CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA 2021 Annual Meeting and Expo

Applied Public Health Statistics

Meeting theme: "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Strengthening Social Connectedness"

Submission Deadline: Monday, March 29, 2021

The Applied Public Health Statistics (APHS) Section invites you to submit individual abstracts, groups of abstracts (Special Interest Sessions), and student abstracts (Student Paper Session) for the APHA 2021 Annual Meeting & Expo in Denver, Colorado. It is not necessary to be a member of the APHS section to submit a paper of interest through the section. However, if your abstract is accepted, you will be required to register for the conference. We are expanding our call for papers to reflect the broad interests among our members and session attendees at the meeting. Thus, in addition to our usual interest in statistical methodology papers, we would also like to invite papers that use advanced statistical methods to address practice, research or policy questions in all areas of public health. We also remain interested in new information systems and database methodologies and applications for collecting, storing, mining and analyzing large public health survey, administrative, and medical databases ("Big Data"). Here are some key topic areas for which abstracts may be submitted:

  • Application of Complex Health Survey Design and Analysis
  • Applications Using Longitudinal Health Data
  • Big Data Analytics for Public Health Research
  • Big Data Visualization for Public Health Data
  • Big Data and Machine Learning for Health Research
  • Causal Inference in Public Health
  • Communication and Dissemination of Health Statistics
  • General Topics in Applied Public Health Statistics
  • Geospatial Pattern and Spatial Analysis
  • Innovative Methods for Health Statistics Education
  • P-Values, Uses and Misuses
  • Small Area Estimation for Community-Level Data
  • Statistical Methods for Covid-19 Data
  • Student Oral Presentations
  • Student Posters

The above list of topics may undergo modifications between now and the Annual Meeting.  If your research does not fit neatly into one of the topics provided, simply submit it under the heading "General topics in applied public health statistics".  In addition to the above, we are interested in papers (a) showing how statistics were used to help develop and implement important public health interventions, or (b) showing close teamwork between statisticians/data scientists and other public health professionals.  For further information or to submit suggestions for the program, please contact Dr. Haresh Rochani by phone (912) 478-1011 or email ( or Dr. Robert Vogel by phone (478) 361-7275 or email (

Individual Abstract Submissions

Submit individual abstracts (250 words) according to the on-line instructions (Non-students need submit only an abstract; enter "N/A" where a summary is requested). We will judge the abstract on your clarity of presentation, originality, methodology and contribution to the field of applied public health statistics. The highest rated abstracts, based on blinded peer review, are generally selected and placed in sessions according to the overall program plan. Oral presentations at contributed sessions are usually fifteen minutes in length. Presenters at poster sessions should display their work and be available to answer questions throughout their scheduled 90-minute session. We will take your preference for oral versus poster presentation into consideration, but the Program Committee considers every abstract for both oral and poster presentation. You should submit material only if you are committed to presenting the paper or poster personally, or will find a substitute who will register, attend the meeting and present your paper or poster.

Student Research Session & Competition

The APHS Section is accepting abstract submissions for student research poster and oral presentation sessions. Students wishing to be considered for these sessions should submit online an abstract and a 2-page summary of their paper. In order to be eligible for the student competition you must be a student at the conference in October 2021 (those graduating in May/June 2021 are not eligible). When submitting your abstract, please submit it under the session "Student oral presentations" or "Student poster presentations", even if it may be thematically related to other topics on the topic list. Students interested in competing in the student oral paper competition should contact Dr. Niloofar Ramezani ( Your two-page summary of the paper should be e-mailed to Dr. Niloofar Ramezani ( with a copy to Dr. Haresh Rochani (,  with a letter from a faculty member attesting to the author's student status. If a student abstract was submitted for oral presentation but is not accepted as an oral presentation, it will automatically be considered as a poster submission. All accepted student abstracts will be considered for the Student Research Competition. An award will be given for the Best Student Oral Presentation.

Special Interest Session Proposals

The APHS Section also invites the submission of proposals for special interest sessions pertinent to the theme of the APHA 2021 Annual Meeting & Expo. You should submit individual abstracts for a Special Interest Session according to the on-line instructions. If you would like to organize such a session, please send a description of your proposal to Dr. Haresh Rochani ( and a copy to Dr. Robert Vogel (, if possible, in advance of submitting your abstracts. Once it is approved, a session slot will be created for you that will appear in the final session list, and ultimately, in the Meeting Program. In your proposal, please include the following:

  1. organizer's full mailing address, e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers;
  2. session title;
  3. brief (1-2 pages) overview describing the purpose, relevance and importance of the proposed session;
  4. topics and participants, including the proposed moderators or discussants, titles of each presentation, full names of all authors, with full names of presenters underlined (as in the on-line abstract);
  5. time schedule within the session (begin the session at 00:00 hrs, and end it at 01:30 hrs).

A presentation at a Special Interest Session may be up to 30 minutes in length.

Review of Special Interest Sessions

All Special Interest Session proposals and abstracts will be peer reviewed. All abstracts will be evaluated on their individual merits; acceptance of a Special Interest Session does not guarantee that all abstracts submitted for that session will be accepted, or that they can all be scheduled together. Unless instructed otherwise, the Program Committee will automatically consider the individual abstracts from any rejected Special Interest Session for presentation in Contributed Abstract sessions.

Joint Sessions

If you are submitting an abstract that is linked with other abstracts in a joint session, submit the abstract on-line, but also notify Dr. Haresh Rochani ( with a copy to Dr. Robert Vogel ( regarding the group of abstracts to which yours belongs.

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; [This is an example of an 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.”]

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 Mighty Fine at if you have any questions concerning continuing education. For program questions, contact the program planner listed below.


Program Planner Contact Information:

Robert Vogel, Professor


Haresh Rochani, DrPH, MPH , M.B.B.S.


Niloofar Ramezani, PhD