From November 5 to 7, 2017, members of the Center for Healthy Communities Research Core attended the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting and Expo in Atlanta, GA. Below, Mrs. Naima Wells, research coordinator, shares some thoughts on her first time attending the APHA meeting.
In general, what was your impression of the event?
Although, APHA was a large event it felt inclusive and interactive through the use of the APHA app and social media. Overall, it was well organized and well managed.
Tell us about one session or activity that stood out to you?
One session that stood out was “Qualitative Research & The Arts: Translating Results Into Action”. Through a CBPR partnership with youth in the community and the session presenter, an art-based youth driven conceptual model was used to present qualitative data that expressed the voice and lived experiences of the community. It also helped to contextualize the data. The youth would create drawings, poems, rap songs, or other creative mediums to share findings with the community and government officials. One interesting component was the media campaign to present positive imagery of young black males by taking “mugshots” of the young men in a cap and gown holding a sign that displayed their career goals.
What are some lessons you learned at APHA?
One lesson I learned is how public administration and public policy factor into the social determinants of health and health equity. Typically, public administration focuses on effectively and efficiently achieving public policy goals through administrative systems, insomuch there are some areas that interrelate to public health concerns. I also learned that as a public administrator, I could address some of the challenges and opportunities in population health and health equity through a policy framework.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience?
The “Industry Expert Theater” was very informative and effective considering each presentation was very short lasting approximately 15 minutes each. I also, appreciate that there are opportunities for free training offered by ChangeLab Solutions on public health law and policy.