Friday, August 26, 2011

Let the countdown begin...

The August heat is finally starting to let up and soon summer will wave goodbye. Kids are returning to school, families are squeezing in one last trip to the beach and soon this blogger will no longer be able to defend flip-flops as formal wear. But that's okay because it also means that the world's oldest and largest gathering of public health professionals is right around the corner!

It's that time of year again, folks. Time to get ready (and pumped!) for APHA's 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition, which will take place Oct. 29–Nov. 2 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., just a stone's throw from APHA headquarters. This year's meeting theme is "Healthy Communities Promote Healthy Minds & Bodies." It's quite the timely focus as public health practitioners nationwide engage in new health reform-related opportunities to improve community health and continue their efforts to transform all communities into places that support and encourage healthy choices.

As always, the meeting's hundreds of scientific sessions will cover the public health spectrum, with offerings for every public health discipline. Along with learning about the latest and greatest in public health efforts, research and advocacy, Annual Meeting attendees can take part in a variety of social and networking events, earn continuing education credits, get career advice, cheer on colleagues during APHA's annual awards ceremony, mix and mingle with new and old pals, and peruse the 700 booths at the meeting's Public Health Exposition. And after your last session of the day (if you're not too exhausted from the public health-palooza that is the APHA Annual Meeting), you can avail yourself of Washington, D.C.'s impressive national treasures, culinary delights and diverse neighborhoods.

Some great speakers are lined up for this year's gathering as well. The meeting's opening session will feature addresses from former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle; Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service; and Pamela Hyde, administrator of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The meeting's closing session will focus on "The case for workplace health and safety: 100 years after the Triangle Fire" and will feature David Michaels, U.S. assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, among other speakers.

The APHA Annual Meeting is a buzzing hive of activities — in fact, saying there's a lot going on is seriously an understatement. But, no worries. APHA's social media team is here to help. Just like public health, we'll be everywhere, all the time, blogging, tweeting, facebooking (is that a word?), snapping photos and taking videos to keep you in the loop. This very blog will be back for its fifth year to bring you all the public health news that's fit to print. In fact, you should start following APHA's Annual Meeting Twitter today for regular updates and tips on meeting activities. The meeting hashtag is #apha11.

Visit the APHA Annual Meeting site for all the details, including registration and housing info, the online program and personal program scheduler, D.C. travel tips and much, much more.

See ya in the nation's capital!

P.S. As you've probably noticed, this year's APHA Annual Meeting takes place during Halloween. Anyone out there planning a public health-themed costume? Let us know in the comments section. Trick or (nutritious) treat!


fuzzbuster said...

Is there anywhere good (and not too unhealthy) to eat around the Convention Center?


The Washington Convention Center is located within easy walking distance of a wide variety of tasty, healthy and affordable food options. Plus, the Metro, which is also easily accessible from the convention center, can take you fairly quickly to most D.C. neighborhoods. I'd suggest doing a quick search for healthy restaurants in D.C. and you're sure to find more than a few that are in your neighborhood.


Here's a great source for finding healthy eats suggested by APHA's Environment Section: