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Section News

2017 Ethics Section Newsletters

SpringSummerFall, Winter (forthcoming)

Code of Ethics Revision

The APHA Ethics Section is working on updating the Public Health Code of Ethics, initially adopted in 2002. As part of our engagement plan, we are reaching out to the public health community for review and comment on the initial draft revision (PDF).

We ask for your help with this important process. Please review draft and respond to this short survey.

The survey solicits feedback on key areas of the draft code and provides opportunities for you to provide further insight and specific commentary. To ensure that we obtain as much input as possible, we hope you will help us by forwarding the links to the draft and the survey to your leadership and members who have an interest in public health ethics.

We would like to begin incorporating partner feedback in early 2018, so would appreciate receiving your survey responses no later than Feb. 28, 2018. All survey responses will be considered confidential, and the identities of responding organizations and individuals will not be included in any report or summary.

Once the Task Force created by the Ethics Section has reviewed comments and finalized the code, it will be recommended for official adoption by APHA. In addition, we will share it with you and invite you to share with your members.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact Lisa M. Lee or Bruce Jennings. Thank you in advance; we look forward to your thoughts.


Lisa M. Lee, Co-Chair, PH Code of Ethics Task Force
Bruce Jennings, Co-Chair, PH Code of Ethics Task Force
Selena E. Ortiz, Chair, Ethics Section 

Nominate your peers for an APHA Ethics Section Award

The APHA Ethics Section sponsors three awards, the Distinguished Career Award, the Outstanding Practice in Public Health Award, and the Daniel Swartzman Public Health Ethics Lecture Award. As a section, we count on our members to nominate their outstanding peers for these awards.

Nominees are not required to be a member of the APHA Ethics Section; however, an individual may not receive the same award more than once. Complete applications will include: 

1. Award nomination form submitted by a current member of the APHA Ethics Section. 

2. One support letter written by someone other than the person submitting the nomination.

Additional criteria specific to each award are described below.

Questions? Contact the APHA Ethics Section Award Committee Chair Jody Vogelzang or at 616-331-5059.  A copy of these instructions is available for download.

Award Categories

Distinguished Career Award

Description: The Distinguished Career Award recognizes an APHA member's outstanding support and inspiration to the practice and integration of ethics in the area of public health.  The award recognizes work that has promoted or significantly contributed to ethics in public health within or outside APHA.  The awardee will be invited to speak at one of the designated ethics section presentations at APHA.

Criteria: The nominee demonstrates all of the following qualities:

  • Contributed to the support and integration of ethics in public health
  • Inspired the practice of ethics in public health
  • Catalyzed action resulting in increased understanding of public health ethics inside or outside of APHA

Outstanding Practice in Public Health Ethics

Description: The Outstanding Practice in Public Health Ethics award recognizes exemplary integration of ethical theory and behavior in a specific area of public health. The work of the nominee must have been shared at the regional, national or international level.    

Criteria: The nominee demonstrates both of the following qualities:

  • Applied ethical framework in a specific area of public health
  • Presented work at the regional, national, or international level

The Daniel Swartzman Public Health Ethics Lecture

Description: The Daniel Swartzman Public Health Ethics Lecture recognizes higher education faculty and staff for displaying excellence in teaching public health ethics in a college/university setting. The nominee expands the application of ethics in public health, demonstrates leadership in the public health ethics community, and brings public health ethics concerns to policy making. The Lecture is held in the spring at the University of Illinois Chicago. The awardee will be the featured speaker the year following the nomination.

Criteria: The nominee demonstrates the following qualities:

  • Excellence in teaching public health ethics
  • Demonstrates application of ethics in public health
  • Exhibits leadership in the public health ethics community
  • Advocates for public health ethics in policymaking