Virginia Public Health Association
The Virginia Public Health Association (VAPHA) is an alliance of multi-disciplinary health professionals from the public and private sectors committed to improving the health of all Virginians.
The Association, founded in 1950, represents the public's interest in the health of all Virginia residents, and we are affiliated with the American Public Health Association.
New VAPHA Website Coming Soon!
We are currently working on developing a new website for VAPHA that will integrate membership, communications, and events all in one package. Due to this ongoing work, the current site is not as up to date as it could be. If there is something you are looking for that you cannot find, please let us know.
Wednesday Webinar Series Announced
In an effort to provide public health workers with more opportunities to learn about different aspects of public health, VAPHA is announcing a quarterly webinar series for members and other interested individuals. The first session, Virginia's State Rural Health Plan: Many Voices, One Goal, will be held on June 12th. Additional sessions will be held as follows:
- September 11, Preparing for a Disaster: Public Health Considerations
- December 11, The Affordable Care Act: What's Next?
- March 12, 2014, Cultural Competency and Health Literacy.
Register for one session or for all!
VAPHA Fall Conference: Focus on Veteran's and the Military
Be sure to save the date for VAPHA's Fall Conference, Health in Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Veterans and their Families, on October 21-22. The program is being developed in partnership with the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program and will be held at the Hampton Convention Center. Tracks are planned to focus on the issues facing those in public health and primary care as well as the behavioral health system.
VAPHA Spring Meeting: Redefining Health and Wellness for an Aging Population
VAPHA's Spring Meeting and Annual Meeting was held on April 19, 2013, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The focus of the program this year was Redefining Health and Wellness for an Aging Population and it served as a forum to discuss the public health issues facing the aging population of Virginia and the implications for the public health, and the public health workforce, of Virginia. For a link to the handouts, click here.
Also, be sure to check out the new report from the Virginia Violent Death Reporting System called Elder Suicide in Virginia: 2003-2010. This report, which is an update to a previous report, examines suicide among Virginia residents 60 years of age and older.
County Health Rankings Released
The fourth annual County Health Rankings were released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on March 20. According to the Rankings, the five healthiest localities in Virginia, starting with most healthy, are Fairfax County, followed by Loudoun, Arlington, Albemarle and York counties. The five localities in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are the city of Petersburg, followed by Tazewell, Buchanan, Dickenson and Henry counties. Read more from VDH, or click here for the complete Rankings.
Student Poster Winners at Annual Career and Internship Fair Announced
During the recent Career and Internship Fair, sponsored by Bon Secours Virginia Health System and Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, three student posters were selected as the winners of this year's competition. Click here for complete details.
“Obamacare”, Sequestration and Public Health
According to a recent report from Kaiser Health News, the President’s re-election cements the Affordable Care Act, expanding coverage to millions but leaving weighty questions about how to pay for it and other care to be delivered to an increasingly unhealthy, aging population. "The reelection of Obama and the Democrats holding the Senate will solidify the law in American history," said Len Nichols, a health economist at George Mason University who supports what both sides have come to call "Obamacare." But in an article published in The Hill on November 21st, Speaker John Boehner (R, Ohio) was reported as saying that “the law has to stay on the table as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation’s massive debt challenge” in order to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff”. Click here for an examination of the potential impact of sequestration on public health funding.
For a look at the details of the Affordable Care Act, the American Public Health Association has compiled a wide number of resources, including fact sheets and issue briefs. Check out their summary of the public health and prevention provisions in the ACA, and a timeline of the implementation of ACA public health and prevention provisions. To keep up to date on the ACA in the news, check out the Health Reform section of APHA’s Public Health Newswire
Another great resource with comprehensive information on the ACA is The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Reform Source. You can subscribe to e-mail updates and access a wide variety of resources, including a frequently updated state exchange profile page for Virginia.
An interesting look at the Supreme Court Decision on the Affordable Care Act was published by the University of Pennsylvania’s Gazette in September. In an interview with two experts from Penn’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead; including a look at some of the finer points of the new state health-insurance exchanges and impacts on low-income citizens and hospitals.
Shared Agenda for the Virginia Chronic Disease Prevention Collaborative Network Developed
Chronic diseases are the most common, costly and preventable health problems that shorten and reduce the quality of life of Virginians across the lifespan. Projections indicate that in 2013 the cost for treating these conditions combined with the impact of lost workdays and lower employee productivity will cost Virginia $56 billion. To reduce the burden of chronic disease in Virginia there is a statewide movement to create partnerships and, in unison, work collaboratively to improve the health status and quality of life of Virginians. By working together, limited resources can be leveraged and initiatives can be better coordinated and integrated to have a greater impact on health outcomes. The Chronic Disease Prevention Shared Agenda was created by the Virginia Department of Health and its key stakeholders as a blueprint for tackling the existing and escalating chronic disease issues in Virginia. The primary purpose of the agenda is to rally partners around shared priorities and strategies that will improve the health and quality of life of all Virginians. Click here to view the agenda.
Advancing Health Equity
VAPHA's efforts to improve health equity in Virginia are ongoing!The Virginia Public Health Association and our partners continue to explore issues surrounding health equity during each of our programs, from the 2011 Health Equity Conference, through last year's Spring Meeting, Environmental Health: It's Elemental and the recent Rural Health Action Conference.
The 2012 Virginia Health Equity Report draws attention to health inequities among Virginians of varying socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and urban/rural backgrounds. It provides a foundation on which partners and stakeholders can develop new plans/strategies and also receive/provide education on the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), with the goal of shaping policy and decision-making that promotes health equity in Virginia. For more details and to download the report, click here.
There's also the Health Equity social network that was formed following our 2009 Health Equity Conference. Please join the social network website where you can:
Start discussions and answer questions in the forum
Write your own blog posts and share comments on other posts
Add events and upload photos and videos
Identify collaborators to engage in activities to promote health equity
View presentations from the Health Equity Conference
We hope you’ll take advantage of this website on a routine basis to learn, ask questions, share, and connect with others who also want to advance health equity across the Commonwealth!
Archived Public Health News