Resource Center | & ARCHIVES

At the 35th Annual Meeting of APHA in Atlantic City (1907) the Association formally moved to create APHA’s second Section named Vital Statistics (now named Applied Pubic Health Statistics).


Figure One – The flyleaf pictorially illustrates that in and around this period of time, 1907, APHA aimed to be truly an Association of the Americas and the Caribbean. The then President of APHA was Dr. Domingo Orvananos of Mexico and the First and Second Vice President from the US and  Canada, respectively .


Figure Two – The official action of creating the Section, as stated in its purpose illustrates the dual domestic and global participation envisioned for the Vital Statistics Section, and further visually reflects in its header seals of the respective prime member countries that the Section would also have both domestic and international roles.


Figure Three – is an enlargement of the Vital Statistics Section’s purpose.

The wording of the Vital Statistics Section’s original purpose explicitly illustrates the priority the then Association placed on heath information as an essential base to advance public health, in the words of the day, the public’s hygiene and sanitation. This overall mandate serves to comparatively connect us over the ensuing decades to the work of the current Applied Public Health Statistics Section. The phrasing and style of writing have surely changed as has scope, quantity and quality of information grown,  but the essential major themes of the critical importance of reliable personal community health information, tracking trends of specific health events comparable over time and across communities and nations meeting comparable international standards is an enduring continuing goal and aim.

A closing note on the imperatives to preserve and record our history: the images of the page of the fold out action forming the Vital Statistics Section was provided by the APHA Resource Center and Archives and is both brittle and fragile having been pieced together from five different fragments. The poor condition of these latter illustrations adds another subtext message that reflect the urgency of the need to preserve our history. Published on the paper of the time, the printed documents of the earlier years of APHA are subject to ever more rapid deterioration.




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