International Conference



2020 International Conference


New Perspectives on Healthy Public Policy

Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, APPAM is committed to the world-class conferences you've been used to from us. The 2020 APPAM International Conference is still going to take place on July 23 – 24, 2020, but it will be virtual.

This decision was made after consultation with our co-hosts, American University and University of Toronto, and after taking into account some crucial aspect of meeting in person. The most important thing for APPAM is the health and safety of our members and attendees, and a large gathering like the International Conference would have been logistically difficult to carry on without endangering the wellbeing of conference-goers. In addition many countries, states and localities still have travel restrictions in place that would have made attendance difficult for a number of interested scholars. Further, academic institutions have announced steep budget cuts and strict spending requirements, making travel practically impossible for their employees.


Conference Theme

Healthy public policy, or the consideration of population health and health equity in all areas of policy, is vital to the achievement of sustainable and healthy communities. Policies affecting food systems, housing, education, immigration, transportation, employment and social assistance impact the social determinants of health and can have intended and unintended impacts on health and equity. This conference will showcase research examining how programs and policies affect health-related behaviors and outcomes, as well as inquiry into the development and analysis of healthy public policy. Policies and programs studied may have the objective of directly improving health or may affect health indirectly. The year 2020 seems to be a perfect storm for this conversation, as American University's Dr. Alison Jacknowitz, and University of Toronto's Dr. Sara Allin, argue in a guest blog for APPAM.

Online Program

The full Online Program for the condensed Virtual Conference is now available. Please consult our updated presenter guidelines. The Online Program also now houses the recordings of the panel sessions, which can be accessed with a password. Paid registrants should receive an email with their password. Unfortunately there is no way to pay to access just the recordings post-conference.


The Online Program has some new features, created specifically for the virtual conference.

  • My Schedule allows you to create and export a schedule to your calendars.
  • My Favorites gives you the ability to save favorite events for quick reference.
  • My People connects you with fellow attendees via email. 
  • Q&A means that you can ask questions to sessions, papers or posters before the conference and until Friday, July 30. 
  • Zoom Links will appear for each session, to make it easy to join (password is required for all events).

If you have questions about the new Online Program, please email Samantha Oliver Thomason


Registration is now closed

Registration will remain closed until Wednesday, July 22nd at 12:00 PM Pacific Time.

The registration rates for the Virtual International Conference are heavily discounted, as the virtual format is, of course, not ideal and some of the aspects of a live conference cannot be replicated in an online format. We also recognize that this is a time of potential financial insecurity for many of us and a professional conference should not add more monetary strain. While online, we are confident this is still going to be an amazing conference with top-notch research, with a primary focus on a timely topic, public health.

Registration for the Virtual International Conference will give paid registrants access to all Zoom sessions, plenaries, and poster receptions. Paid registrants have the option to watch the events live on July 23rd and July 24th, and/or access the session recordings at a later date.

Each session and special event will have a unique Zoom link that will be available in the Online Program in early July. Each Zoom link will be password protected and the password will be shared with registrants shortly before the scheduled event in late July. We kindly request that you do not share the password as this content is exclusive for paid conference registrants.

Conference registration is required for all virtual session attendees and participants (speakers, presenting authors, chairs, discussants, and poster presenters).

If you have questions about the registration process, registration rates, or your payment status, please contact

Student Member $25 USD
Professional Member $50 USD
Professional Non-Member $100 USD


Schedule at a Glance

The schedule is modified to a condensed version.

Thursday, July 23 (all times Eastern)

11:00 AM – 12:15 PM Concurrent Sessions
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM Plenary: Emerging from the COVID-19 Crisis:
The Health Landscape of the Future
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM Concurrent Sessions
3:30 PM – 4:45 PM Concurrent Sessions
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM Opening Poster Reception


Friday, July 24 (all times Eastern)

11:00 AM – 12:15 PM Concurrent Sessions 
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM Concurrent Sessions
2:00 PM – 3:15 PM Concurrent Sessions
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM Closing Poster Reception


Thursday Plenary: 
Emerging from the COVID-19 Crisis: The Health Landscape of the Future

The global COVID-19 pandemic has forced governments to make rapid and difficult decisions to protect the health of their populations and to mitigate social and economic shocks. The closing of borders and shutting down of large parts of the economy have proven effective in containing the spread of the virus and “flattening the curve” in many parts of the world. Also, many regions have undergone rapid restructuring of health and long-term care systems to ramp up capacity for testing and treatment and minimize the death toll.

Yet, questions remain as to how to move from reacting to the crisis to designing effective health and social protection systems. This plenary session will reflect on the health landscape of the future as societies emerge from the first wave of the pandemic.

This plenary of global leaders in health policy will reflect on the way forward, and consider the political and policy opportunities presented by the COVID-19 to work across sectors to improve population health and reduce inequities.

A recap and video of the plenary is now available here




Dr. Kwame McKenzie

CEO of Wellesley Institute; Professor at University of Toronto; Director of Health Equity at the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health




Dr. Abdul El Sayed

Physician, epidemiologist, public health expert, and progressive activist


Dr. Tim Grant Evans 

Director and Associate Dean of the School of Population and Global Health (SPGH) in the Faculty of Medicine and Associate Vice-Principal (Global Policy and Innovation) at McGill University



Dr. Danielle Martin 

Executive Vice-President and Chief Medical Executive at Women’s College Hospital; Associate Professor at University of Toronto



Thursday Poster Session: 

Moderated by:


Meric Gertler  

President, University of Toronto


Steini Brown

Dean, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto


Friday Poster Session: 

Moderated by:


Vicky Wilkins  

Dean & Professor, School of Public Affairs Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University



Policy Areas

For a full list of policy areas, click here.

If you have questions about the virtual conference format, how to access the virtual content, or any other conference-specific inquiries, please email Samantha Oliver Thomason,

Thank you to our 2020 hosts