CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA 2023 Annual Meeting and Expo

APHA Public Health Funder Network

Meeting theme: "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Overcoming Social and Ethical Challenges"

Submission Deadline: Friday, March 31, 2023


 I.     Overview

The American Public Health Association is now accepting full session abstracts for Public Health Funder Network sessions to be held during the APHA 2023 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA (Sunday, November 12 to Wednesday, November 15, 2023). Submission are due by Friday, March 31, 2023

The Public Health Funder Network is a community of grantmakers, donors, and APHA members who recognize that philanthropy has an important role in the improvement of population health outcomes and overall community health. The goal of the PHFN is to promote a cross-sector approach to solving complex public health challenges by convening, networking, and sharing best practices, with a special focus on philanthropy as a catalyst to drive change through innovative strategies and solutions in partnership with local communities.

All foundations and donors that fund in public health* are encouraged to submit full session abstracts for peer review. The 2023 meeting theme is "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Overcoming Social and Ethical Challenges" and submitters are encouraged to incorporate the theme in the sessions that they submit. Additionally, funders from the conference host city and/or state are invited to submit at least one session abstract, during which they can highlight their work before a national audience. Submitters will be notified of session selection by May 31, 2023

* Note: Public health refers to all organized measures (public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole. Its activities aim to provide conditions in which people can be healthy and focus on entire populations, not on individual patients or diseases

Specific topics of interest to the Public Health Funder Network include but are not limited to: 

  • Demystifying philanthropy. Information about the different types of philanthropic institutions (e.g., private foundations, community foundations, corporate giving programs, government funders, etc.); how philanthropic institutions encourage connections between public health nonprofits/practitioners and funders, as well as among funders themselves; philanthropy’s role in advancing public health. Sessions must focus on partnerships and related outcomes, not exclusively on a philanthropic institution. 
  • Building multi-sector collaboration. Strategies to encourage collaboration among professions, across public health issues, among diverse funding partners, and with evaluators. Sessions should explain how funders addressed social and ethical challenges in their approach to building multi-sector collaborations. If relevant, include examples that warrant particular attention for what worked and what did not. 
  • Assuming unique, nontraditional roles. Strategies that address social and structural determinants of health; bring potential funder and grantee partners together and leverage institutional strengths to deliver programs and impact; commission research and evaluation, mobilize, catalyze, and advocate. As funders have moved to improve their internal and inter-organization processes to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion, have there been particular social and ethical challenges that have come to the fore or from which lessons can be learned? Have new, unique, or nontraditional roles arisen or become less unique and more universal? 
  • Sharing best practices or new ideas. Funding strategies, monitoring, and evaluation of grants; tracking changes in communities served; and other areas of public health philanthropy. 
  • Sessions that connect the Annual Meeting theme: Creating the Healthiest Nation: Overcoming Social and Ethical Challenges.

    II.     PHFN Session Submission Procedures

    Please be aware that this is a Call for Full Session Abstracts rather than a call for individual speaker abstracts that are then tied together by PHFN. Session abstracts typically include multiple projects or multiple presenters from the same project. Strong and competitive sessions include multiple funders or projects from multiple cities. Details on all presenters for the session, their professional affiliations, and their role within the session must be provided in the full session abstract. 

    PHFN sessions are 90 minutes in length, theme-related, and should appeal to a large cross-section of APHA meeting participants. PHFN encourages sessions that are co-sponsored by other APHA sections and/or that demonstrate ways in which public health funders engage across public health issues.

    Please include ALL submission information in advance of the March 31, 2023 deadline. 

    Session submitter responsibilities include:

    • Select APHA Program “Public Health Funder Network”
    • Select session topic
    • Select submission type “Session”
    • Select session title
    • Select description
    • Select up to 3 learning outcomes
    • Select session type
    • Select abstract type “contributed”
    • Select estimated attendance
    • Complete Conflict of Interest Form
    • Submit session
    • Check email confirmation for instructions to potential speakers and provide them with the session ID provided in the confirmation as well as the topic they should submit their abstract to (their abstract should be identical to the session that you submit as the session submitter)
    • Manage and handle all communications with speakers.
    • Obtain any additional information/materials/logistics required by APHA from speakers by set deadlines.
    • Cooperate with APHA staff to ensure compliance with CE requirements.

    APHA requires that the session organizer, presenters, and moderators join APHA, or renew APHA membership, and register for the Annual Meeting.

    III.     Session Format

    Please indicate in your abstract the type of format for your session. Options include:

    • Oral
    • Panel discussion
    • Roundtables

    We encourage creativity in designing and formatting your session. For example, a group discussion might be facilitated within the panel discussion format, where panelists frame an issue or offer opening views and a moderator poses questions to stimulate an open, thought-provoking discussion. Or a panel discussion might take an interview or talk show design, where a moderator poses a series of questions to panelists. Use of videos might also be considered, for example, to have a grantee's perspective represented at a roundtable. 

    IV.     Selection and Review Criteria

    The PHFN Program Committee oversees the planning, implementation and evaluation of all session abstracts submitted within this track. The Program Committee will select the proposed session using the criteria listed below:

    1. Importance of issue or problem addressed and/or alignment with Annual Meeting theme.
    2. Innovative and/or emerging approach or perspective that highlights funders work broadly versus the work of a single foundation/funder.
    3. Compelling potential to attract a broad audience, cross-sector of conference participants.
    4. Thorough discussion on how and why the session creates a learning opportunity (not just the description or the “what” of the learning).
    5. Explanation of how the learnings are widely applicable to different types and size of funders.

    Program Committee members recuse themselves from reviewing abstracts where they may have a professional or personal affiliation to avoid any conflict of interest. 

    V.     Continuing Education Credit

    As an organization, APHA is committed to providing quality continuing education (CE) activities to its membership and meeting registrants. For a session to be eligible for CE, a session abstract must include 3-5 speaker abstracts where each includes:

    • A speaker presentation title distinct from the session title.
    • An abstract of at least 2 sentences explains/describes the presentation to be given.
    • At least one measurable learning objective written in action terms.
    • Content of sound science and evidenced-based.
    • Include a signed Conflict of Interest (Disclosure) form with a relevant Qualification Statement. 
    VI.     Questions

    Please contact Richard Thomason at (Director of Policy at Blue Shield of California Foundation, San Francisco, CA) or Irfan Hasan at (Deputy Vice President for Grants  at The New York Community Trust,  New York, NY)


    Program Planner Contact Information:

    Richard Thomason,


    Claudia Baier, MPH


    Irfan Hasan,