AZPHA Compilation Report Final 2023

Our History

A Public Health and Sanitary Conference was held at the University of Arizona in April 1928 to bring together officials and workers interested in community health and welfare.

The state and local health departments should care for public health administration, but in Arizona, health work has not been organized and financed sufficiently to cover the field adequately. We must have the assistance of private agencies to help us carry on this very necessary work by creating public opinion in favor of sanitary measures, and by the enforcement of existing laws.

Health officers, city engineers, water works men, dairy inspectors, public health nurses, sanitary inspectors, and others interested in health betterment must co-operate to improve conditions in Arizona and to create sufficient support for this work.

The April meeting brought together a number of these workers to discuss their problems and to gain a new enthusiasm, and resulted in the formation of an Arizona Public Health Association which plans to meet each year to continue the discussion of health and sanitary questions.

This organization should do much to increase the interest of the people in health matters by working to accomplish better things for Arizona.

F.T. Fahlen, M.D – State Superintendent of Public Health, 1928


Since 1928, Arizona public health professionals have worked day in and day out to improve the health of Arizona communities via public health assessment, policy development and evaluation – core public health functions.  In November 2018 we celebrated our 90th anniversary (see the conference brochure) – and we look forward to our 100th anniversary in November 2028.

As part of our 90th Anniversary celebration in 2018 several AZPHA members assembled materials from our then 90-year history. Our volunteers collected materials like conference brochures, awards, annual meeting minutes and many other items and safely packaged them for storage at the Arizona Historical Society. Those materials are available for viewing by members at the Society by making an appointment (the materials are in a climate-controlled area and need to be retrieved from storage prior to viewing them).

As we looked back at documents from the 30’s all the way to today we recognized some themes that continue: access to care, infectious disease, reproductive health, nutrition and environmental concerns.  In all the newsletters we read of real-life examples of assessment, policy development and assurance.  We were sounding the alarms and mobilizing our troops.  It was what we did back then and what we do today.

Check out our 90th anniversary video


About Our Organization


AzPHA Land Acknowledgement

We ask that you take a moment to honor and acknowledge that we are on the traditional and ancestral homelands of Indigenous peoples: the Ancient Puebloans, Hohokam peoples, Sinagua, Mogollon and the Salado.

We are all on stolen Indigenous land. AzPHA acknowledges the twenty-two Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries and continue to steward the lands that make up the state of Arizona. We acknowledge the sovereignty of these nations and the Indigenous people spanning the boarder who have been denied sovereignty. Through this acknowledgement we recognize the systemic inequities created by the negative impacts of colonization, past and present, and commit to respecting and reconciling this long history of injustice.

All governments in North America committed atrocities against Indigenous, Native American, and First Nation peoples. Despite this, we are still on Indigenous land and Indigenous people are part of our present and future. We must also remember that our history includes those who were kidnapped from their homelands and brought here in the name of colonization. We honor the lives of all who endured and continue to endure in the face of settler colonial oppression and white supremacy and honor all the many Indigenous peoples whose footsteps have marked these lands for centuries.

We encourage you to find out what traditional Indigenous land you are standing on and more importantly, taking direct action to support Indigenous rights and culture.

Current Tribal Communities in Arizona:

  • Ak-Chin Indian Community
  • Cocopah Indian Tribe
  • Colorado River Indian Tribes
  • Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation
  • Fort Mojave Indian Tribe
  • Fort Yuma Quechan Indians
  • Gila River Indian Community
  • Havasupai Tribe
  • Hopi Tribe
  • Hualapai Tribe
  • Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians
  • Navajo Nation
  • Pascua Yaqui Tribe
  • Pueblo of Zuni
  • Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe
  • San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe
  • Tohono O’odham Nation
  • Tonto Apache Tribe
  • White Mountain Apache Tribe
  • Yavapai-Apache Nation
  • Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe

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