Meet Your Leadership
Jessica Keralis - Governing Councilor
I am happy to be sharing my experience with the IH Section again for the Section Connection, this time as a Governing Councilor. You can read more about my background in global health, along with information about the Communications Committee, in the October 2016 edition of the newsletter.
What is the Governing Council?
APHA’s Governing Council is its representative legislative body. Governing Councilors are elected by, and sent from, APHA’s Sections and state and regional affiliates (e.g., state public health associations) and other components. The Governing Council is convened virtually in June for a mid-year meeting and in person for 1½ days at the Annual Meeting each year. Governing Councilors represent their components by voting on proposed policy statements developed by members (always interesting and occasionally exciting) and changes to the Association’s by-laws (less exciting but still important), and electing the APHA wide officers, such as President, Treasurer, and Executive Board members. You can think of it as the “Congress” of the Association, but with less grandstanding and a higher approval rating.
What do Governing Councilors do?
Our Section’s Governing Councilors work actively to maintain a focus on global health in the Association’s policies, as well as its scientific and advocacy initiatives. We assess proposed policy statements as they are developed and work with other Sections to integrate global health elements into their policy proposals whenever possible. We also advocate for global health in Annual Meeting themes and select candidates for Association-wide offices.
How can members get involved?
For members who are passionate about policy and advocacy, the Governing Council is a fantastic way to get involved. Governing Councilors get a front-row seat to APHA’s policy development process. Many of us write policy proposals for issues we care about (although any APHA member can do this-it’s not limited to Governing Councilors), which can then be used as a tool for larger advocacy efforts – such as our efforts to challenge HIV-related travel restrictions. Governing Councilors are elected to two-year terms and can serve up to three consecutive terms at a time. We generally look for candidates to run for office who have been with the Section for at least two years and are able to attend the Annual Meeting.
However, you don’t have to be an elected Councilor to learn more and get involved! We always need proxies to stand in for our Governing Councilors when they have other commitments (such as presenting in or moderating scientific sessions) during the Governing Council sessions at the Annual Meeting. This is a great way to meet Section leadership and network with other Association members, and have a taste of what it’s like to serve in this capacity. If you will be attending the Annual Meeting Atlanta and are interesting in volunteering as a proxy, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and copy our 2017 Governing Council Whip, Carol Dabbs, at email@example.com.
Christopher Ibanga - Section Councilor
My name is Christopher Ibanga from Nigeria. I started as a Nurse in 1988 but due to my interest in Health Education and Promotion, I went to study Health Education for my Bachelors and did my Masters in Public Health specializing in Health Education. I have worked in global health since the early 1990's, starting as a health journalist for some print and electronic media in Nigeria. I also volunteered to work in Rwanda where I was made the Head of Department of Nursing at the Byumba College of Nursing. I also assisted with health promotion activities at the refugee camp in Northern Rwanda. I have worked in Bermuda as a nurse and then with the World Health Organization in Nigeria as a Local Government Area Facilitator with a focus on Polio eradication and scaling up of immunization coverage. I am also involved in the training of Community Health Practitioners in Nigeria since being appointed Head of Department of Community Health at the Akwa Ibom State College of Health Sciences in 2016.
This section highlights the accomplishments and achievements of IH Section members. Readers can send their submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in the next issue of Section Connection.
Featuring: Dr. Inon Schenker
APHA International Health Section Recognized as an Emerging Leader in Global Health Innovation
Dr. Inon Schenker, an active member of the IH Section is the recipient of the 2017 Velji Emerging Leader in Global Health Innovation Award- an international recognition of public health excellence in saving lives of populations in developing countries through global health innovation. The Award was presented to Dr. Schenker at a special ceremony held in Washington DC in the presence of leading scientists, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Directors, and Deans of Medical, Nursing and Public Health faculties from around the world, and members of his family.
Dr. Schenker, a researcher, manager and social entrepreneur was the founding chair of Jerusalem AIDS Project and is now Senior Director Global Public Health at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. He is also on the faculty of the Global Health Program at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Inon is representing the IH Section on the APHA Global MCH Network Steering Committee together with Laura Altobelli and Jason Paltzer.
Dr. Inon Schenker was honored for “his long distinguished career in public health and for innovations that are saving millions of lives in Africa and elsewhere”. He initiated and developed: ‘HIV as a Bridge for Peace’ -first implemented with Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians and later in the Balkans; ‘Operation Abraham Collaborative’ pioneer initiative in voluntary medical male circumcision for AIDS prevention; introduction of manikins and simulations in teaching surgical skills to South African community doctors; cartoons in school AIDS education -adapted in 29 countries including Myanmar, among other public health innovations.
The Award was presented to Dr. Schenker at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) annual conference in Washington DC attended by 1800 participants primarily from North America.
Featuring: William Rosa
In September 2015, as the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) neared completion, all United Nations (UN) member states unanimously adopted the Sustainable Development Agenda. Comprised of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets, the Post-2015 Agenda illustrated a worldwide plan to end disparities, ensure human rights, and secure the future safety of the global village. The 17 SDGs call on the commitment and integrity of all nations, disciplines, and sectors to holistically address People, Peace, Prosperity, Partnerships, and Planet. Ultimately, the 2030 Agenda, expands the scopes of practice for global public health workers and creates innovative possibilities in research, practice, education, and policy.
According to the World Health Organization, there are an estimated 20.7 million nurses and midwives globally, creating up to 70% of the health care workforce and delivering up to 90% of all primary health care services. Despite our numerical power, nurses have been historically absent at decision-making tables of power and in leadership roles in the broader global health arena. My new book, A New Era in Global Health: Nursing and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, identifies roles for nurses related to each of the 17 SDGs and opportunities to contribute to the essential collaborative initiatives of our time.
This work emphasizes the importance of translating global priorities into local actions, and contextualizing local policies and public health measures to global settings. It invites nursing to take off potentially limiting disciplinary blinders, and seek ways to integrate the SDGs throughout all aspects of their advocacy at individual, family, group, community, and national levels.
Additionally, it reminds readers that being a “global” health care worker does not equate to venturing on mission trips or working abroad; it is really about elevating our consciousness to include concern and empathy for all peoples everywhere, being aware of the interpersonal and international implications of our personal-professional actions (and inactions), and ensuring the well-being of the planet. Stemming from the heritage of Nightingale - the quintessential scientist, economist, statistician, and public health advocate – A New Era in Global Health empowers nurses to co-create healing environments that are human-centered, environmentally sustainable, culturally reverent, ethically sound, and equitable in their accessibility.
While this book celebrates the work of nursing and provides future directions for our professional development, it is also a statement on the public health work we have yet to accomplish in having all specialties represented at the tables where these agendas are birthed and disseminated. In the end, A New Era in Global Health represents a new era in the need for respectful interdisciplinary partnerships and the synergy of all public health workers invested in a healthier planet.
By Alison Griner
Featuring: Beth Peterson
Walking around her neighborhood with a UNICEF box at five years old, Beth Peterson has been dedicated to social justice from a young age. Her passion for global health stems from her recognition of the great need for public health throughout the world. Specifically, Beth feels called to end HIV/AIDS. Thinking of all of those with HIV who are living in countries with limited health infrastructure and community resources. Even with PEPFAR - a USG initiative supporting HIV/AIDS care and treatment in developing countries - only about half the people who should receive treatment can actually access it. HIV/AIDS operates at the intersection of health, poverty, behavior, and justice, and particularly in global health the need is immense.
Beth began working in HIV/AIDS research in 2001 and spent time in developing nations organizing HIV training programs geared toward physicians, nurses, and other healthcare staff as PEPFAR was scaled up in 2004. She has volunteered at the Anawim Mission in Nigeria and worked as a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Counselor and also as a Medical Case Manager. Combining her global health and programmatic experience has strengthened her public health practice. Currently, Beth, a BEAT-HIV Project Manager for the BEAT-HIV Delaney Collaboratory to Cure HIV-1 Infection by Combination Immunotherapy, works with many international partners to advance the field of HIV cure research. She serves on a Community Advisory Board for HIV cure research and volunteers as an AIDS Walk Team Captain. She hopes to combine her varied experiences and natural organizational abilities to not only advocate for research, but to be involved with a world-wide scale up of a cure for HIV.