Sunday, November 16, 2014

Welcome to the Public Health Expo!

It’s not just the spine-shaped keychains, bite-sized candy bars, hand sanitizer and pens in every shape and size that make the Public Health Expo great. Talk to any one of the people staffing the hundreds of booths and tables, and you’ll hear irresistible public health enthusiasm.

The huge hall is a lot to take in all at once. But do set aside some time to stroll the aisles and find out about programs like the Partnership for Active Transportation. APHA is part of the partnership, which calls for more federal investment into safe walking and biking networks and supports more physical activity via active transportation.

The APHA Membership booth in the center of the expo is offering a fun sort of scavenger hunt to encourage exploration. Give a fact about APHA and get a fun ribbon for your badge (Diva ribbon, perhaps, or Superstar?). Show the membership folks you’ve picked up a Get Ready calendar and get an APHA luggage tag. Other prizes include screen cleaners and notebooks. And you can get your digital caricature drawn while you’re there.

Walden University’s table features a painting activity that has expo-goers completing what will become a mural as part of their “I Find Beauty in Healthy Living” campaign. The schools of public health always offer some of the best expo swag, from the football-shaped stress balls from Oklahoma University to the sweet metal water bottles offered by the University of Kansas and Oakland University. Virginia Commonwealth University’s table has water bottles and also devices to keep your ear buds untangled and other great giveaways.

The poster sessions at the back of the expo hall highlight some great public health research. Earlier today, West Virginia University student Juan Sayago-Gomez was presenting his poster on “The influence of healthy food availability on grocery store choice” and urged everyone to “browse around” the poster area to learn about topics they might not even know were being covered at the Annual Meeting. And you can’t leave without taking a stroll through APHA Press, where you can pick up copies of public health books and also a very cool Annual Meeting T-shirt.

There’s simply too much going on to list it all here, so get yourself down to the Public Health Expo in Halls B/C of the convention center (it’s open Monday and Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Wednesday 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) before leaving New Orleans.

— D.C.

Above, Opening Session keynote speaker Isabel Wilkerson meets one of her fans during her book signing at the Public Health Expo. Photo by Donya Currie

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