Who We Are


The Public Health Social Work Section was established as a unit within the American Public Health Association (APHA) in 1970 to provide a vehicle for section members to coalesce within the Association.  The purpose of the Section is to identify, investigate, and remediate issues of importance to the social work profession, the health and well-being of the public, and the adoption of strategies based on our mission. Additionally, the Section plans its annual scientific program and provides professional networking, career development, and mentoring.


The mission of the social work section is to advocate for the health and well-being of all Americans, educate the public about the role and importance of public heath social work, mentor public health social workers so that they may continue to serve the public better, and share best practices with other professional groups.


The Social Work Section promotes evidence-based practice and translational research while employing a socio-epidemiologic approach. 

Our priorities for 2021:

  • Strengthen the Public Health Social Work Section by fully engaging our members and partners.
  • Successfully implement education and advocacy efforts.
  • Identify, support and mentor Section leaders and members who can help partners make positive, supportive and equitable program and policy decisions.
  • Strengthen collaborations with national Social Work and Behavioral Health partners.
  • Promote and distribute culturally relevant, research-based resources, publications, tools, curricula and other communications through social media and other channels.
  • Successfully implement policy development and advocacy efforts.