Presentations of Three Former APHA Executive Directors
It’s a great privilege for me to serve this organization, of which I’ve been a member for 24 years. The tenacity and loyalty of the membership of APHA has always struck me. The vast numbers of members who have been with us for 40 or 50 years and beyond speaks to the very powerful tenacity of APHA.
During the 4 years that I’ve been Executive Director, we have done a variety of things. We tried to help members communicate with one another in a timely fashion by getting APHA on the Internet. We tried to continue to increase the number of affiliates that are a part of, and work with, APHA. We started the Student Caucus to try to welcome those people who are going to be the members over the next 125 years. We started to try to reach out to other organizations and increase our constituencies, networks, and affiliated groups.
Five months after I began as Executive Director, we had the first meeting of APHA and the American Medical Association, an organization with which we’ve had differences over time. It was the first time in 121 years of coexistence that we sat down on equal footing to talk to each other. That meeting resulted in a very good dialogue and formation of the Medicine and Health Initiative, which now consists of many major professional associations and federal agencies to explore how medicine and public health can work together for the common good of this country. In 1996, APHA and the AMA co-sponsored the first National Congress on Medicine and Public Health, which was attended by 400 of the top leaders of America=s health system. Subsequently, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the New York Academy of Medicine to put together a monograph that could continue that dialogue. We and the AMA agreed to distribute a copy of the monograph to every identifiable primary care physician and every public health worker in this country. The monograph will be coming out shortly. And now the Robert Johnson Foundation has funded the American Public Health Association to continue that dialogue in four ways.