Health Administration

Health Administration

Health Administration concentrates on the improvement of health service administration, including cost-benefit and operations research, program activities, finances, standards and monitoring the organization of health services. This is a historic time for health administration, especially since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Aspects of access, cost and quality of health care will continue to be impacted by health reform through the final year of implementation (2018) and years to come. The public’s health and wellness are not guaranteed – the work in this field is far from finished.

Who We Are


The mission of the APHA Health Administration Section is to promote the public’s health by advancing the quality and practice of health administration.


The APHA HA Section will be leaders in the field of health administration by providing a cutting-edge forum for timely and reliable information on the best practices of health administration and leadership.

History of the Health Administration Section

For over a century, the Section has served our members and supported their efforts to improve the public’s health by improving and advancing the field of health administration. Founded in 1908, the original title of our Section was the Municipal Health Officers section. By 1912, the Section became known as the Public Health Officers Section, and finally became known as the Health Administration Section in 1916. Over this long history, our Section has served the needs of APHA members involved in health administration, particularly in local health departments.

Health Administration 1908-2008

Celebrating a Century • 100 Years of Excellence • Our History by Decade


Tricia Todd, MPH, Chair, Health Administration, October 2008.

Vonna Henry, RN, BSN, MPH, Chair of the Health Administration 100th Anniversary Committee, Health Administration, American Public Health Association.


For 100 years, the Health Administration Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) has worked to promote the public’s health by improving health administration practices and policies. Since our work is shaped by the current issues and needs in society, this decade-by-decade Section history is juxtaposed with a timeline of national and international events. In addition, each decade highlights where the APHA Annual Conferences were held in those years, and try’s to shine a spotlight on leaders of the Health Administration Section who have held other leadership positions in the APHA.


Although the Section was just beginning to develop in this decade – and was then named the Section of Municipal Health Officers – some topics that came up in those early meetings are still relevant today. Management challenges, appointment and supervision of employees, building relationships with city government, taking the issues that Boards of Health wrestle with and bringing them to the people, standardizing the work of public health, monitoring health activities, these are all topics and challenges faced in the first decade of the Health Administration Section, and continue to be challenges faced by health professionals today.

A notice in the APHA’s 1908 annual meeting program told members about the newly formed Section:

“At the meeting of the Association in 1907 the following committee was appointed on Section of Municipal Health Officers- Dr. Samuel H. Durgin, Chairman, Boston, Mass. Dr. A.J. Douglas, Winnipeg, Man. Dr. M.S. Iglesias, Vera Cruz, Mex. Dr. Eugene Buehler, Indianapolis, Ind. Dr. W.C. Woodward, Washington, D.C.

The Committee has sent invitations to the Health Officers of the principal cities to be present at the Winnipeg meeting in order to effect a permanent organization. A Constitution has been prepared to be submitted for discussion, amendment and adoption, and a short program has been arranged. The first meeting of the proposed Section will be held in the Billiard Room of the Royal Alexandra Hotel on Tuesday morning, August 25, 1908, at ten o’clock.”

The Section met for the first time in 1908 to discuss ten items of business. One of the items was the presentation of the following papers:

• The Rural Health Officer

• Protection of Public Milk Supplies from Specimens

• Problems with Quarantine in Contagious Disease Work

• Management of Infectious Disease in Rural Municipalities

• Approved Methods- Chicago Health Department- by the staff

• The Advantages of Publicity in Public Health Work

• Some Hopes and Pleasures of the Health Officer

• Disinfection of Rooms

In the following years the Section worked on recruiting new members and dealing with issues that affected municipal health officers in their daily work. A program from the APHA’s annual meeting in 1910 stated,

“At the Winnipeg meeting only a small portion of those members of the Association who are eligible for membership in this Section were enrolled. It is important that every member of the Association who desires to become identified with the Municipal Health Officers’ Section should send in his name promptly to the Secretary, Dr. E. C. Levy, Richmond, Virginia. Such application should be accompanied with a statement of the municipal position occupied by the applicant. The Section Chairman and Secretary will attend to securing the necessary endorsements. Membership in other Sections does not in any way preclude membership in this.”

The first joint session of the Section was held in 1912 with Vital Statistics, a section that also began in 1908, topics of that session included:

• Discrepancies in mortality statistics as found in reports of federal, state and municipal offices, by Dr. Cressy L. Wilbur, Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC.

• The statistical treatment of deaths of non-residents, by Dr. W. F. Snow, Secretary State Board of Health Sacramento, California

• The relation of morbidity reports to public health administration, by Dr. J.W. Trask, U.S. Public Health Service Washington, DC

• Two ways by which vital statistics can be made more useful to the health officer, by George W. Atherholt, Chief Division of Vital Statistics, Bureau of Health Philadelphia, PA. By 1918 the Section had also held joint sessions with both the Laboratory and Sociological Section’s.

Leadership & Committees

Chair: Kusuma Madamala

Chair-Elect: Brenda Stevenson-Marshall

Immediate Past Chair: R. Michael Hill

Section Councilors: Nathan Boucher, Alan J. Card, Samantha Ann Marcario, Sarah Trimmer, Soumitra Bhuyan

Governing Councilors: J. Alan Baker, Patricia Diane Parker, Brian Martin, Nizar Wehbi, Aja Hardy, Brenda Stevenson-Marshall

Join a committee

It’s easy to get involved in the Health Administration Section’s committees – the key words are, “I’ll do that”!

Just email a committee’s chair(s) to let them know you are interested. We love new energy and new ideas!

Annual Meeting Program Akilah Cadet, MPH; Michele Shade McCay, DrPH
Awards Gretchen Sampson, RN, MPH; Patricia Diane Parker, MSPH
Communication/Social Media Aravind Menon, MHA; Raed Mansour, MS
Policy Development Janet Gniadek, MPH; Gita Uppal, MPH
Nominations R. Michael Hill, MPH, MPA, CHES

Get Involved

Want to make a difference? Get involved in Section activities! Find out how to join a committee and become more involved in the inner workings of the Section.

Honor your hard work, or nominate a colleague who has done great things in the health administration field. Each year, our Section gives out awards based on nominations from our members.

Contact Claude Alix-Jacob to learn more.


R. Michael Hill, MPH, MPA, CHES
Term: 2013 – 2014

Kusuma Madamala, PhD, MPH
Term: 2013 – 2014

Communications Committee Chair
Nathan Bhatti

Membership Committee Chair
Maureen Bezold, PhD, MPH

Program Planners
Alan Card PhD, MPH, CPH, CPHQ


If you have suggested links, please contact Mike Hill. HA reserves the right to determine if the information you provide will be included on this page.

Management Academy for Public Health

Association of University Programs in Health Administration
The AUPHA is a not- for- profit association of university-based educational programs, faculty, practitioners, and provider organizations. Its members are dedicated to continuously improving the field of healthcare management and practice. It is the only non-profit entity of its kind that works to improve the delivery of health services throughout the world – and thus the health of citizens – by educating professional managers at the entry level.

American Colleges of Healthcare Executives
The American College of Healthcare Executives is an international professional society of more than 30,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations.

Growth of International Health

An Analysis and History

American Public Health Association


Since its founding more than a century ago, the leadership
of the American Public Health Association has recognized
the importance of understanding public health from a
global perspective. This was not only to protect the health
of the public, but also for international humanitarianism
and justice, so all people everywhere can achieve the highest
levels of health and quality of life.

Ironically, almost exactly one hundred years after its founding,
the APHA established a special membership section for
International Health. This became the focal point for all of
the APHA members who have a professional interest in
how APHA can contribute toward the improvement of
public health in international or global settings.

The growth and development of the APHA International
Health Section is outlined in detail in the following historical
document account. As you will discover, APHA itself
has gone through many changes as it approached this agenda.
This historical review explains how APHA viewed
International Health from a professional, scientific, political
as well as a financial perspective. The lessons learned
from this historical review provide important insights both
to APHA leadership, the membership at large, and to those
with whom APHA seeks to become partners.

APHA leadership, members, and International Health staff
have demonstrated a special ability to tie APHA’s public
health interests, both domestic and international, into the
strategic priorities of the global health community.

Through government and private initiatives, bi-lateral as
well as multi-lateral efforts, APHA has worked aggressively
to promote and protect the health of all citizens of the
world. The unique linkage between APHA and the World
Federation of Public Health Associations has been a critical
partnership ally in this process.

Given all of the changes in our global community since the
appearance of SARS, it is woefully apparent that
International Health cooperation must be a priority of the
public health community. APHA has the opportunity,
experience, and capacity to assume a key leadership role in
the changed world in which we all live.

As you read this history, I urge you to use these experiences
to better identify and support what next steps APHA
should take in helping to improve the public health of all
of the world’s citizens. At the same time, you have the
opportunity to decide how you and your skills can contribute
to this future agenda. APHA has developed a solid
base, a talented and energized membership and staff. We
are now ready to move with confidence into our second
century of International Health leadership.

On behalf of the Executive Board of APHA I want to personally
thank everyone involved in the development of this
important documentation of APHA’s history. We especially
want to thank the Rockefeller Foundation for their enlightened
support some four decades ago in helping launch in
1959 APHA’s international endeavors, and, now in 2003,
for their support enabling us to undertake this timely history

Finally, a special word of thanks to Frank Lostumbo,
APHA member who authored the history, and to the
Advisory Committee members—Ray Martin, Russell
Morgan and Allen Jones—who assisted in the process.

Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP
Executive Director
September 30, 2003

Please download the pdf to continue reading.