Friday, June 10, 2011

A place at the table: Public health and health reform

What does health reform mean for public health? It's a complicated and far-reaching question that could fill up days of discussion and debate. Luckily, APHA is here for you.

In less than two weeks, APHA will convene its 2011 Midyear Meeting in Chicago to explore just this question and many, many more. With a theme of "Implementing Health Reform: A Public Health Approach," the three-day meeting will focus exclusively on the intersections between the historic health reform law, the daily realities of public health practitioners and long-held public health goals, such as bringing prevention to the forefront of the nation's health system.

While health reform presents the public health field with a number of much-anticipated opportunities, it could also mean big changes for the delivery of traditional public health services and even the elimination of effective public health programs. If there's one common thread that weaves its way through all of these issues, it's this: The public health community must have a voice at the table — especially now, as implementation of the health reform law pushes forward.

At APHA's Midyear Meeting, to be held June 23–25, public health professionals from across the nation will come together to hone that voice and gear up for the opportunities and obstacles to come. The interactive meeting will offer a variety of sessions and feature a number of noted speakers, who will share their own experiences as well as guidance for the road ahead. Sessions will cover topics such as the technology and fiscal implications of health reform; protecting public health programs; achieving prevention and wellness goals; ensuring access to care; and building support for public health. For a full list of meeting sessions and speakers, click here.

Of course, we hope you make it to Chicago, where the meeting not only offers the chance for discussion and debate, but for organizing, networking and meeting new and old public health pals. But if you can't make it, no worries. APHA's social media team will be busy bringing you all the juicy highlights.

This very blog will be in Chicago to bring you daily updates, and you can visit APHA's Twitter feeds (both here and here) and Facebook page for even more.

Wanna catch up on the public health details of the new health reform law before landing in Chicago? Visit APHA's advocacy and policy site for a wealth of free resources.

For more info on the Chicago meeting, including registration, travel, accommodations and continuing education credits, visit APHA's meetings page.

See you in the Windy City!

Above, Chicago's Buckingham Fountain and downtown skyline. Photo courtesy iStockphoto

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