American Public Health Association Executive Board Info
Drew A. Harris, DPM, MPH
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us…”
I am writing to tell you about my vision of public health, why I’m running for the APHA board, and what I hope to accomplish if I am elected.
Charles Dickens aptly describes the public health community’s opportunities and challenges. For the first time ever, aggressive public health science and action may turn back or significantly mitigate a flu pandemic. We’ve tracked H1N1 in near-real time, marshaled an army of labs to manufacture vaccine, kept a nervous public well informed, and have been organizing communities to deliver doses in a timely fashion.
I am running for a position on the Executive Board because APHA is the advocacy organization best suited to advance the public health agenda. APHA can leverage my energy and talent to help fulfill my desire to make the world better. I believe my role on the APHA board is to be a caretaker for its 137-year legacy as a platform for ideas and a voice for public health and to help it marshal the energy and talent of many others.
As an APHA Executive Board member, I intend to pursue three goals:
As the leader of a non-profit organization, I understand the economic difficulties confronting all non-profits and the reflex to cut back during the recession. However, we must recognize that our mission is even more vital when gains in health outcomes are challenged by job losses, cuts in governmental services, increasing homelessness and un- and underinsured people and a backlash against progressive regulation. We must make APHA an indispensable organization to ensure member’s ongoing support. We need to work smarter and creatively leverage every dollar of APHA’s budget to achieve our mission. And we must make sure that everyone—staff and member—clearly understands APHA’s goals and their role in achieving them.