CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA's 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo

Aging & Public Health

Meeting theme: "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Preventing Violence"

Submission Deadline: Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Aging and Public Health Section welcomes empirical research or practice-related presentations, using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. Abstracts should be no more than 250 words. All abstracts must have direct relevance to aging or older adults. If your abstract is not relevant to aging or older adults, please go back to the APHA Call for Abstracts page and select a different component/group.

Submissions may be for poster, oral, or roundtable session formats; please note the desired format on the abstract form. If your abstract is accepted for presentation, you must become an individual member of APHA and register for the Annual Meeting in order to present. Abstracts cannot be published in any scientific journal or presented at any other conference prior to the APHA Annual Meeting.

Specific areas of interest to the Aging and Public Health Section include but are not limited to:

  • Aging and infections and communicable diseases
  • Aging population and baby boomers' health (jointly organized with the Public Health Education and Health Promotion section)
    The growing prevalence of chronic illness and comorbidity among older adults calls for increasing the capacities of the public health system to provide integrated medical and social services to this population, as well as to diverse subgroups. Chronic illness affects older adults disproportionately and contributes to disability, diminished quality of life, and increased healthcare and long-term care costs. Increased life expectancy reflects in part the success of public health interventions, but public health programs must now respond to the challenges posed by vast unmet needs of both older adults and their caregivers. Abstracts that address the complexity of these challenges across multiple domains (i.e. medical, social and economic) and propose innovation in public health policy and/or programs to improve older adults’ health and well-being are invited.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias and cognition
  • Cancer and aging
  • Caregiving for older adults and caregivers
  • Community-based long-term care, nursing home care, and utilization
  • Emergency preparedness and public health crises and aging
  • Environment and aging-in-place
  • Health equity and disparities in aging
  • Health literacy, health-related decision making, and communication for older adults
  • Healthcare outcomes, utilization, and costs related to aging
  • Immigrant, minority health, underrepresented populations and aging
  • Innovations in health and aging practice
  • Inter-generational issues relevant to aging
  • International health and aging
  • Medicare/Medicaid policy relevant to aging
  • Multiple chronic conditions and aging
  • Nutrition and aging / food insecurity
  • Older adults and disability
  • Palliative care, advance care planning, and end-of-life issues
  • Physical activity in aging
  • Public health ethics in aging
  • Public health law and policy in aging
  • Rural health in aging
  • Sensory issues in aging (Vision, hearing, taste, smell)
  • Social networks, social support, and social care provision in aging
  • Successful aging and quality of life
  • Technology and aging
  • Translating aging research into practice
  • Women's health issues in aging
  • Workforce development and aging
  • Other aging-related issues
Symposium Sessions

We also invite submissions for 90-minute symposium sessions. Please e-mail the program chairs if you are submitting a symposium; these require special processing for appropriate review. There will only be a few open time slots available for consideration as symposia sessions. Because of the volume of abstracts we receive and the limited number of oral sessions we are allotted, we cannot consider symposium sessions containing fewer than four papers.  Abstracts for proposed individual papers must be submitted along with an overall symposium abstract. This complete package gives the reviewers more substance from which to judge the overall merits of the proposal. Symposium submissions should:   

  1. Include an overall session abstract, which includes a rationale for the session, the proposed paper titles, author(s), order of presentation, and the abstract numbers for the individual papers, as well as abstracts for each individual paper presentation;
  2. Clearly label each individual paper session abstract with “SESSION ABSTRACT - your proposed paper presentation title" (you fill in the italicized part but keep the SESSION ABSTRACT) on the electronic submission page form when entering your proposal;
  3. Identify the proposed moderator and/or discussant;
  4. Be sure that each individual presenter submits a separate abstract and indicates that it is part of a symposium referencing the session title;
  5. Provide contact information (phone and e-mail) for the person in charge of the session directly on the overall session abstract, so we can contact you easily; and
  6. Indicate whether or not you would like to have the individual abstracts considered for presentation in other sessions, if your proposed symposium is not accepted. Please state, "YES, I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE ABSTRACTS CONSIDERED SEPARATELY" or "NO, I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE THESE ABSTRACTS CONSIDERED SEPARATELY".

Please be aware that each paper in the symposium is scored individually and the symposium is also scored as a group. The individual abstract for each paper must score reasonably well in order to be considered for a symposium session.

Abstract scoring

All abstract submissions are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Significance of the problem to public health and aging
  2. Innovation of ideas, methods and or approach
  3. Rigor of methods and approach (analytical design for research, systematic approach for practice and/or policy)
  4. Presentation of empirical findings (not applicable if abstract does not present empirical research)
  5. Implications identified for future research, practice and/or policy
  6. Clarity of writing    

 Aging and Public Health Section Awards

The Aging and Public Health Section sponsors several awards in various categories of aging and public health.  To be considered for one of the following awards, please indicate this on your abstract submission form by selecting the award from the drop-down box.

  1. Aetna Susan B. Anthony Award for Excellence in Research on Older Women and Public Health                           
  2. Aging and Public Health Rural and Environment Award
  3. Archstone Foundation Award for Excellence in Program Innovation
  4. Betty J. Cleckley Minority Issues Research Award
  5. James G. Zimmer New Investigator Research Award
  6. Laurence G. Branch Doctoral Student Research Award funded by the Retirement Research Foundation
  7. Master’s Student Research Award funded by the Retirement Research Foundation
  8. Nobuo Maeda International Aging & Public Health Research Award
  9. Erickson Foundation Research Award in Positive Aging

We would like to highlight two of the above awards. Through the generous support of the Retirement Research Foundation and its president, Marilyn Henessey, Aging and Public Health Section offers two student research awards.  The Retirement Research Foundation Masters Student Research Award recognizes outstanding research led by a student while matriculating in a Master’s program.  Individuals who are currently in doctoral programs, or are in other settings but who completed the research as masters student are eligible to submit an abstract for this award.  Similarly, the Retirement Research Foundation Doctoral Student Research Award (also known as the Lawrence G. Branch Doctoral Student Research Award) is awarded to outstanding research led by a student while matriculating in a doctoral program.  The student is eligible even if the doctoral degree has been recently been completed.                                        

All award recipients will be recognized at the Aging and Public Health Awards session, receive a monetary award, and be recognized on the website of the Aging and Public Health Section.

Each abstract will be considered for only one award. You may, however, submit different abstracts to be considered for different awards. Previous award winning authors and authorship teams may apply again in the same award category.  However, submitted papers must represent scientific or programmatic investigations that are substantively different from that of previous winning papers.  The Awards committee retains the right to compare submitted papers with previous submissions.

For submission for the Archstone Foundation Award, please contact Irena Pesis-Katz, PhD (  for further details. For more information about the individual awards, contact Aging and Public Health Awards Chairs: Lesley Steinman, MSW, MPH (, or Amanda Grimes, PhD (

For questions and inquiries, please contact the 2019 Aging and Public Health Program Chairs: Ruth Little, EdD, MPH (, or Isis S. Mikhail, MD (, or Maryam Tabrizi, RDH, DMD, MPH, CFMP (

Continuing Education Credit

APHA values the ability to provide continuing education credit to physicians, nurses, health educators, veterinarians, 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 must provide:

  • An abstract free of trade and/or commercial product names
  • At least one MEASURABLE outcomes (DO NOT USE “To understand” or “To learn” as objectives, they are not measureable). Examples of Acceptable Measurable Action Words: Explain, Demonstrate, Analyze, Formulate, Discuss, Compare, Differentiate, Describe, Name, Assess, Evaluate, Identify, Design, Define or List.
  • A signed Conflict of Interest (Disclosure) form with a relevant Qualification Statement. See an example of an acceptable Qualification Statement on the online Disclosure form.

Contact Mighty Fine ( if you have any questions concerning continuing education credit. Please contact the program planner for all other questions.


Program Planner Contact Information:

Nancy Ruth Little, EdD, MPH
Department of Public Health
East Carolina University
600 Moye Blvd
Greenville, NC 27834
Phone: 252-744-3123

Isis Mikhail, MD DrPH MPH
Scientific Review Branch
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue
Ste 2C200
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 301-402-7704
Fax: 301-402-0066

Maryam Tabrizi, ,DMD,MPH,RDH, CFMP
General Dentistry and Dental Public Health
The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston
7500 Cambridge St, Suite 5300
Houston, TX 77054
Phone: 7134874045
Fax: 7134864108

Annie Nguyen, PhD, MPH
Department of Family Medicine
Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
1000 S. Fremont Ave
Alhambra, CA 91803
Phone: 626-457-4121