The Walter E. Washington Convention Center was the host facility for the 139th annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.

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Workplace Safety Session Caps APHA Annual Meeting

The five-day event included nearly 1,000 sessions on public health issues.

More than 13,000 public health professionals debated the biggest health topics of the day during the 139th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association. Held Oct. 29 through Nov. 2 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., the event included nearly 1,000 sessions on public health issues ranging from implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the public health impacts of climate change, obesity, transportation and health, and mental health disparities.

The closing session of the meeting on Nov. 2 brought together OSHA's Dr. David Michaels, United Steelworkers' President Leo W. Gerard, and American Federation of Teachers health and safety Director Darryl Alexander. Their topic: "The case for workplace health and safety: 100 years after the Triangle Fire."

The five-day conference featured awards, keynotes, the Public Health Exposition with some 700 exhibitors participating, and a focus on building and nurturing healthy communities, in keeping with the event's "Healthy Communities Promote Healthy Minds and Bodies" theme.

The opening session featured Tom Daschle, former majority leader of the U.S. Senate; Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service; and Pamela Hyde, administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

On Oct. 31, Dr. Howard K. Koh, assistant secretary for Health, unveiled the Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators at the meeting. HHS said this announcement will help it communicate high-priority issues and actions that can be taken to address them. The indicators emphasize high-priority health issues that would make the U.S. population healthier, if addressed. They align with other initiatives, including the Let's Move! campaign, the HHS Action Plan to Reduce Health Disparities, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, the National Prevention Strategy, the National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections: Roadmap to Elimination, and the Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan.

The meeting began the one-year term of APHA President Melvin Shipp, OD, MPH, DrPH, dean of the College of Optometry at Ohio State. Adewale Troutman, M.D., MPH, is president-elect. Next year's meeting will be held Oct. 27-31 in San Francisco.

About the Author

Jerry Laws is Editor of Occupational Health & Safety magazine, which is owned by 1105 Media Inc.

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