1899 - 1800United States of America

The APHA was founded in 1872, at a time when scientific advances were helping to reveal the causes of communicable diseases. These discoveries laid the foundation for the public health profession and for the infrastructure to support its work. From its inception, the APHA was dedicated to improving the health of all residents of the United States. The APHA’s founders recognized that two of the association’s most important functions were advocacy for adoption by the government of the most current scientific advances relevant to public health, and public education on how to improve community health. Along with these efforts, the APHA has also campaigned for the development of well-organized health departments at both the federal and the local level.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the largest association of public health professionals in the world. The organization represents all of the many disciplines that contribute to contemporary public health practice. APHA’s policies are determined by a 250-member Governing Council and its ongoing activities and operations are governed by a 21-member Executive Board. There were over 55,000 members in 1999. The APHA is organized in the following Sections and Special Primary Interest Groups.



  • Bernstein, N. R. (1972).The First One Hundred Years: Essays on the History of the American Public Health Association. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association.
  • Johnson, N. (2000). “The Journal: New Chapter, New Century.”American Journal of Public Health90:19–22.
  • Levy, B. S. (1998). “1997 Presidential Address. Creating the Future of Public Health: Values, Vision, and Leadership.”American Journal of Public Health 86:188.
  • https://www.apha.org/about-apha/our-history

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