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Governing Council to consider APHA, affiliate joint membership pilot.

APHA members and members of APHA's affiliated state and regional public health associations may someday be able to join both organizations at a reduced rate.

The Intersectional Council-Committee on Affiliates Joint Membership Workgroup, which has been studying dual membership options between APHA and its state and regional Affiliates, will present its findings to the APHA Governing Council at APHA's 135th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in November. At that time, the Governing Council is expected to approve a proposal to implement a pilot joint membership initiative next summer with the Massachusetts Public Health Association and the California Public Health Association-North.

Presently, only about 15 percent of APHA members are also members of their Affiliate organizations, and only about 20 percent of Affiliate members are also members of APHA.

"Both state and regional Affiliates and APHA see a huge opportunity to grow and become stronger if we can encourage Affiliate members to join APHA, and encourage APHA members to join their Affiliates," said Alan Baker, APHA's chief of staff.

Under the proposed membership model, APHA members and Affiliate members would be able to join both organizations for less than it would cost them to join each organization separately.

"It could be a win-win for everyone," Baker said, noting that the proposed joint membership model would create a larger membership pool for both groups and allow people to be active at both the national and local levels. "Joint membership would open the door for public health lessons learned at the national level to be applied locally, resulting in healthier communities."

Workgroup co-chair Howard Spivak, MD, who will present a proposal to implement the pilot in Massachusetts and Northern California, said a larger membership base would increase visibility, credibility and effectiveness for both APHA and its Affiliates at the national and state levels in influencing public policy and promoting public health agendas.

"There are large numbers of people who are members of one or the other, but a surprisingly modest number are members of both," Spivak said, noting that many overlapping agendas are making it increasingly important for people to be involved at both the local and national levels. "We have to make sure that the strategies to do this are successful in promoting joint membership, and that the reduced cost will be less expensive for members but will not create financial stress for APHA or the Affiliates."

For more information, e-mail natasha.williams@apha.org or call (202) 777-2485.
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Title Annotation:VITAL SIGNS: Perspectives of the president of APHA
Author:Johnson, Teddi Dineley
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Nov 1, 2007
Words:408
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