Magazine article The Nation's Health

Puerto Rico Public Health Association Regroups, Becomes Newest Affiliate

Magazine article The Nation's Health

Puerto Rico Public Health Association Regroups, Becomes Newest Affiliate

Article excerpt

ONE U.S. TERRITORY'S public health association is back on the radar after a more than 20-year absence--and this time it is an APHA Affiliate.

The Puerto Rico Public Health Association became the 54th APHA-affiliated state and regional public health association in November.

The APHA affiliation became official following an Association Governing Council vote to approve the new group at APHA's 142nd Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans, said Kimberly Moore Smith, MHSA, APHA's director of Affiliate Affairs.

"With their affiliation, they'll have access to the largest, most diverse network of public health associations," Moore Smith told The Nation's Health. "We'll provide technical assistance, training and access to funding opportunities to increase their capacity to impact health in Puerto Rico."

The Puerto Rico Public Health Association originally formed in 1940 but disbanded in 1993 due to a lack of membership and leadership, said Edgardo Ortiz-Sanchez, MPHE, the association's treasurer.

Talks about reestablishing the association began in March 2013 at the Fifth Puerto Rican Conference for Public Health from the alumni association of the University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Public Health.

What followed was a year of collecting the appropriate documents to get approved as a new group, including creating a new set of bylaws, Ortiz-Sanchez said.

The association was reactivated as a result of "the perceived need of expanding public health efforts in Puerto Rico by various social, professional, academic and community sectors," according to a position paper from the association. …

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