American Public Health Association
A professional organization that I would like to join is the American Public Health Association (APHA). The organization champions the health of all individuals and communities with the aim of continuously improving the public health profession. APHA speaks o0ut on public health issues backed by evidence-based information. The organization has been active for more than 15 years and has a wide-based member community. Moreover, APHA has the ability to influence federal policies to improve public health. Notably, APHA’s mission is to improve the health of the public to create the healthiest communities (“About APHA”, 2021). Thus, the organization is dedicated to improving public health.
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American Public Health Association Membership Fee and Available Discounts
There are various APHA membership categories whereby each represents a professional stage of an individual’s career. The different categories include regular, retired, early-career professional, student, agency and company consultant, and school-sponsored student memberships. Being currently in school, I qualify for the student membership which goes for &85 annually. For one to qualify for this membership package, they must be enrolled in a degree program and taking at least six credit hours, (for an undergraduate degree) or three credit hours (for graduate degree) per semester. Notably, one is viable for student membership for up to six years per degree. Proof of status is required per academic year and one must provide the credit hours as well as academic institution verification. APHA offers a discount for public health programs – that is; schools of public health, et cetera. (“Membership Types and Rates”, 2021).
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It is worth noting that after graduating I will qualify for the early-career professional package which goes for $135 annually. This membership option is available for individuals who have graduated in the last twenty-four months and are in the process of transitioning into the workforce. Notably, one is eligible for this membership type for three consecutive years. APHA requires qualifying persons to provide proof of status yearly. Both students and early-career pro0fessional members are eligible for the green discount. Members with this discount save $20 on their membership since they have the option to choose online-only access to the American Journal of Public Health (“Membership Types and Rates”, 2021).
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Benefits of Joining American Public Health Association
From speaking to APHA members who I identified on the various social media platforms there are many benefits of joining the organization. Firstly, the organization creates opportunities for its members to lead, thus; honing their leadership skills. Secondly, APHA provides mentorship and networking opportunities to its members. Being in the early stages of my career, mentorship and networking will prove to be a significant boost to my career and as such will positively contribute to my ability to perform my job. Thirdly, the organization provides a platform for its members to collaborate with public health leaders nationwide. Consequently, this provides members with a unique opportunity to learn from the best and improve their leadership skills. Fourthly, by being a member, one gets the opportunity to influence APHA policies, governance, and priorities.
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Other opportunities include educational sessions that increase members’ knowledge regarding contemporary issues in public health as well as facilitate best practices. Additionally, APHA provides educational sessions to its members during its annual meetings. The organization also emphasizes student engagement to ensure that they get the right information to positively influence public health care in the future. Another benefit is the APHA connect which makes it easier for thousands of public health professionals to connect online. Members log in with their APHA credentials to get access to thousands of professionals who are ready to discover, share, and advance knowledge and ideas. Moreover, APHA members are provided with the opportunities to participate in national advocacy platforms and access research and news. Thus, being a member of APHA providers one with numerous opportunities and platforms for advancing their knowledge, skills, and network hence is significantly beneficial to job performance and career growth.
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Advantages of Attending the APHA Annual Meetings in Person
The annual meetings provide members with the opportunity to network with thousands of public health professionals in a face-to-face fashion. Notably, face-to-face stands out as the best mode of networking as one can express themselves through both verbal and non-verbal cues (Goolsby & Knestrick, 2017). Moreover, during the annual meetings, APHA provides educational services geared towards benefiting public health professionals. The educational sessions can prove beneficial to a person’s job and career by impacting one with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the public health realm.
How to Effectively Network Within the Health Care Sector
There exist various ways that one can effectively network within the healthcare sector. They include using professional organizations such as APHA. Another way is taking advantage of social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter, which have millions of health care professionals ready to network, share ideas, and market themselves. The digital era has rendered social media a rich source for networking by connecting individuals who are ready to nurture meaningful relations. Another great way to network is by attending health care conferences (Nigar, 2021). According to Nigar, most of these conferences usually schedule a meet and greet session to promote networking.
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