Friday, May 21, 2010

Go tell it on the mountain

Welcome to Denver! We can already smell that Rocky Mountain air....

Well, most of y’all know the drill, but for those who are new to the world’s largest annual public health gathering, here’s the run-down: This year’s APHA Annual Meeting, which has a theme of “Social Justice: A Public Health Imperative,” brings us to Denver from Nov. 6–10. As is expected, the meeting offers hundreds of scientific sessions featuring the latest public health science, continuing education credits, networking opportunities, hundreds of resources via the annual Public Health Exposition, and the chance to meet new public health colleagues and catch up with longtime friends.

This year’s opening session keynote speakers will be Cornel West, noted American philosopher and civil rights advocate, and Bill Jenkins, who helped end the infamous Tuskegee experiment during his time working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Grammy Award-winner Aaron Neville and his Quintet featuring Charles Neville will perform for Annual Meeting attendees on Sunday, Nov. 7 — tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and can be purchased on your registration form.

And on the tails of this year’s historic health reform law, APHA will host a Summit on Health Reform the day before the Annual Meeting kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 6. Designed especially for public health practitioners, the summit will help prepare and equip attendees for implementation of the new law’s groundbreaking public health and prevention provisions. While the summit will also take place in Denver, it is separate from the Annual Meeting and requires its own registration and fees.

Registration for APHA’s 138th Annual Meeting as well as the Summit on Health Reform opens June 1, so catch the early-bird rates by registering before Aug. 27.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for free e-mail updates from this very blog! We’ll be in Denver too, covering everything you need to know, from the latest science to “hey, is that a giant blue bear leaning against the convention center?” And don’t forget about our Annual Meeting Twitter, which keeps you up-to-date with helpful reminders and need-to-know deadlines.

Check out this welcome video (above) from the Colorado Public Health Association.

For now, I’ll leave you with these social justice-inspired lyrics from — who else? — John Denver:

There’s a name for war and killing
there’s a name for giving in
when you know another answer
for me the name is sin
but there’s still time to turn around
and make all hatred cease
and give another name to living
and we could call it peace
And peace would be the road
we walk each step along the way
and peace would be the way we work
and peace the way we play
And in all we see that’s different
and in all the things we know
peace would be the way we look
and peace the way we grow

Right on.