Attendees pose for a photo at the Mix and Mingle Lounge. Photo courtesy EZ Event Photography.

Attendees pose for a photo at the Mix and Mingle Lounge. Photo courtesy EZ Event Photography.

In one of the nation’s healthiest states, it was with great gusto and an eye toward the future that thousands of public health professionals, educators, students and advocates came together to recommit to making health equity a reality.

For APHA’s 2016 Annual Meeting and Expo, held Oct. 29-Nov. 2 in Denver, nearly 12,000 attendees gathered to share their best work, practices and goals toward the meeting’s theme, “Creating the Healthiest Nation: Ensuring the Right to Health.” Throughout the meeting’s hundreds of scientific and poster sessions, thousands of abstracts, business meetings and career and networking opportunities over five days, covering the entirety of public health’s reach, attendees discussed the ways barriers to health can be eliminated for individuals and communities.

That so many people face issues of access can be hard to acknowledge, especially as public health leaders gathered in “a most walkable and bikeable city, with clean air and fluoridated water,” noted APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, in his remarks at the meeting’s opening session on Oct. 30. But public health must lead the way in fighting those inequities, recognizing privilege and prejudice to rectify historical injustices against entire communities of color, Benjamin said.

Visit The Nation’s Health online to continue reading this story from the Jan. 2017 issue.