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American Public Health Association

This article is about the organization APHA. For the computer protocol, see AppleTalk Address Resolution Protocol. For the American Paint Horse registry, see APHA (horse).
Motto "For science. For action. For health."
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Headquarters Washington, D.C.
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Carmen Rita Nevarez
Executive Director
Georges C. Benjamin
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Formerly called
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File:American Public Health by Matthew Bisanz.JPG
Washington, D.C. office of the APHA.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) is a Washington, D.C.-based professional organization for public health professionals in the United States. Founded in 1872 by a group of physicians, including Dr. Stephen Smith, Dr. Henry Hartshorne, APHA has more than 30,000 members worldwide.[1] The Association defines itself as being "the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world." It defines its mission as: "The Association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure that community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventative health services are universally accessible in the United States. "[2]

Member Groups and State Affiliates

APHA’s 30,000 members represent a broad array of health officials, educators, students, environmentalists, policy-makers and other health providers at all levels, working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions.

Organizational Components: Sections and SPIGs

Sections serve as the primary professional units of the Association and conduct activities that promote the mission and fulfill the goals of APHA. There are 29 Sections that represent major public health disciplines or public health programs. These sections are designed to allow members with shared interests to come together to develop scientific program content, policy papers in their areas of interest or fields of practice, provide for professional and social networking, career development and mentoring. Sections include: Maternal and Child Health, HIV/AIDS, Community Planning and Policy Development, Occupational Health and Safety, International Health and School Health Education and Services.

Special Primary Interest Groups (SPIGs) are an open group of self-selected APHA members who share a common occupational discipline or program area interest and elect no primary Section affiliation. SPIGs include: Alternative and Complementary Health Practices, Ethics, Health Law, Laboratory, Physical Activity and Veterinary Public Health.

Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section

The Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section is one of 29 primary sections and special interest groups within APHA. In fact, PHEHP is the largest section, with around 3,000 members. Like all sections within APHA, PHEHP is governed by a group of elected volunteers who hold offices for terms of varying length. Section officers include a chair, chair-elect, secretary, secretary-elect and immediate past chair. Section councilors and governing councilors represent the members and concerns of the section within the larger organization. Section committees, led by volunteers from the Section, are where the "work" of the Section is accomplished. Explore this website to learn about these and other opportunities to get involved in PHEHP.


National APHA Awards

The accomplishments of public health leaders are recognized through an awards program. APHA presents its national awards during its annual meeting.

Section Awards [3]

Being honored by your professional peers has very special meaning to people. Acknowledge some of the professionals who have been important to your career or who, in your mind, have made important contributions to the field by nominating them for one of these prestigious awards.

The Public Health Education and Health Promotion section recognizes individuals in six award categories. The awards include:

Current Section Members Eligible

1. Distinguished Career Award – for outstanding contribution to the practice and profession of health education, health promotion and/or health communications. The awardee must have earned a terminal degree 10 years or more prior to receiving the award.

2. Early Career Award – for outstanding contribution to the practice and profession of health education, health promotion and/or health communications. The awardee must have earned a terminal degree less than 10 years prior to receiving the award.

Current Section and/or APHA member eligible

1. Mayhew Derryberry Award – for outstanding contribution of behavioral scientists to the field of health education, health promotion and/or health communications research or theory.

2. Mohan Sing Award – for the use of humor to promote better health education, health promotion and/or health communications practice.

3. Sarah Mazelis Award – for an outstanding practitioner in health education. The awardee will have spent at least five years as a health education, health promotion and/or health communications practitioner.

4. Rogers Award – for outstanding contribution to advancing the study and/or practice of public health communication.

Sponsored Awards

Rema Lapouse Award – sponsored by the Mental Health, Epidemiology, and Statistics Sections, this award is granted to an outstanding scientist in the area of psychiatric epidemiology.


The American Public Health Association publishes periodicals and more than 70 public health books. Several of these are the reference source for their specialty within public health practice. Some publication titles include:

Additionally, they are an active partner in the release of America's Health Rankings; working with United Health Foundation and Partnership for Prevention.[4]

Annual Meeting

The APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition is the largest meeting of public health professionals in the world. The meeting draws more than 13,000 attendees, offers 700 booths of exhibits and features more than 1,000 scientific sessions. Presentations cover new research and trends in public health science and practice.

National Public Health Week

National Public Health Week is an observance organized annually by APHA during the first full week of April. The week’s activities are designed to highlight issues that are important to improving the public’s health.


Climate Change and Public Health

In 2007, the APHA issued a policy statement entitled Addressing the Urgent Threat of Global Climate Change to Public Health and the Environment:

The long-term threat of global climate change to global health is extremely serious and the fourth IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report and other scientific literature demonstrate convincingly that anthropogenic GHG emissions are primarily responsible for this threat....US policy makers should immediately take necessary steps to reduce US emissions of GHGs, including carbon dioxide, to avert dangerous climate change.[5]

Color Standards

There a color standard, made from dilutions of a PtTemplate:Disambiguation needed-Co solution, described by Dr. A. Hazen in American Chemical Journal, in 1892, adopted in Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Waste Water, made by APHA, sometimes referred as Pt-Co/Hazen/APHA Colour.

See also


  1. Morris, J. Cheston (1900). "Henry Hartshorne". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (American Philosophical Society) 39 (164): v. 
  2. "American Public Health Association". APHA. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  3. "Section Awards". APHA. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  4. America's Health Rankings
  5. "American Public Health Association Policy Statement". Retrieved 2013-08-04. 

External links