We live in the most challenging time since the Great Depression when:
- More than 44 million struggle to feed families;
- People choose to pay rent, fill cars, or buy medicine;
- Devastating natural disasters cause massive physical, psychological and economic damage;
- Health care costs continue to escalate;
- Numbers of uninsured are endlessly rising, and;
- Attacks on women’s healthcare are increasing and broadening.
Yet, our healthcare, safety-net and governmental institutions continue to cut services and jobs.
Amid this adversity, public health professionals have an opportunity to make a critical difference. A transformation in service delivery is underway as policymakers and state officials focus on population-based healthcare and social determinants to improve health status. Both are built upon core public health principles. In addition, 2012 will be a critical year for discussions about prevention, health reform and the future of Medicare and Medicaid. Our country needs APHA more than ever. Our organization has the expertise to focus the dialogue and shape national policy. Our Affiliates can actively engage in state by state implementation.
We can ensure that our organization stays strong and responsive and is poised to contribute to this transformation by:
- Meeting the needs of members and expanding our membership;
- Calling upon the rich knowledge in sections to enhance our message and the approaches for communicating it;
- Facilitating advocacy through partnering of Sections, Affiliates, Caucuses and SPIGs at the local and state levels, and;
- Strengthening our coalitions to enhance our national involvement.
As APHA President and member of the Executive Board, I will leverage my passion for public health, my commitment to our Association, my experience delivering and administering healthcare services, and my knowledge of how our Affiliates and the national Association function, to ensure that the voice of APHA is heard.