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

Medical Care Section

Meeting theme: Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now

Submission Deadline: Friday, March 2, 2018

The Medical Care Section invites abstracts that fit with the theme of the annual meeting, and with the Section's interest in advancing universal and equitable access to quality health care and health. 

We welcome abstracts for oral or poster presentations that reflect good science and align broadly with the interests and values of the Section.  After reviewers score abstracts, the program committee arranges the highest-ranking submissions into oral and poster sessions organized by topic. Interested students may choose to submit abstracts for the Student Paper Award Competition (as described below). While we try to honor preferences for oral, poster, or roundtable presentations, this is not always possible.

Although it is not current Section practice, we reserve the right to give preference to abstracts submitted by Medical Care Section members.

IMPORTANT NOTE: APHA allows all members to designate two sections as their APHA homes for free. If you are not yet a Medical Care Section member, please consider identifying Medical Care as one of your two APHA sections. As an added benefit, members receive free on-line access to the Medical Care Journal and to the Medical Care Blog (


The following topics reflect both historical concerns and current focus areas of various committees within the Medical Care Section. They are neither prescriptive nor exclusive. The Section's program planners may fashion new topics and combine or eliminate others according to the distribution and number of highly rated submissions. Please, take a minute to review Medical Care Section Committees and use key words to identify in your abstract a Committee of your preference.

  • Drug Policy and Pharmaceutical Services
    The Drug Policy and Pharmaceutical Services committee aims to enhance the public health perspective on the regulation, economics utilization, outcomes, safety, and policy of pharmaceuticals and pharmacy services. We focus on improving access to quality and affordable pharmaceuticals across US public health (Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration, etc.) and commercial health insured populations.

    Contact: Danya Qato:

  • Health Economics
    The Health Economics Committee welcomes any research studies related with applications of economics to health and health care. The topics of interest include allocation of health care resources with respect to demand and supply of health care; the roles of hospitals, physicians, and health insurance; reimbursement mechanisms and their effects on health care cost, outcomes and market imperfections and the role of the government in the economics of health care.

    Contact: Jessica Williams:

  • Health Equity
    The Health Equity Committee welcomes research abstracts on studies of health disparities and inequities, and interventions to address these injustices, among vulnerable populations such as racial/ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ community, and others. For APHA 2018, we are extending a special call for abstracts related to health equity and justice for immigrants, refugees, migrant workers, and other vulnerable groups.

    Contact: Lisa Lines:

  • Health Services Research
    The Health Services Research Committee welcomes studies assessing how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being. Of particular interest are studies related to the Affordable Care Act and how changes in the structure of the program affect patient outreach, health care access and utilization as well as hospital financial viability.

    Contact: Katherine S. Virgo:

  • History of Public Health
    This section encourages submissions on topics related to the historical evolution and changes of beliefs, convictions, discoveries, knowledge, methods, movements, paradigms, practices, principles, resources, technology, and other factors that influence population health and health care systems. Separately, this committee reviews major contributions to history of public health and annually awards the Section’s Arthur J. Viseltear Prize to such a researcher. The Section also encourages contributions to the APHA history project.

    Contact: Kavita Sivaramakrishnan:

  • Justice and Incarcerated Health Committee
    The Justice and Incarcerated Health Committee is dedicated to advancing public health throughout the justice system. The committee strives to build a multi-disciplinary approach to address the health and socio-economic impact of mass incarceration on individuals, families and communities. We encourage submissions on topics related to 1) correctional health and healthcare, 2) transitional care for reentry, 3) access to community healthcare, 4) mental health and substance use treatment. The committee seeks abstracts around justice research and work that is aimed at improving health, reducing disparities among vulnerable populations and addressing justice and health equity issues.

    Contact: Alison Jordan:; or

  • Rural and Frontier Health
    The Rural and Frontier Health Committee is committed to make a difference in rural communities addressing health disparities that are tied to rural challenges such as transportation, walkability, access to care, and poverty, increasing understanding of health disparities and cultural aspects of rural life that factor into policy challenges such as emphasis on self-reliance and higher levels of religiosity.

    Contact: Cody Mullen:

  • Veterans' Health
    The Veterans' Health Committee is the forum to share your ground-breaking research and innovative practice in Veterans'€™ Health. We invite research, policy and practice perspectives aiming at improving Veterans'™ Health. We welcome abstracts addressing cost-effective, evidence- based programs and policies, and best practices designed for Veterans to promote recovery-oriented care, and improvements in health outcomes.

    Contact: Cheryl Conner:

If you believe that your abstract fits well with the Medical Care Committees listed above or a particular theme not otherwise mentioned above, please use key words to identify that particular theme when you submit your abstract.

Calling all Students!  Are You Conducting research related to Health Services, Health Economics, Health Equity, Rural Health, or other Research pertinent to Medical Care on a Hot Topic?  Submit Your Paper to the Medical Care Section Student Paper Competition!

Typically, the Medical Care Section’s awards committee selects four or five of the most highly rated student papers for presentation in an oral student session at the Annual Meeting.  To be competitive, abstracts should address original research conducted by the student on timely topics that fall within areas of interest to the Medical Care section as listed above. Crucial elements include short background indicating the niche in the literature filled by the research, data source, methods (analytical plan and statistical analysis), results and implications for clinical or policy audiences. When submitted, the abstract should indicate in the comments field that it has been submitted for the “Student Paper Competition”. A letter from the student’s advisor is required verifying that the paper was primarily written while the individual was a student and also confirming that funding is available for the student to attend the conference if his/her paper is selected for presentation.  Abstracts submitted for the Student Paper Competition (and the accompanying letter from the student’s advisor) are due on the same date as all other abstracts submitted to the Medical Care Section, in February 2018 (see:

INVITED SESSIONS (Opens: April 9th, 2018 Closes: April 30th, 2018)

Individuals can also propose and organize entire sessions with four to five presenters. These invited (solicited) sessions are proposed and arranged at the initiative of individual organizers. It is the responsibility of the organizer to plan and develop the session, secure the presenters, and upload session details. The invited session process is competitive and slots are limited. Interested individuals are urged to seek a consultation with Rosa Rodriguez-Monguio, PhD, MA (, Wassim Tarraf, MBA, PhD ( Program Co-Chairs prior to submission to increase their chances of earning a session slot.

The official start of invited session submissions is April 9th, when APHA accepts solicited abstracts. However, you are strongly encouraged to communicate to the Medical Care Program Chair your interest in organizing an invited session ahead of time. You should also inform individuals on your proposed panel to indicate on their abstracts your name as the organizer and that the submission is intended for an invited session. This information helps the Program Chair keep track of multiple abstracts that are ultimately meant for a single session.

Individuals submitting abstracts to the Medical Care Section for consideration are advised of the following criteria:

  • Abstracts should demonstrate their scientific quality and alignment with interests of the Medical Care Section.
  • Work should have been carried out rather than just proposed or in progress.
  • Presenters at the Annual Meeting must be individual members of APHA.
  • All presenters must register for the Annual Meeting. (For guest participants in solicited sessions, APHA has a very limited number of complimentary, one-day passes.)
  • Abstracts may not be presented or published prior to the Annual Meeting.
  • Abstracts submitted to the Medical Care Section should not be submitted to any other APHA section.

Medical Care and other sections, Special Primary Interest Groups (SPIGs), Forums, and Caucuses are planning some sessions jointly. Please share your ideas for cross- or multiple-group sessions and, if inclined, help plan them. Our proactive collaboration should result in broad appeal across APHA groups.


APHA values the ability to award continuing education credit to health professionals at its annual meetings. To do so, APHA needs the following information, requested when submitting abstracts, with every abstract. APHA awards credit for entire sessions rather than for individual presentations. For sessions to be eligible for CE credit, presenters must submit:

1) Abstracts free of trade and commercial product names;

2) At least one MEASURABLE objective per abstract using action words such as Explain, Demonstrate, Analyze, Formulate, Discuss, Compare, Differentiate, Describe, Name, Assess, Evaluate, Identify, Design, Define, or List (please DO NOT USE “to understand” or “to learn” as they are unmeasurable); and

3) Signed Conflict of Interest (Financial Disclosure) forms with relevant Qualification Statements. (Please see an example of an acceptable Qualification Statement in a Disclosure form on the APHA web site.)


Program Planner Contact Information:

Rosa Rodriguez-Monguio, PhD, MS
Medication Outcomes Center
University of California San Francisco
533 Parnassus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: 415-502-6029

Wassim Tarraf
Institute of Gerontology and Department of Healthcare Sciences
Wayne State University
87 East Ferry Street
Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: 3136642632

Elham Mahmoudi, Ph.D.
Family Medicine
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
2800 Plymouth Rd, NCRC, Building 16, Room G024W
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Phone: 248-765-3927