Julia HaskinsThis is the first of a 2020 series of "Fresh Perspectives" blog posts presented by the de Beaumont Foundation. These posts leading up to the APHA Annual Meeting will feature perspectives on such topics as health equity, public health advocacy and antiracism. Guest author Julia Haskins, former reporter for APHA’s newspaper, The Nation’s Health, is a communications associate at de Beaumont.

Few of us could have predicted at the beginning of 2020 that our summer would look like this. Instead of enjoying stress-free vacations and getting together with friends, we're limiting our contact with others and feeling some combination of boredom, frustration and fear. Many Americans are feeling the impacts of the pandemic more severely, as the coronavirus exacerbates longstanding health and racial inequities.

If you're like me and look forward to work travel, there's less to look forward to this year, as many events have been postponed or cancelled. But with fall around the corner, I'm already excited about the APHA 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo, which will forge ahead Oct. 24-28 with all the learning, networking, and socializing that takes place every year, this time in a virtual format.

With APHA 2020 on the horizon, it's time for the de Beaumont Foundation's annual "Fresh Perspectives" blog series. As an alumnus of APHA and now a communications associate at the de Beaumont Foundation, I'm excited to help bring together some of the brightest public health practitioners and advocates to share bold, thought-provoking views. This year our contributors will address timely themes such as resilience, partnerships, health equity, antiracism and public health advocacy and funding.

"Fresh Perspectives" holds special meaning at this moment. It's been a major year for public health, from the COVID-19 pandemic to uprisings against racial injustice to climate change. Public health practitioners and allies have played — and continue to play — a pivotal role in all the issues that shape our health and wellness. Just like the "Why Public Health Matters" campaign, we hope these blog posts help elevate the public health field through firsthand experiences and stories.

"Fresh Perspectives" will give you a taste of what to expect at APHA 2020. While this year's conference may be different in format, it will still be the premier gathering of public health professionals and advocates. You'll be able to participate in hundreds of scientific sessions, poster sessions and programs, as well as social events like the Public Health Tweetup, networking and more. This year's theme, "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Preventing Violence," will spark vital conversations about the scourge of violence in the United States and evidence-based solutions, with input from activists, experts, and people working on the front lines to curb violence in their communities.

Don't miss out — register by the Early Bird Deadline of Aug. 27 to take advantage of all the Annual Meeting and Expo has to offer.

This year has taken a toll on all of us. Although we can't physically be together, let's celebrate public health and the many ways it improves our communities in times of crisis and every day. See you (from a distance) at APHA 2020!