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APHA, state Affiliates move forward on memorandum.

APHA will soon have a stronger, more formal relationship with its state and regional affiliated public health associations, thanks to a memorandum of understanding now under review.

Created by the Association's Committee on Affiliates, the memorandum of understanding will improve communication and clarify business practices between the Association and each Affiliate, as well as enhance each Affiliate's infrastructure, said CoA Chair Elizabeth A. Zelazek, MS, RN, and APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, in a letter sent to Affiliate presidents on Feb. 14. Leaders from each of APHA's 53 state and local Affiliates are now reviewing the document.

"There have been numerous iterations of the memorandum of understanding and much vetting of it within the CoA during the past two years, but the final version is out and our goal is to have a signed memorandum of understanding with each Affiliate by August," Zelazek told The Nation's Health.

An immediate benefit of a signed memorandum of understanding is eligibility to apply for funding under the new $5.9 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. About $2 million of the initiative's budget will be used to provide direct grants to Affiliates for infrastructure needs.

The memorandum incorporates existing agreements between APHA and Affiliates established by APHA by-laws, updates those agreements and seeks a higher and consistent standard for Affiliate business practices.

"We're trying to promote a closer relationship between APHA and the Affiliates," said Regina Davis Moss, MPH, CHES, APHA director of Affiliate affairs.

To assist Affiliate leaders as they work toward approving the memorandum of understanding, CoA leaders will sponsor two conference calls in April, Davis Moss said.

According to CoA Chair-elect Stephen R. Keener, MD, MPH, many of the Affiliates have already implemented one or more of the measures specified in the memorandum of understanding.

"The memorandum of understanding really paves the way for a stronger network in which we can all share and take advantage of economies of scale," he added.

For more information on the effort, e-mail regina. davis@apha.org or call (202) 777-2515.
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Title Annotation:The AFFILIATES: State and regional public health associations; American Public Health Association
Author:Johnson, Teddi Dineley
Publication:The Nation's Health
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2007
Words:342
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