Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Moments from the hot tub

I started my job at APHA less than two weeks ago. At the time, I knew the APHA Annual Meeting would be a quick education on all manner of public health issues. But I had no idea how much I'd learn just sitting in my hotel's hot tub.

It was 7:30 Sunday morning. Hardly a time when most of us are thinking about work.

Five ladies, public health workers from around the country most of whom had never met before, sat in the hot tub for a little relaxation and what turned into an impassioned discussion about smoking cessation, of all things.

Of course it did.

Because if I've learned anything in my few days at APHA, it's that the people in this field are passionate about their work. They can toss out statistics on teen smoking and the effectiveness of e-cigarettes in cessation efforts without notes or preparation. They trade stories of smoke-free campuses and the days when surgeons would smoke at the nurses' station.

That's the beauty of the Annual Meeting, I'm learning. It brings together people who would never have the opportunity to meet each other, and it gets them talking, trading ideas and working together.

There are 12,000 meeting attendees in Denver this week. Who will you wind up talking to?

— C.T. (Whose full name you'll soon be seeing the pages of The Nation's Health)


carmen2u said...

Please pepper some tweets about what is going on at the conference. For the few who have been using the #apha10 hashtag, I have gotten a few high points here and there. With your blogging sensibilities in tow I think you can provide a lot more of this. I hope you will. :)

lipstickmissle said...

This is so true! It seems like everywhere I go here in Denver there are people having public health discussions -- in the elevator, in bars, in line at Starbucks! If only we could have these kinds of discussions everywhere, all the time. Let's bring these discussions back to our communities and use them for change!