Online Program

APHA History Project: APHA: Reflections on Fourteen Decades, of Public Health – Then, Now, and the Future

Monday, November 2, 2015: 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
This session reflects on the lessons of public health learned through the 14 decades since APHA’s founding and explores portends for the future, so consistent with this year’s theme of “Health in All Policies”. To track the long trajectory of APHA activity and mission to improve public health, this session uses the narrative metaphor of “time travel” tracing the close connection of APHA to the context of the times- a balance of state, local and national speakers will present their reflections on the lessons learned over the span of the 9 meetings in Chicago and the 9 presidents of APHA coming from Illinois.. APHA held its first Chicago based annual meeting in 1877 and was presided over by then APHA President John Rauch, MD of Chicago. Rauch was one of APHA’s principal founders in 1872, and also the founding President of the Illinois State Board of Health. Then and since, APHA’s history is intertwined with that of Illinois from its inception. In keeping with the founders’ aim to rotate the annual meeting sites to “influence local leaders and the public to the necessity of sanitary practices and public health protection”, the session provides a historic frame and timely local color to present a lively and informal format. The presenters have been asked to give their personal reflections and perceptions given the historic narrative of the complex flow of issues, the growing science and practice of public health, its changing patterns, and the always present ebb and flow of politics and the public’s understanding and support.
Session Objectives: Describe the enduring value of APHA leadership and role of APHA in local and national public health. Analyze the essential fundamentals of the time and context of the events that shaped public health as exemplified by the 13 decades in the span of time since APHA’ first meeting in Chicago. Evaluate the lessons learned set in the continuing challenges to public health in guiding and setting milestones for our future public health planning and advocacy in building healthy communities.
Linda Rae Murray, MD, MPH

An Historical Perspective   

Theodore M. Brown, PhD in History of Science and Medicine, Postdoc in History of Medicine

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

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