel Awards

A limited number of student travel awards may possibly be available, subject to funding provided by agencies and/or private foundations. It is not necessary to submit an abstract to be eligible for a travel award; however, extra consideration will be given to students who submit an abstract that is accepted into the Student Achievement Poster Award Session and/or another topical session (oral or poster) and are (or become during spring-fall 2014) actively involved in the APHA Environment Section. For information about travel awards, contact Derek Shendell, Rutgers SPH (, Tara McAlexander, Fund for Public Health in NY/NYC DOHMH (, or Meghan McGinty, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (  


Evaluation Criteria

Both Individual Abstracts and "Full" Session Proposals will be evaluated by the same criteria. The criteria are broad to allow for the evaluation of science, policy, and public health practice proposals. They are: 1) Importance to environmental health; 2) Originality of work; 3) Defined objectives/purpose; 4) Sound methodology/philosophy; 5) Reasonable conclusions; and 6) Overall reviewer enthusiasm.    


In addition to this set of evaluation criteria, Program Planners will pay special interest to abstracts that cover the 2014 APHA Annual Meeting & Expo theme, “How Where You Live Affects Your Health and Wellbeing.”


Crafting Learning Objectives

Please note that learning objectives are required for each submitted abstract. Applicants are encouraged to list at least one MEASURABLE objective (see below). Learning objectives should be written from the vantage point of the participant; what applicable knowledge will the participant learn from the presentation. Guidance and information about appropriate learning objectives can be found at:


Continuing Education Credit

APHA values the ability to provide continuing education credit to physicians, nurses, health educators, and those certified in public health at its annual meeting. Please complete all required information when submitting an abstract so members can claim credit for attending your session. These credits are necessary for members to keep their licenses and credentials.

For a session to be eligible for Continuing Education Credit, each presenter, panelist, discussant, and/or faculty must provide:

1) An abstract free of trade and/or commercial product names.


2) At least one MEASURABLE SINGLE objective (“to understand” or “to learn” are not measurable objectives and compound objectives are not acceptable). Use ONLY the following Measurable Action Verbs:

Explain, Demonstrate, Analyze, Formulate, Discuss, Compare, Differentiate, Describe, Name, Assess, Evaluate, Identify, Design, Define or List.

3) A signed Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form with a relevant qualification statement.

Example of Acceptable Biographical Qualification Statement: (e.g. I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of drug abuse, HIV prevention and co-occurring mental and drug use disorders. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for preventing HIV and STDs in out-of-treatment drug users.)

4) All continuing education learning content must be of sound science or professional practice and serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills and professional competence of the health professional. Learning content should be evidence-based if available. A list of over 30 areas will be provided online for you to choose from. You will be asked to choose at least one or up to 6 areas that your presentation will address.

Thank you for your assistance in making your session credit worthy. Contact Annette Ferebee at if you have any questions concerning continuing education. For program questions, contact the program planner listed below.


Program Planner Contact Information

Surili Sutaria Patel, MS

Association of Public Health Laboratoires

8515 Georgia Ave., Suite 700

Silver Spring, MD 20910

Phone: 240.485.2784

Dr. Jo Anna Shimek

Indiana University, School of Public Health

1025 E. 7th Street, C031

Bloomington, IN 47405

Phone:  812.856.2476


Diana Degen, MSPH

The Cadmus Group, Inc. | Public Health Communications and Policy Practice

1555 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300

Arlington, VA 22209

Phone: 919.593.1341


Please use this email,, to request the Full Session Proposal Form or to ask questions. Inquiries to the Program Planners' work email may get lost.


Program Planner Contact Information:

Surili Sutaria
Environmental Health
8515 Georgia Ave
Suite 700
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 3013675381

Jo Anna Shimek