The Arkansas Public Health Association was organized on Saturday
morning, November 22, 1947, in the Lecture Room of the Robinson Memorial
Auditorium, Markham and Broadway Streets, Little Rock, Arkansas. This
organizational meeting of APHA was held on the third day of the Annual
Conference of the Arkansas State Board of Health. The Annual
Conferences were held in part to fulfill the state law requirement that
the State Health Officer speak to the employees of the State Board of
Health at least once each year.
Dr. Edgar J. Easley, Director of the Division of Venereal Disease
Control, Arkansas Department of Health, was chairperson of the
organizational committee and was elected to serve as the first President
of the Arkansas Public Health Association. Other officers elected at
the organizational meeting were Vice-President, Mrs. W. T. Dorrough,
Executive Secretary of the Arkansas Tuberculosis Association and the
Secretary-Treasurer, Mr. Roy M. Reid, Director of the Division of Public
Health Education, Arkansas Department of Health. Members elected to the
APHA Executive Council were Mr. J. W. Coddington, Mrs. Edgar J. Dixon,
Mr. H. W. Parker, Mr. Walter T. Peffercorn, Miss Myrtle Horton and Mr.
Joe F. Shuffield.
There were 218 charter members who signed an attachment to the original
Constitution and By-laws that were adopted on November 22, 1947. Much
of the wording of the original Constitution and By-laws has been
retained over the years even though there have been numerous changes and
amendments. Initially the annual membership dues were $1 per year for
individuals and $5 per year for organizations.
Membership eligibility was open to any citizen or organization of the
state sincerely interested in the health and welfare of the people.
The Arkansas Public Health Association was the twenty-sixth State Public
Health Association to be organized.
The first annual meeting of APHA was held on December 9-11, 1948, at the
Robinson Memorial Auditorium in Little Rock. The opening session was
Thursday morning and the closing session was held on Saturday morning,
December 11. There was a social hour and dinner-dance on Friday
evening. Mrs. Charles W. Garrison, wife of former State Health Officer
Dr. Charles W. Garrison, presented the “History of Public Health in
Arkansas” at a Friday morning session. Dr. Edgar J. Easley, President
of APHA, was presiding officer of this first annual meeting.
APHA PAST PRESIDENTS
1949-50 Dr. Edgar J. Easley; 1951-52 Dr. William P. Scarlett; 1952-53 Dr. Arthur C. Curtis; 1953-54 Hattye C. Robinson; 1954-55 Carroll H. French; 1955-56 Dr. Frances C. Rothert; 1956-57 Margaret S. Vaughn; 1957-58 Dr. Arthur M. Washburn; 1958-59 Catherine Dees Hidy; 1959-60 Dr. Lynwood B. Jones; 1960-61 James H. Shelton; 1961-62 Eugene C. Spatt; 1962-63 Dr. Milton R. Wirthlin; 1963-64 Angie F. Waldrum; 1964-65 Vada Russell; 1965-66 E. Frank Wilson; 1966-67 John E. Cole; 1967-68 Hazelle Thrasher; 1968-69 Bill E. Parette; 1969-70 Dr. Rex C. Ramsay, Jr.; 1970-71 Billy J. Hogue; 1971-72 Martha P. Welch; 1972-73 Daisye S. Zimmerman; 1973-74 James E. Stewart; 1974-75 Tom Grace; 1975-76 Yvonne Medley Hitt; 1976-77 James M. Wallace, III; 1977-78 Shirley Gentry Jones; 1978-79 Dr. Robert Hotchkiss; 1979-80 Jack Lusby; 1980-81 Nina White; 1981-82 Tommy Sorrells; 1982-83 Nealia Neal; 1983-84 Stanley Gramling; 1984-85 Elizabeth Broyles; 1985-86 Beth Earlywine; 1986-87 Danny DeClerk; 1987-88 David Oberste; 1988-89 Marie Tucker Morgan; 1989-90 Louise Dennis; 1990-91 Martha Hiett; 1991-92 Marcell Jones; 1992-93 Marilyn Dunavant; 1993-94 Raymond Heaggans; 1994-95 LaVerne Grayson; 1995-96 Donna Bolanos; 1996-97 Erma Breedlove; 1997-98 Sue Parker; 1998-99 Timothy Howell; 1999-2000 Dick Jones; 2000-01 Lynda Lehing; 2001-02 Dr. David Bourne; 2002-03 Debbie Riley; 2003-04 Carey Woods; 2004-05 Tina Gill; 2005-06 Tammy Cook; 2006-07 Janet McAdams; 2007-08 Catherine Tapp; 2008-09 Carladder Parham; 2009-10 Arlene Rose; 2010-11 Ashley Nale; 2011-12 Elizabeth “Libby” Seftar; 2012-13 Joyce Biddle; 2013-14 Cindy Schaefering; 2014-15 Loy Bailey.