Due to the astounding fact that only 1 of 75 Arkansas counties has a life expectancy that exceeds the national average, the 70th Annual Arkansas Public Health Association Conference focused on the social determinants of health, public health policy, and advocating for health. May 9-11, 2018, public health professionals, advocates, and stakeholders came together in Little Rock, Arkansas, for three days of education, networking, and skill building. Leaders from various industries shared their successes, sought assistance with their struggles, and made plans for the future of their communities.
This year's conference theme, "Pathways to Health Equity: The Intersection of the Social Determinants of Health, Advocacy and Policy," was centered on the need to address the inequities faced by Arkansans that lead to poor health outcomes. In order to succeed in moving Arkansas forward on the health spectrum, public health advocates must take into account the multi-faceted and interactive effects of personal and environmental factors that drive health outcomes. Topics included: food insecurity, healthy housing, access to healthcare, public safety, social support, and economic security.
As an added benefit to attending this year's conference, attendees had access to the 2018 Chronic Disease Forum that was held on Friday, May 11, 2018, in conjunction with the APHA Conference. This year's conference focused on the science and recommendation for nutrition interventions. Topics included: plant-based diets, local nutrition interventions, reimbursement, Arkansas research and considerations for special populations.