E. Frank Ellis, M.D., M.P.H., APHA President, 1978

Supporting Health Promotion and Prevention

A major impact on the entire health care system was made by former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Joseph A. Califano, Jr., when he asked the health community what is the level of immunization of our children in America. No one could tell him. That threw us into a managerial process looking at the entire health care delivery system in order to look at outcomes, and we continue in that same mode.

I remember that one of my mentors, Dr. Paul Cornely (the first African-American APHA President), once said to me, “Go into that room and pull together a group of African-Americans to talk about health care.” Eight people showed up. That was the beginning of the Black Caucus of Health Workers of APHA. That caucus set the prototype for all the other caucuses that followed. It also brought to the table those individuals who had a decision-making role in looking at the future of the health care system.

Today, we see that the future is very clear, that we have excellent individuals to support the system of health in order to be able to have APHA at the very top, guiding America and its 260 million people.

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