CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo


Meeting theme: Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health

Submission Deadline: Friday, March 3, 2017

The Law Section of APHA is interested in receiving abstracts on the research and practice of public health law. The call for abstracts this year will focus on current hot topics in public health. The Law Section encourages submissions that are relevant to APHA’s 2017 Annual Meeting theme, “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health” and that relate to the social determinants of health and health disparities, however, we continue to welcome all outstanding abstracts that address research on health law or practices that use law or policy to advance health.

The Law Section will also seek to partner with other APHA sections to bring a wider perspective to the issues and engage practitioners and researchers with content expertise in the topic areas. We believe that this is a positive approach to integrate law into more widespread discussions rather than perpetuate law as a silo in matters of health and healthcare.
  • Alcohol, Tobacco and Substance Use
    Legal interventions such as restricting use or access to alcohol, tobacco or other drugs has been successful in curbing illegal use among minors and minimizing substance-related injuries. The Health Law section is interested in receiving abstracts on marijuana, opioids, tobacco, e-cigarettes, and alcohol.
  • Communicable Diseases
    The spread of communicable disease such as vaccine-preventable diseases and HIV can be controlled through the use of laws that require vaccination to attend school, facilitate safe drug use, and regulate antibiotics, for example. The Health Law section welcomes abstracts that looks at research or legal practices that intent to reduce the spread of communicable disease.
  • Environmental Health
    The Health Law section is interested in receiving abstracts that address laws and policies that help to promote healthy environments and limit exposure to harmful substances. Potential topics may include climate change, lead, water pollution and air pollution.
  • Global Health Law
    Law and policies can be used as innovative means to advance health around the world. Lessons from abroad can help to advance our understanding of mechanisms of change for here in the United States. The Health Law section is eager to receive abstracts on global health law, either in this specific category or as part of one of the other categories.
  • Healthcare and Health Service Delivery
    The use of laws to promote access to and quality of care is critical to ensuring the public’s health. Ranging from licensure, scope of practice, accreditation, insurance coverage and much more, the Health Law section seeks abstracts that advance our understanding of how health services can promote and maintain health.
  • Injury Prevention
    Laws and policies have been used as a means of public health intervention to prevent a range of injuries by discouraging or prohibiting high-risk behaviors and reducing dangerous environments. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, sports-related injuries, vehicle related injuries, firearms, and domestic violence.
  • Mental Health
    Public health concerns related to mental health require a balance between individual rights and safety along with broader issues of public safety. The Health Law section invite submissions that address the ways in which laws can address mental health issues including those related to rates of suicide, violence, homelessness and other health outcomes.
  • Nutrition, Physical Activity and Associate Chronic Conditions
    Obesity and overweight, and associated chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, are major health concerns. The Health Law section welcomes abstracts on increased access to nutritious foods, menu labeling, policies to motivate physical activity, and zoning laws to promote physical activity, as well as other associated topics.
Important Abstract Guidelines:
  • Authors must submit abstracts electronically through the APHA abstract management web site:
  • You must indicate your intended audience in your abstract or in the “Note to Planner” field (e.g., public health lawyers or others with legal expertise, public health professionals without legal expertise, etc.).
  • We highly recommend drafting the abstract and learning objectives offline in a word document so you can edit them before pasting into the submission form.
  • The time allotment for presentations in our panels is usually 15 minutes.
  • We give awards for best student abstract, so please note in the “Note to Planner” field if you are a student. We highly encourage the submission of student work.
  • Abstracts are limited to 250 words.
  • Do not include names or identifying information in the text of the abstract.
  • Do not submit work that is in-progress and will not be complete by the time of the meeting. Preliminary findings are acceptable, but we do not want presentations just on the study design.
  • Presenting authors must provide a conflict of interest disclosure and a qualification statement that specifically justifies their presentation of the material; a general statement of the author’s training or degrees earned is NOT sufficient.
  • Authors may indicate their preference for “oral only,” “poster only,” or “no preference” at submission. Oral sessions are limited and highly competitive.  We encourage authors to select “no preference” to maximize flexibility.
  • All presenters must be members of APHA by the date of the meeting and must register for the meeting.
  • We also strongly encourage you to check the dates of the meeting to ensure that you are able to attend if your abstract is selected. With a high volume of abstracts submitted and only a limited number of presentation time, we do not want to accept presentations if the research will not be ready to present or if the investigators are unable to attend.

Panel Submissions

Panels are groupings of individual abstracts. Each presentation requires an individual abstract submission. Panel proposals must adhere to the following procedure:

  1. One abstract must be submitted for each individual presentation with a unique title and abstract body. Do not include names or other identifying information in the body of the abstracts. During submission process, please indicate in the “Note to Planner” field that the abstract is to be considered as part of a panel and note whether author would still be interested in presenting the abstract if the panel is not accepted as a whole.

  2. Panel organizer must send an email to the Program Chair, Jennifer Ibrahim, at with the following information: (1) the panel title; (2) submission #s of all abstracts to be considered part of the panel; (3) a brief paragraph explaining the objective of the panel; and (4) the names of other panel presenters.

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: (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 the Program Planner for the Law Section - Jennifer Ibrahim at


Program Planner Contact Information:

Jennifer Ibrahim, PhD, MPH
Health Services Administration and Policy
College of Public Health, Temple University
1101 W. Montgomery Ave.
Bell Building (Tech Center) Rm 374
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: 215-204-9657
Fax: 215-204-1854