CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA's 2019 Annual Meeting and Expo

Medical Care Section

Meeting theme: Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health

Submission Deadline: Thursday, February 28, 2019

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. While we try to honor preferences for oral, poster, or roundtable presentations, this is not always possible.

We reserve the right to give preference to abstracts submitted by Medical Care Section members when selecting highly scored submissions.

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 scored submissions. Please, take a minute to review the themes below and use key words to identify in your abstract a theme of your preference.

  • Health Equity
    The Health Equity theme welcomes research abstracts on studies of health disparities and inequities, and interventions to address these injustices, among vulnerable populations such as racial/ethnic minorities, immigrants, asylees and refugees, the LGBTQ community, and others.

    The health equity theme also welcomes abstracts related to research, policy and practice perspectives aiming at improving Veterans’ Health. Abstracts for studies’ addressing health disparities in rural and frontier communities are also encouraged. Additionally, this theme also seeks abstracts that address the health and socio-economic impact of mass incarceration on individuals, families and communities.

  • Health Services Research
    This theme welcomes abstracts that are relevant for health services research, health economics, including drug policy and pharmaceutical services. Abstracts of studies that assess how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes (such as comparing treatment alternatives), geography (e.g., rurality), health technologies and personal behaviors affect outcomes including access to health care, the quality and cost of health care services and health and well-being are welcome.

    Other topics of interest include the roles of hospitals, physicians, and health insurance; reimbursement mechanisms and their effects on health care cost, and patient level outcomes and economic evaluation studies including cost-effectiveness analysis and outcomes evaluation.

    Additionally, we welcome studies that aim to enhance the public health perspective on the regulation, economics, utilization, outcomes, safety, and policy of pharmaceuticals and pharmacy services. We encourage submissions addressing access to quality and affordable pharmaceuticals (Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration, national health care systems, incarcerated populations, etc.) and commercial health insured populations.

Calling all Students!  Are You Conducting research related to Health Services, Health Economics, Pharmaceutical Economics and Outcomes Research, 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 will be submitted online through the APHA system. Letters from advisors should be emailed directly by the students to Dr. Linda Green at: 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 15th, 2019 – Closes: May 5th, 2019)

Individuals can also propose, organize and moderate entire sessions with up to five presenters. These invited (solicited) sessions are proposed and arranged at the initiative of individual organizers. It is the responsibility of the session 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 (, or Elham Mahmoudi ( Program Co-Chairs prior to submission to increase their chances of earning a session slot.

The official start of invited session submissions is April 10, 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
Director, Medication Outcomes Center
University of California San Francisco
533 Parnassus Avenue. U12
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