I just returned from the annual meetings of the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) and American Public Health Association (APHA), this year held in our Nation’s capital. It's always wonderful to catch up with my decanal colleagues from the other accredited schools of public health, discuss key issues and collectively move the academic public health agenda forward. This was my 10th ASPH annual meeting! As chair of the ASPH Diversity Committee, I am thrilled that this year, my friend and colleague Dr. Howard Koh, our nation’s Assistant Secretary of Health graciously accepted my invitation to discuss the nation's approach to reducing health disparities among minorities. He then focused on potential collaborative roles for academic public health.
Envisioning academic and governmental public health working together is easy--schools of public health have long been involved in key research and practice projects aimed at reducing health disparities and we also remain committed to increasing minority scholars in our field. Our own school grew from the core belief that good health is the right of all people around the globe and that core remains today, connected to our teaching, research and practice.
During a one day meeting of all deans of accredited schools of public health, we were addressed by HHS Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius (check out the link, she is incredibly impressive)!
You know, the U.S. Capitol is a beautiful and awe-inspiring site in Washington, D.C. with its majestic dome rising up on one end of the mall --- it's a shame the people who "live in it" don't get along so well these days. One of the many profound outcomes of the current Congressional disharmony is a negative hit to key budgets that ultimately fund a wide range of programs aimed at creating and sustaining a nation designed to allow attainment of good health for all. I was heartened that our nation's top health policy administrators fully know what's at stake and are fighting for our health and well-being.
Every year, Schools host alumni receptions during APHA. We encountered only one "challenge" at this year's Drexel School of Public Health reception - - the room was too small! Folks spilled out to the hall, enjoying the food and drink and catching up. This is the kind of problem a dean loves! It was wonderful to see friends of our school and hear about the ongoing successes of our alumni (and how well-prepared people are when they graduate from Drexel!) Whether it’s social media like Facebook or Twitter, good ol’ snail mail, email or phone, keep in touch. If you don’t receive it, sign up for our newsletter and note that autumn's Interaction Magazine is out and about. Interaction is a great way to get a sense of our School community and the work we do. See you next year at ASPH/APHA in San Francisco!