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Tulane student named as winner of APHA Get Ready Song Contest: listen to the winning song online now.

A RECENT ALPHA contest allowed the nation's public health workers to show off one of their lesser-known skills: musical talent.

The contest, held this summer, called on APHA members and the public to write and record a song in support of the Association's Get Ready campaign. The campaign is working to help Americans, their families and their communities become more prepared for pandemic flu and other emerging infectious diseases.

People from across the nation responded to the call for contest entries, submitting everything from high-energy pop to folky banjo tunes. The songs used rhymes, clever lyrics and catchy beats to bring levity to serious issues such as surveillance, quarantine and preparedness.

"Get Ready," an original song written and performed by Tulane University public health student Joy Elizabeth Sadaly, was chosen as the first-place winner of the contest. Judges praised the song, which featured Sadaly performing acoustically with a guitar, for its appealing tune, creative lyrics and "great hook."

Sadaly, who is from Erie, Pa., said she was pleased to win the competition but surprised, as she has never had a guitar lesson nor played music professionally. Sadaly said she was inspired to enter the contest because of her ongoing studies in international public health issues.

"I really loved the opportunity to do something creative with it," Sadaly said. "I'm glad that I can promote public health."

"Pandemic Blues," by Lance Waller, PhD, and the Sinners for Disease Control, was named the second-place winner in the contest. Waller, a biostatistics professor with the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, and his friends, John Cowden and Michael Starling, performed the song using primarily guitars and a piano. The song also featured one unusual, spontaneously added instrument: the spoons.

Waller said that despite the seriousness of pandemic flu, "a lot of good words rhyme, such as 'vaccine' and 'quarantine.'"

"It was a lot of fun to put together," said Waller, who is an APHA member.

The first-place song winner won an iPod Nano, while the second-place winner was awarded a $50 iTunes gift certificate.

Four songwriters also earned honorable mentions in the song contest: Glenn Hildebrand, Marina Kamen, Jenifer Kirin and Douglas Slaten. To listen to the award-winning songs, visit the Get Ready Web site at

For more information on the song competition or the Get Ready campaign, e-mail or call (202) 777-2742.
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Title Annotation:American Public Health Association; VITAL SIGNS: Perspectives of the president of APHA
Author:Late, Michele
Publication:The Nation's Health
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2007
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