Health Administration Section Looks to Past for Future Progress
Johnson, Teddi Dineley, The Nation's Health
TO BUILD a strong foundation for the future, the Health Administration Section recently journeyed to the past. In honor of its centennial anniversary last year, the Section published a "Living History" document highlighting the experiences and perspectives of Section members who have distinguished themselves as leaders.
"We wanted to describe the rich history of the Section and recognize some of the many individuals who contributed to the Section, the field of health administration and public health," said Tricia Todd, MPH, immediate past chair of the Health Administration Section. "The rich tapestry of voices heard in the 'Living History' provide us a wonderful foundation from which to build our future."
Section member Linda Landesman, DrPH, MSW, spearheaded the project with help from nine APHA Student Assembly members who conducted telephone interviews with longtime Health Administration Section members during the spring of 2008. The students sent transcripts of the completed interviews to Landesman, who organized the information around themes and wove it into a 99-page "Living History" document that highlights the feelings and thoughts of present and past Section leaders.
The final document includes Section leaders' thoughts about their experiences as Section chair, recollections about their APHA service, reflections on their contributions to the field of health administration and advice to future APHA leaders.
Section members interviewed interviewed for the project included Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. Commenting on his Section involvement in the document's first section, Benjamin said: "We are very much involved in keeping with the three overarching goals of achieving improved access to health care, the elimination of health disparities and improving the public health infrastructure."
To compile the list of interviewees and develop interview questions, Landesman worked with a committee that included Todd as well as Section members Joyce Gaufin; Giorgio Piccagli, PhD, MPH; Vonna Henry, MPH, RN; and Gita Uppal.
According to Landesman, the committee identified 50 potential interviewees. …