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Call for Articles — SAAPHI Fall/Winter Newsletter

5 Oct

Do you have public health related news and views to share? Well, as a member of the Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues, you are invited to submit articles for our newsletter.

We welcome submissions on ANY topic related to public health. Perhaps you would consider submitting an article about any of the following:

Work with a public health program or research project
Thoughts on a policy with public health implications
Commentary on a public health issue
Public health career advice
Local, state, or national public health events, projects or advocacy efforts
National Public Health Week events
For students – An internship or practicum experience

Please include the following with your submission:
Professional affiliation or if a student, Academic institution
Title of article
A headshot or picture of yourself engaging in public health work 

Also, please follow these guidelines:
12-point, Times New Roman font
No more than 300 words
Single spaced
List of references (if applicable)

Please email your article and any questions to


Register for the Final SAAPHI Mentoring Teleconference!: A Day in the Life of a US Public Health Service Officer!

11 Sep

download The SAAPHI Mentoring and Professional Development Affairs Committee hosts a series of teleconferences to help public health professionals and students learn more about career development in various areas of public health. This is the final teleconference planned for this year. During this call, participants will have the opportunity to learn about career options within the US Public Health Service and speak with US PHS officers. Please distribute widely and see below and the attached flyer for details.

SAAPHI September 2014 Mentoring and Professional Development Teleconference
Thursday, September 25, 2014, 3:00 – 4:30 PM (EST)
Guest Speakers:

Commander Tracy Branch is a Physician Assistant and Commissioned Officer with the United States Public Health Service with 30 years of health care and social service experience.  She currently serves as a Public Health Advisor with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health. Prior to her current appointment CDR Branch spent over 6 years as the HHS Region VII Minority Health Consultant, in Kansas City, MO.  Her additional uniformed employment includes working with the Division of Immigration Health Service in Florence, Arizona; the Indian Health Service in Wagner, SD; the Federal Bureau of Prisons, in Brooklyn, NY; and within a free health clinic in Kansas City, MO.  She has deployed internationally providing primary care services in the countries of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana. Commander Branch received her postgraduate Physician Assistant Certification from St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center, and a Master’s Degree in Family Medicine Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska.
Dr. Shondelle Wilson-Frederick is currently a Lieutenant in the United States Public Health Service and a Public Health Advisor in the Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. After Dr. Wilson-Frederick completed her doctorate, she sought an opportunity to apply these skills to research focused on chronic disease prevention in underserved populations. Dr. Wilson-Frederick obtained an inter-disciplinary postdoctoral fellowship in health disparities in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHBSPH), where she currently serves as a Faculty Associate. By exploring the social and environmental exposures that produce racial disparities in the distribution of disease and illness; Dr. Wilson-Frederick’s research seeks to identify appropriate targets for reducing such disparities. Dr. Wilson-Frederick has applied qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to generate empirical data on reducing the burden of chronic diseases in underserved and minority populations.
To Participate

SAAPHI Abstract Writing Guide

30 Oct



 The writer should think of an abstract as a “marketing document”, in that its primary purpose is to summarize work that has been proposed or completed and capture the reader’s interest. It is a short document, typically comprised of 100 – 500 words that should be written in a concise manner. The components of the abstract will vary according to discipline. Further, a poorly written abstract discourages readers from taking the time to read through the document in its entirety.

There are many types of abstracts, including those used in journal publications, conference abstracts, as well as a prospectus or research proposal. Abstracts in journal publications usually precede the entire text of a peer-reviewed journal. This type of abstract is often readily available and is listed in search databases such as PUBMED, Medline, Ovid, Medscape, etc. Another type of abstract is a conference abstract. This abstract is used to propose paper topics, poster presentations, panel sessions, or oral presentations at a professional conference.


Beginning the Writing Process

When responding to a Call for Abstracts or Call for Papers, the writer should initially consider the intended audience and the submission guidelines. The intended audience is likely a review committee that may have to review many submissions and, for this reason, you have to ensure that your abstract will be able to stand out. However, do not forget your secondary audience. The secondary audience consists of those who will attend or are considering attending the conference. You want to be sure that, upon approval, your abstract will be enticing enough for them to join your presentation.

Next, decide upon a Problem Statement that will clearly explain the importance of the proposed research topic. This statement, which may be reflected in the title, should form the basis of the overall abstract and inform the reader of the information in the larger work. The statement should specify what practical, scientific, or theoretical gap your research is fulfilling. In other words, the problem statement should define the scope of the project.

General Components of an Abstract

Always review the specific guidelines of a particular journal or professional organization as abstract components may vary by discipline. The most basic “structured” abstract will likely consist of the following components:


This section should begin with an opening statement that contains 1 – 2 sentences and clearly explains the overarching purpose of the study, project, or program as well as the specific aims.


Specific models and approaches should be addressed. In addition, the writer should provide an overview of the methods used to gather data, develop and execute a project, or operate a program. In the most simplistic terms, explain what you did and how you did it. Include details about how the data was collected and analyzed.


Concisely summarize your main findings or outcomes. An abstract may include specific data or discuss critical findings in a more general way. Be sure to clearly state what was discovered, learned, or created.


The conclusion should consist of a brief discussion that imparts the significance of the results and discusses what they mean? Describe the implications, including for the problem or topic that was initially identified in the Introduction? Inform the reader as to how the research adds to the body of knowledge on a topic.

Additional headings may include:

  • Background
  • Specific Aims
  • Design
  • Participants
  • Intervention (Method)
  • Interpretation

Again, be sure to check what are specified in the formal Call for Abstracts/Papers.

Additional Tips

 State the topic within the first sentence, no later than the second sentence of the abstract.

  • Limit the length of the title to no more than 12 words (or what is stated in the guidelines).
  • Avoid using the first person “I” or “we” when possible.
  • Write in the past tense.
  • Choose active verbs instead of passive ones (ex: “the study tested” instead of “In the study we tested”).
  • Avoid jargon, trade names, acronyms, abbreviations, & symbols in your abstract, because your explanation of these names will take up valuable room/words.
  • Check your spelling and grammar, and be sure to provide logical connections/transitions between information in the abstract.
  • Review and edit!
  • Identify and include at least 5 key words to accompany the abstract.

Applications For SAAPHI Social Media Assistant Internship Positions Being Accepted

30 Sep

The Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues

ImageCommunications & Media Committee: Social Media Assistant Internship Position

We are in search of students to fill our new Social Media Intern positions. Social Media Assistants will be asked to assist with promoting the SAAPHI newsletter, editing submitted articles, and will be required to submit a minimum of one article for the newsletter.

Developing peer reviewed articles, research reports, and other communications are an integral part of a career in Public Health. For this reason, we believe that the Social Media Assistant positions, which are non-paid Internships, will provide a great opportunity for professional development.

If you are interested in serving as a Social Media Assistant, please complete the application and send your resume to

Second Annual SAAPHI Mentoring Breakfast

25 Sep
You are cordially invited to attend the 2nd Annual SAAPHI Mentoring Breakfast 


Come to network with and learn from leaders in public health,
including Drs. William “Bill Jenkins, Jonca Bull, Thomas LaVeist, and Debra Perez! 

Date: Sunday, November 3, 2013
Time: 8:00a – 10:00a
Where: Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Boston, MAPlease visit to register and for more information.

Register today – Space is limited!

For questions, please contact the SAAPHI Mentoring & Professional Development Affairs Committee:

Identifying and Approaching a Great Mentor

27 Aug


Submitted by the SAAPHI Mentoring & Professional Development Affairs Committee

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” –William Arthur Ward

Whether you are a student, in the early stages of your career, or a more seasoned public health professional, engaging in effective mentoring relationships is an important component of professional development. Your first steps in being a great mentee include identifying and approaching a great mentor.

One of the best ways to identify a potential mentor is to speak with other junior and senior colleagues whom you respect and ask them to recommend potential mentors. Be specific when asking for mentor recommendations. These means that you need to know what you want and need out of a mentoring relationship. For example, would you like to connect with someone who has experience working in a variety of settings, or with someone who has only worked in one area of public health? Do you feel it necessary to receive mentorship from someone of the same gender and/or race/ethnicity as yourself? Are you looking for someone who can provide guidance in a specific area of public health, or are you looking for general career guidance? How much and what do you want to have in common with your mentor in terms of professional interests? Does it matter if that person is close in proximity, or are you willing to receive mentorship from across the state or country? You should always ask that colleagues recommend mentors who are trustworthy and have a reputation for providing high quality guidance to others who are in your career stage.

Once you have your list of potential mentors, set up an introductory meeting with each individual. Remember that some of your potential mentors may be quite busy doing what makes them sought after as mentors. You may need to be politely persistent in setting up your first meeting. If you do not receive a response via phone or email, you may wish to request an e-introduction by the colleague who recommended the potential mentor.

The purpose of the introductory meeting is to determine your compatibility for a mentoring relationship. In addition to discussing backgrounds and interests, you will also need to identify your goals and mentoring needs clearly and succinctly. After your meeting, be sure to follow up with a thank you note; include proposed next steps for the individual(s) with whom you would like to begin a formal mentoring relationship.

It is possible to have different mentors for different areas of your professional and personal life. You do not need to limit yourself to one mentor. However, remember that mentoring relationships are just like other relationships – they require time and commitment. As a mentee, you must follow through with tasks assigned to you, and you should expect the same of your mentor. Additionally, the person that you identify to be a mentor should not only tell you about opportunities, he/she should also be able to explain why those opportunities are a great fit for you, have a track record that demonstrates successfully engagement in similar opportunities, and inspire you to pursue those and other opportunities to advance your career.

For more information on cultivating great mentoring relationships, see:

Ammerman, C. & Tseng, V. 2011. Maximizing mentoring: A guide for building strong relationships. New York, NY: The William T. Grant Foundation.

Zerzan, J.T., Hess, R., Schur, E., Phillips, R.S., & Rigotti, N. 2009. Making the most of mentors: A guide for mentees. Acad Med, 84(1), 140-144.

Focusing on Minority Health Research

21 Jun

ImageEvery student has to grapple with deciding upon a suitable, interesting, and relevant Capstone project, thesis, or dissertation. The most common advice that many receive when facing this dilemma, is that they select a topic that they are most passionate about, and one that they already have a certain degree of knowledge about. For many minority, or “marginalized majority” students, the outcome is that they often choose topics that are focused on their own particular racial and/or ethnic group; and this is occasionally met with disdain or disapproval. Nevertheless, focused research, and the supportive efforts of organizations such as the Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues (SAAPHI), which looks at populations of African descent, including African American, African, Afro-Latino, and Afro-Caribbean; are indeed important and necessary.

Students and even early career professionals involved in research simply need to ask themselves, “If I don’t conduct the needed research, who will?” Meaning, if members of these minority groups do not take an interest in topics that greatly and disproportionately affect their racial/ethnic group, then it is highly unlikely that these groups will not be represented in the collected data and research process as a whole. In other words, without their focused lens of analysis, these populations would lack adequate representation, and the inequities and disparities that plague them would go unidentified and even more importantly unaddressed. Analysis carried out by researchers who are also members of the “subject” population serves as a means to draw attention to the needs of these sub-populations, and in terms of public health, helps to ensure that these community members are given a voice.

In addition, another benefit is that these researchers are peer experts, who understand the cultural and social norms of these respective minority groups, and who may be able to better to successfully bridge the gap of mistrust of the medical and health establishment; that these sub-populations harbor. Overall, students should not feel as if their work is diminished if they choose to focus on minority groups that they are members of and are familiar with. Their basic level of knowledge about these communities will actually serve as a benefit.

Cherise Charleswell, MPH

SAAPHI Governing Board