CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA's 2018 Annual Meeting & Expo


Meeting theme: Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now

Submission Deadline: Tuesday, February 27, 2018

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 2018 Annual Meeting theme, “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity,” 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. Therefore, we seek presentations (oral and poster) on the following topic areas and will do our best to partner with other sections to facilitate rich and meaningful discussions related to each of these priority areas:
  • Chronic Disease
    The average life span has significantly increased over the last few decades but the consequences of chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, asthma, Alzheimer's disease and others has also increased. Law can be a powerful tool to address factors associated with these conditions such as promoting physical activity, access to health foods, access to appropriate care, and air quality. The Law Section seeks presentations on ways in which to effectively use law to decrease morbidity associated with chronic conditions.
  • Environmental Health and Air Quality
    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 with a particular focus on improving air quality. Potential topics may include climate change, pollution and environmentally-associated respiratory disease.
  • Injury Prevention and Firearms
    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, firearms, sports-related injuries, vehicle related injuries, 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 invites submissions that address the ways in which laws can address mental health issues including access to mental health services, suicide, violence, homelessness and other associated mental health outcomes.
  • Social Determinants of Health
    The environment - physical and social - are major factors that shape the way we live, work, thrive, learn and die. The Law Section seeks presentations that address these factors that influence our health and well-being including, but not limited to, education, employment, housing, law enforcement and public safety, food access and other similar topics.

    Important Abstract Guidelines:

    • Authors must submit abstracts electronically
    • 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 Co-Chair, Stacie Kershner, 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 outcome (“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.


    Authors will be notified of the abstract review decisions by June 4, 2018.


    For program questions, contact the the Program Co-Planner for the Law Section - Stacie Kershner at


    Program Planner Contact Information:

    Jennifer K. Ibrahim, PhD MPH
    College of Public Health
    Temple University
    1938 Liacouras Walk 2nd floor
    Philadelphia, PA 19122

    Stacie Kershner, J.D.
    Center for Law, Health & Society
    Georgia State University College of Law
    PO Box 4037
    Atlanta, GA 30303