Non-profit will showcase grassroots mobilization model to
country’s largest gathering of public health professionals

CINCINNATI, OH – The Center for Closing the Health Gap, a community-based grassroots organization working to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities in Greater Cincinnati, is telling its story this week at the 2019 American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting & Expo in Philadelphia. Health Gap President & CEO Renee Mahaffey Harris will help present a new short film that showcases the organization’s community-based impact efforts to build a culture of health among Cincinnati’s most vulnerable populations.

APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. Its Annual Meeting and Expo is the largest and most influential annual gathering of public health professionals in the U.S. APHA TV airs a wide range of public health discussions from professionals, advocates and leaders, each giving their unique perspective and message. The Health Gap story is one of 16 Thought Leader films that will be presented to nearly 13,000 Annual Meeting attendees in Philadelphia from Nov. 2-6 and to more than 25,000 members of APHA worldwide.

“We are so excited about the opportunity to share the Health Gap story with a national audience of public health leaders,” said Mahaffey Harris. “The Health Gap story is a story of hope and community and helping people take control of their health. APHA has given us a chance to tell that story on a big stage and in a very dynamic way. At the same time, we’re ready to learn new ways to rally our communities across Cincinnati to build a culture of health – from healthy eating and exercise to access to quality health care – and extend the powerful impact The Health Gap is having every day.”

The Health Gap’s film highlights its Grassroots Mobilization Model to Engage, Empower & Advocate and help residents improve the quality and length of their lives. By exploring initiatives like the Health Gap’s Do Right! Healthy Lifestyle campaigns, and the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative delivered Block by Block, the film celebrates a growing culture of health in Cincinnati from the perspective of local residents, education leaders and advocates. It will be presented all week at screenings throughout the APHA Annual Meeting and on televisions in attendee hotel rooms across Philadelphia. The film can be viewed at

Founded in 1872 by a group of physicians, the APHA speaks out for public health issues and policies backed by science. It’s the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health.

“We all deserve access to a culture of health – living as long as you can, as well as you can and having a short but glorious ending,” said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD. “It also means having a system in place that ensures we can all achieve it.”

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