ASPHN 2014 Annual Meeting
  Breaking Barriers to Health:
Building an Equitable and Sustainable Future

Meeting Highlights
In This Issue
Annual ASPHN Awards
Highlights of the Presentations
Thank you Suzanne!
Student Scholarship and Poster Contest Winners
Mark Your Calendar!
The ASPHN Annual Meeting, Breaking Barriers to Health: Building an Equitable and Sustainable Future was a great success!  ASPHN members came together June 8 - 10 in Minneapolis, MN to learn about exciting work happening around the country in public health nutrition, to share their experiences with fellow members, and to get out and about in the city!  Seventy-one members from 25 states came together for the event.
The gathering featured an impassioned speech on working for food justice 
Incoming ASPHN President-Elect Kim DeDino, President Suzanne Haydu, and President-Elect Heidi Scarpiti (from left to right)
and health equity, stories of promising policy, systems and environmental change in California's SNAP-Ed program, an overview of food law and policy, and success stories on promoting greater food access in Minnesota.  We also gained tools for how to plan sustainable programs and how to work with local planning officials to build healthier communities.  We heard updates on the important work our federal partners are doing, including the NIH, CDC-DNPAO, and MCHB.

The energy and excitement was contagious at the annual meeting.  Participants left the meeting ready to put new ideas into action!
Board members Kim LaCroix, Paola Velez, and Betty Sun with ASPHN Consultant   Allison McGuigan
Phyllis Crowley (center) with ASPHN Consultants Sandy Perkins and Helene Kent

You can view more photos of the Annual Meeting on ASPHN's Facebook page. 

Funding for the Annual Meeting was made possible in part with a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (5U58DP002233-05).  We thank CDC-DNPAO for its support!    


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Honoring Our Members' Contributions to the Association and to Public Health Nutrition 
One of the highlights of the Annual Meeting is the awards presentation, where we acknowledge the difference that our members are making in ASPHN and in our field. 

Phyllis Crowley, MS, RD, IBCLC, received the Award for Excellence in  Association Work.  Phyllis is a past president of ASPHN and an active member of the ASPHN MCH Nutrition Council.  The presenters called Phyllis "a passionate and caring leader and a tireless advocate for public health nutrition with an unfailing commitment to the next generation of public health nutritionists."

The 2014 Excellence in Practice Award went to Karen Sell, RD, Chief of Arizona's Bureau of Nutrition and Physical Activity.  This award recognizes Karen as "an extraordinary public health leader and a true champion of change.  Karen's leadership has contributed significantly to sustainable policy changes that will have lasting impacts for years to come." 

The Excellence in Advocacy Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to our field through advocacy, policy change and collaborative work with decision makers.  This year, ASPHN recognized Sue Foerster, MPH, for her "long career as an advocate for public health nutrition."  Sue has many precedent-setting achievements, including launching the 5 A Day program in California, which was adopted not only nationally but in 25 countries.  She started the California Nutrition Network and was a co-founder of the National Association for Nutrition and Activity and the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance.  In accepting the award, Sue said, "ASPHN has meant so much to me in my career.  The Association is a vitally important professional support system." 

Mary Ann Ellsworth, MS, RD, received the 2014 Award for Outstanding Leadership of the  National Council of Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Coordinators.  The award honors a Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Coordinator for her outstanding contribution to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.  Mary Ann is the outgoing chair of the Fruit and Vegetable Council.  Her peers recognized her as an outstanding mentor with great passion for public health nutrition.

The 2014
Award for Outstanding Leadership for the ASPHN Maternal and Child Health Nutrition Council went to Dr. Marsha Spence, PhD, MS-MPH, RD/LDN.  This award honors an MCH Council leader for her contribution to improving the health and wellbeing of the MCH population.  Dr. Spence is a Research Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of Public Health Nutrition at the University of Tennessee.  Marsha's fellow members said that she has been instrumental in developing many leaders and has made "a huge difference in our profession."

Congratulations to all these ASPHN leaders and change makers!

Presentation Highlights 
At the Minneapolis meeting, we heard many inspiring speakers talk about how we can achieve health equity and greater access to healthy food and improved health outcomes for all Americans.  Below are highlights from some of our speakers.  You can view the presentations on ASPHN's website.


Sonya Jones, PhD kicked off the Annual Meeting with an rousing talk, Transformative Food Justice and the Path to Healthy Equity.  Dr. Jones is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities at the University of South Carolina.  She told participants that to have a healthy and sustainable food system, we need to not only change our food policies but we also have to understand and change power structures.  She suggested that we examine the kinds of alliances and coalitions that we are building and make sure that we are involving the people we are trying to reach, including kids and SNAP-Ed recipients.  Dr. Jones also said that we need to get better at delivering clear messages when we are talking with people in their communities as well as when we are speaking to the media. 

ASPHN Board member Betty Sun, MS, RD shared the exciting SNAP-Ed Policy, Systems and Environmental Change (PSE) work she is leading as a Research Associate at the California Department of Public Health.  She presented an overview of the state's Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention (CX3) Project, highlighting the team's process and lessons learned.  Through CX3, Betty and her team worked with the state's local health departments to pick two of the team's thirteen top PSE strategies and to develop a comprehensive plan to implement those strategies. 

Annaliese Calhoun, MSW led an informative workshop on Program Sustainability.  Ms. Calhoun is Project Manager with the Center for Public Health Systems Science at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.  Ms. Calhoun shared the Center's program sustainability tool and outlined the details of sustainability planning.  She highlighted key sustainability factors and how to develop a successful action plan.  One member said of Ms. Calhoun's presentation, "Calhoun was an excellent speaker - knowledgeable and easy to listen to.  Her slides were exceptionally well done."

One of the highlights of the Annual Meeting was hearing a great success story from right in Minnesota.  The panel discussion, Creating Coordinated Efforts for Food Access in Minnesota, highlighted projects to develop a state food charter, regional food networks and more.  Donna McDuffie, MPH, RD, LN, the state's Nutrition Coordinator, explained that the Minnesota team approached their food access planning by asking What does Minnesota need, regardless of the state's funding?  The team also used Standford's Collective Impact Framework, which Donna said was a key to their success.

Lisa Gemlo, MPH, RD, LD, Minnesota's Food Systems Planner, outlined their extensive process to develop a Minnesota Food Charter, a broad-based document that outlines how all Minnesotan's will have access to healthy foods.  Lisa called this project "the most challenging and inspiring work I've done in 25 years."  Lisa highlighted how she and her colleagues involved more than 2,000 people in developing the document that now includes food access, availability and affordability, food skills, food infrastructure, and cultural and structural issues.

We also heard updates from several of our federal partners, including Janet Collins, PhD, CDC-DNPAO Director.  Dr. Collins outlined the Division's key priorities for the next three years.  These priorities include food service guidelines, vital signs on fruit and vegetable consumption in children, child nutrition reauthorization, breastfeeding report cards, and more.  She said to the audience of ASPHN members, "We need your leadership and your advocacy work!"  Dr. Michael Lu, MPH, MD, MCHB's Associate Administrator, echoed Dr. Collins' kudos to ASPHN.  He said, "I appreciate and admire all you do for mothers and families in our nation."

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Thank you to ASPHN President Suzanne Haydu  
From ASPHN Executive Director Karen Probert 
I want to thank ASPHN President Suzanne Haydu for her leadership and her hard work over the past year.  At the start of Suzanne's term last August, we knew that the primary source of ASPHN's funding would end in September 2014.  Because of Suzanne's leadership, however, ASPHN can celebrate two significant  accomplishments. 

One achievement
President Suzanne Haydu and Executive Director Karen Probert
is that we are creatively and aggressively seeking out new sources of funding.  We are already opening new doors!  A second achievement is the decision to expand our membership and engage public health nutritionists in all state agencies in addition to state health departments.

Suzanne is a fearless leader.  She is not afraid to bring new ideas and new ways of doing things to the Board.  She embraces change.  Suzanne has said that she is not happy unless things are changing!  These traits were essential to moving ASPHN forward despite what many would have seen as an insurmountable obstacle.

Suzanne has been an excellent leader and role model for us all.  Thank you Suzanne!

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Student Scholarship and Poster Contest Winners     
Each year, ASPHN awards scholarships for two to three graduate students to travel to attend the Annual Meeting.  This year's awards went to:

Rebecca Graves, an MS-MPH student at the University of Tennessee.  Rebecca's focus is on public health nutrition and health policy and management.  Rebecca's interest is in promoting initiatives to influence health policies and the built environment to improve health outcomes for at-risk mothers and children.  


Randa Meade, also an MS-MPH student at the University of Tennessee with a focus on public health nutrition and health policy and management.  Randa is interested in developing evidence-based programs to help families improve their eating habits and their overall health.  Her specific interest is with families that are food insecure.  


Jonae Perez, an MPH student in public health nutrition at the University of Washington.  Jonae is interested in addressing food insecurity and health disparities, particularly for mothers and children in need. 

Graduate students Jonae Perez, Randa Meade and Rebecca Graves (from left to right)
This year for the first time, ASPHN held a peer-reviewed poster session.  ASPHN sought posters that highlight community and public health nutrition activities, programs, and research in which our members as well as graduate students are involved.   Meeting participants voted on the most informative student posters.  Lisa Mays' poster was the winning submission, with Rebecca Graves' poster coming in second place.

We were thrilled to have these inspiring students join us!
Graduate students Erin Norton, Randa Meade, Rebecca Graves, Lisa Mays, Jonae Perez, and Sara Diedrich who presented poster sessions
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Mark Your Calendar for the 2015 Annual Meeting! 
Save the date for next year's Annual Meeting:  June 7 - 9, 2015.  ASPHN President-elect Kim DeDino will chair the 2015 Annual Meeting planning committee.  Contact Cyndi Atterbury if you'd like to join the committee.