American Public Health Association

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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).
American public health association logo.jpg
Motto "For science. For action. For health."
Formation 1872
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH
President Elect
Camara P. Jones, MD, PhD, MPH
Executive Director
Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E)
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 25,000 members worldwide.[1] The Associations defines itself as: "APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We Strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that influences federal policy, has a 140-plus year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health." It defines its mission as: "Improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status."[2]

Member Groups and State Affiliates[edit]

APHA’s 25,000 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, SPIGs and Caucuses[edit]

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 31 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: Aging and Public Health, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs, Applied Public Health Statistics, Chiropractic Health Care, Community Health Planning and Policy Development, Community Health Workers, Disability, Environment, Epidemiology, Ethics, Food and Nutrition, Health Administration, Health Informatics Information Technology, HIV/AIDS, Injury Control and Emergency Health Services, Integrative, Complementary and Traditional Health Practices, International Health, Law, Maternal and Child Health, Medical Care, Mental Health, Occupational Health and Safety, Oral Health, Physical Activity, Podiatric Health, Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health, Public Health Education and Health Promotion, Public Health Nursing, Public Health Social Work, School Health Education and Services and Vision Care.

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: Pharmacy and Veterinary Public Health.

Caucuses are groups of at least 15 APHA members or people who hold a particular position on an issue important to APHA. A Caucus is considered to be "in official relations" with APHA, rather than regular component of the Association.

The Association has two types of Caucuses. One type allows members to coalesce around shared characteristics that cannot be change (i.e., ethnicity/race, gender, sexual orientation). Another type focuses on special interests, worksite issues and social justice issues. Caucuses include: Academic Public Health Caucus, American India, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Caucus, Asian Pacific Islander Caucus for Public Health, Black Caucus of Health Workers, Caucus on Homelessness, Caucus on Public Health and the Faith Community, Caucus on Refugee and Immigrant Health, Community-Based Public Health Caucus, Family Violence Prevention Caucus, Health Equity and Public Health Hospital Caucus, Latino Caucus, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus of Public Health Professionals, Men's Health Caucus, Peace Caucus, Socialist Caucus, Spirit of 1848 Caucus, Vietnam Caucus and Women's Caucus.


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[edit]

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[edit]

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.



  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

External links[edit]