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Jimmy Newkirk

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Christine Kimber, Eydie Abercrombie, Jacqueline N. Epping, LeeAnn Mordecai, Jimmy Newkirk Jr. and Michael Ray

Background:

Physical activity has emerged as a distinct area of public health practice. As this field evolved, the need for a professional organization for physical activity practitioners in public health became evident. A collaboration of several existing public health professional organizations formed to address this new area of public health practice. The collaboration laid the foundation to establish a professional organization. National Association of Physical Activity Practitioners in Public Health (NSPAPPH) was launched in April 2006. NSPAPPH accomplishments to date include convening a national meeting of physical activity practitioners, conducting strategic planning, adopting bylaws and core competencies for professional practice, developing a website and electronic newsletter, and establishing training opportunities for practitioners.

Conclusions:

Future plans for NSPAPPH include development of a professional certification for physical activity practitioners in public health; enhancement of training and professional development opportunities; recruitment of members from national, tribal, state, and local organizations working in public and private sectors; publications of journal articles, reports, and issue briefs; and development of a policy agenda. Implementing these plans will serve to strengthen public health infrastructure for physical activity, thus improving the physical activity behaviors of Americans and the health of the nation.