The American Public Health Association (APHA) is a Washington, D.C.-based professional organization for public health professionals in the United States. Founded in 1872 by a group of physicians, including Dr. Stephen Smith and Dr. Henry Hartshorne, APHA has more than 25,000 members worldwide. The Associations defines itself as: "APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We Strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that influences federal policy, has a 140-plus year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health." It defines its mission as: "Improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status."
APHA has four different types of membership: regular, retired, early-career professional and student. Members receive an online subscription to the American Journal of Public Health and The Nation's Health as well as a weekly newsletter, Inside Public Health.
National APHA Awards
The accomplishments of public health leaders are recognized through an awards program. APHA presents its national awards during its annual meeting. National APHA awards include:
Sedgwick Memorial Medal
APHA Award for Excellence
APHA Distinguished Public Health Legislator of the Year Award
David P. Rall Award for Advocacy
Executive Director's Citation
Helen Rodriguez-Trias Award
Martha May Eliot Award
Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize
Victor Sidel and Barry Levy Award for Peace
Student Assembly Public Health Monitoring Award
The Public Health Education and Health Promotion section recognizes individuals in six award categories. The awards include the Distinguished Career Award, Early Career Award, Mayhew Derryberry Award for contributions of behavioral scientists to health education, Mohan Sing Award for humor in health education, Sarah Mazelis Award for health education practitioners, and Rogers Award for public health communication.
The Statistics section offers the Mortimer Spiegelman Award to a statistician under the age of 40 for contribution to public health statistics.
Rema Lapouse Award – sponsored by the Mental Health, Epidemiology, and Statistics Sections, this award is granted to an outstanding scientist in the area of psychiatric epidemiology.
The American Public Health Association publishes more than 70 public health books. Several of these are the reference source for their specialty within public health practice. Some publication titles include:
The APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition is the largest meeting of public health professionals in the world. The meeting draws more than 13,000 attendees, offers 700 booths of exhibits and features more than 1,000 scientific sessions. Presentations cover new research and trends in public health science and practice.
National Public Health Week
National Public Health Week is an observance organized annually by APHA during the first full week of April. The week’s activities are designed to highlight issues that are important to improving the public’s health.