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More Sections conducting surveys on member needs.

APHA Section leaders are increasingly turning to online surveys to improve the services they provide to members. The availability of user-friendly online software tools has fueled the new trend, as has a growing demand for more dialogue between Section members and leaders. During the past 18 months, many positive changes have been implemented based on feedback culled from online questionnaires fielded by various Sections, including the Environment Section, Public Health Nursing Section, Mental Health Section, Medical Care Section and Oral Health Section. In addition, APHA provides guidance and resources to assist Sections with their surveys, said Fran Atkinson, MSM, APHA's director of component affairs. Atkinson and other APHA staff are available to work with Section chairs to analyze strengths, opportunities and weaknesses, and develop survey questions.

Across the Sections, surveys completed thus far indicate a common desire for better communication, Atkinson said, as well as more networking opportunities and ways to find more career opportunities.

Last year, Environment Section leaders used Zoomerang, an online survey tool, to gather members' feedback. More than 200 members responded to the 15-question survey, said Dorothy Stephens, MHS, an Environment Section member who serves on APHA's Committee on Membership.

"We changed several of our policies in order to move along the lines of some of the activities that our membership wanted to see us go in," Stephens said.

For example, more than 70 percent of respondents named "communication" as an area in need of improvement. To address the issue, Section leaders have been working to upgrade the Section's Web site and ramp up efforts to disseminate information via newsletters and e-mail.

For more information, e-mail <frances.atkinson@apha.org>.
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Title Annotation:The SECTIONS: News about APHA'S Sections, Special Primary Interest Groups & Caucuses
Author:Johnson, Teddi Dineley
Publication:The Nation's Health
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2007
Words:274
Previous Article:New APHA forums to promote collaboration among Sections.
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