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APHA Timeline

Memorable Dates in APHA History

Check out the article at 1872

1872: The American Public Health Association (APHA) founded by Dr. Stephen Smith, a physician, attorney and commissioner of New York City’s Metropolitan Health Board, puts forth the concept of a national health service.
1893: APHA and the United States focus on the control of tuberculosis.
1895: APHA publishes the standard methods for the examination of water and sewage.
1900: Walter Reed reports at the APHA annual meeting that mosquitoes carry yellow fever.
1905: APHA publishes the standard methods for the examination of milk.
1906: first Federal Food and Drug Act passed; APHA publishes the American Journal of Public Hygiene.
1908: APHA’s standardized death certificate adopted by the U.S. Census.
1909: APHA publishes the standard methods for the examination of air.
1911: Journal of the American Public Health Association established.
1916: APHA publishes first issue of Control of Communicable Diseases in Man.
1918: APHA postponed its Annual Meeting in reaction to a global influenza pandemic. The Association conducted scheduled discussions regarding the pandemic in December 1918.
1925: APHA creates Appraisal Form for Local Health Work.
1932: President Hoover speaks at APHA’s annual meeting.
1943: APHA sets qualification standards for health educators.
1948: United Nations establishes the World Health Organization with strong APHA support.
1950: APHA member Jonas Salk introduces Salk vaccine for polio.
1956: National Library of Medicine established.
1964: Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health published; President Johnson signs the Medicare/Medicaid Act.
1965: APHA publishes the first Public Health Law Manual.
1970: Congress establishes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
1972: APHA celebrates its 100th anniversary with 25,100 members.
1973: APHA cited in Supreme Court decision striking down most anti-abortion laws.
1974: APHA Presidential Citation presented to Rev. Jesse Jackson.
1982: APHA testifies at the first Congressional hearings on AIDS.
1986: Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter speaks at annual meeting.
1994: Medicine and Public Health Initiative established by the APHA and American Medical Association.
1995: Former U.S. president William Jefferson Clinton proclaims the first full week of April as National Public Health Week (NPHW).
1997: APHA celebrates its 125th anniversary with 32,000 members; Presidential Citation presented to Nelson Mandela.
1999: APHA builds its own building in Washington, D.C.
2005: APHA relocates its Annual Meeting from New Orleans, La. to Philadelphia, Pa. following widespread devastation left by Hurricane Katrina.
2006: APHA launches Get Ready campaign.
Timeline: Memorable Issues of APHA Focus
1890s: Water pollution, milk sanitation, hygiene education, bacteriology, infectious diseases
1900-1910s: infectious diseases, municipal health, water, standardization of health data
1920s: local health departments, water, milk, training standards, personal hygiene, infectious disease, close-quartered living
1930s: Communicable diseases, sanitation, laboratories, statistics, food safety, housing, education, poverty, medical care, war
1940s: Professional standards, evaluations of schools of public health, infectious diseases, functions of local health departments
1950s: Push for federal agency solely focused on health and federal health funds for states, health legislation and advocacy, accreditation of public health schools, polio, pasteurization and food safety
1960s: Equality within public health work force, integration, the War on Poverty, birth control, public health training, environmental issues, consumer protection, human rights
1970s: War, global health, drug abuse, new technology, upgraded health facilities
1980s: AIDS, teen pregnancy, nuclear safety
1990s: Clinton Health Reform Plan, Gulf War impacts, tobacco, managed health care, vaccinations, E. coli, AIDS, school safety
2000s: Emergency preparedness, obesity, climate change, built environment
2010s: President Barack Obama signs the health care reform legislation into law (March 23, 2010). Food safety, child nutrition, EPA regulations.