Dear APHA members, partners and friends,

Georges BenjaminIt’s my great pleasure to welcome you and thousands of your fellow public health supporters to Philadelphia for APHA’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Expo. This year — our 147th yearly gathering of public health practitioners, scientists, advocates, educators and students from around the world — we’re rallying around a theme of “Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health.”

I’m especially excited about this year’s theme because it zeros in on the core principles that drive public health practice and success: the science of preventing, tracking and stopping disease; the evidence-based actions we take to protect people’s health and well-being; and a dedication to ensuring health equity in all that we do. Those themes will weave their way throughout the Annual Meeting’s hundreds of scientific sessions, from presentations on the work of local health departments to those that share global science and action on climate change.

In fact, this year’s theme-related sessions run the gamut, from the more traditional to the just emerging. For example, on Monday, Nov. 4, a session on “Youth As Agents of Change for Tobacco Control” will highlight the work of empowering youth as partners in tobacco prevention; a Tuesday, Nov. 5, session on “Taking Action to Defend Science and Protect Public Health at the Environmental Protection Agency” will discuss changes that threaten health and scientific integrity at the federal agency; and a Wednesday, Nov. 6, session will focus on “Getting Serious About Adaptation to Climate Change: Best Practices and Innovations for Health.”

Of course, in addition to this year’s theme-related sessions, the Annual Meeting will host hundreds of presentations from across the diverse public health discipline. You can use the free APHA 2019 app to easily search the full event program. Attendees will also get to hear from leaders in the public health field, meet and network with colleagues, and browse hundreds of exhibits and poster sessions at the Public Health Expo.

Ultimately, we want you to leave this year’s Annual Meeting feeling inspired to take bold action, forge new partnerships and stand strong for science. It’s a troubling time for our nation’s health — the uninsured rate is rising, vaccine-preventable diseases are breaking out, e-cigarettes are getting a new generation hooked on nicotine, and climate change threatens health from every direction. Such trends make it more important than ever to stay focused on the principles that have driven more than a century of lifesaving public health achievement.

By standing together for science, for action and for health, we have an opportunity to create the healthiest nation.

See you in Philadelphia!

In solidarity and good health,
Georges C. Benjamin, MD
Executive Director, APHA

P.S. If you haven’t yet, consider donating to our annual Help Us Help Them campaign. This year’s campaign benefits Turning Points for Children, the largest social service organization for children in Philadelphia. The organization offers a range of services, including finding homes for neglected children, providing behavioral health and youth development programs, and serving as a resource for parents.

Donations can be made via your Annual Meeting registration form. If you’ve already registered, you can log back into your record to make a contribution or you can stop by any on-site registration counter at the Pennsylvania Convention Center to donate. Also this year, volunteers will be collecting gifts on Sunday, Nov. 3, at the Mix and Mingle Lounge inside the convention center for the local Brighter Holidays Giving Drive. To learn more and for a list of gift suggestions, visit the campaign page.

Unable to attend in person? Participate in the APHA Annual Meeting virtually with APHA Live. View top sessions via live streaming or on-demand video. You can also earn continuing education credit.