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2015 ASPPH Annual Meeting Highlights

The 2015 ASPPH Annual Meeting took place this past week, March 22-25, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA. The theme of the meeting was Framing the Future: A New Paradigm for Academic Public Health. We would like to thank attendees, moderators, presenters, and our planning committee for helping making the event a great success.


Annual Meeting

The opening plenary took place the morning of Monday, March 23. Dr. Harrison Spencer, president and CEO of ASPPH, and Dean John Finnegan, Jr. (Minnesota) made opening remarks, welcoming attendees and addressing the current state of ASPPH and academic public health. Dean Finnegan introduced Ms. Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and co-anchor and managing editor for PBS Newshour, who gave a talk entitled “Politics, Policy, and Reality: What’s Really Going on in Washington.” She discussed the challenges facing both the news media and the public health community in providing both information and context on issues of importance. She also discussed how providing space for and listening to conflicting views was essential to the democratic and policy process, but is increasingly a challenge as members of the public lock into single sources of information, often aligned only with one point on the ideological continuum.

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[Photo (left to right): Dr. Harrison Spencer, Ms. Gwen Ifill, and Dean John Finnegan]

The awards ceremony took place on Monday afternoon. Thank you to all of the faculty and staff of member schools and programs, as well as other partners, who contributed their time to serve as an objective reviewer. For more information, visit the awards section on our website.

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[Photo: Dean John Finnegan (left) presents Dr. Alfred Sommer with the Welch-Rose Award]

ASPPH Welch-Rose Award for Distinguished Service to Academic Public Health

ASPPH/Pfizer Award for Teaching Excellence

ASPPH/Pfizer Award for Early Career in Public Health Teaching

ASPPH/Pfizer Award for Excellence in Academic Public Health Practice

ASPPH/Pfizer Award for Young Investigator Research

ASPPH Award for Excellence in Student Services

Riegelman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Public Health Education

Following the awards ceremony, Dean Donna Petersen, University of South Florida College of Public Health, moderated the session titled “Framing the Future – Welcome to the Next 100 Years of Education in Public Health.” Continuing the theme of the meeting, this session highlighted inventive changes already underway based on Framing the Future recommendations and engaged those already making the transformation in order to stimulate fresh thinking and further creative efforts in advancing innovations in education for public health. Dean Cheryl Healton, New York University Global Institute of Public Health, Dr. J. Michael McGinnis, Senior Scholar and Executive Director of the Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care, Institute of Medicine, Dr. Susan Albertine, Vice President, Association of American Colleges & Universities, and Dr. Terry L. Cline, Commissioner of Health, Secretary of Health & Human Services, Oklahoma State Department of Health presented during the session.

Tuesday’s plenary speech was given by Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. He spoke about “Public Health and the Mission on the NIH.” He discussed the public health origins of the NIH and the Institutes’ role in generating key scientific breakthroughs that have underpinned public health success stories, such as HIV/AIDS and vaccine development. Dr. Collins also discussed additional and new research challenges that have major public health ramifications, such as Ebola research and diabetes/obesity. He concluded by discussing the new strategic agenda of the NIH Office of Disease Prevention and the President’s Precision Medicine initiative.

The last two topics were the subject of separate sessions that allowed for more detailed consideration. Dr. David Murray, NIH associate director for prevention, discussed the NIH’s prevention science initiatives, and Dr. Eric Green, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, discussed the Precision Medicine initiative.

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[Photo: Dr. Francis S. Collins (left) and Dean Michael Klag]

On Tuesday afternoon, Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, Surgeon General of the United States spoke at the ASPPH Leadership Meeting. He discussed some of the broad public health challenges facing the U.S. and how academic public health plays an essential role by training a well-prepared workforce, capable of meeting the research and practice challenges ahead.

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[Photo: Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General]

Thank you again to all those who attended and helped make this event a success!

You can view more from the 2015 ASPPH Annual Meeting at #aspph15.