Congratulations to Gloria Krahn on Receiving the APHA Disability Section Lifetime Achievement Award

November 1, 2012

With one in five American adults living with a disability, the American Public Health Association (APHA) Disability Section is more important than ever. With growing public health concern of disability and social isolation, the impact of obesity and nutrition, as well as smoking, good health is still a frontier for many Americans.

Each year, the APHA Disability Section honors those who have made significant contributions to the field of disability within the public health context. This year's winner of American Public Health Association Disability Section Lifetime Achievement Award is Dr. Gloria Krahn, the Director of the Division of Human Development and Disability at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Dr. Krahn has made a major contribution to the improvement of health and quality of life for people with disabilities through research, teaching, and advocacy. With over 25 years of experience as an academic clinician, researcher, teacher and administrator, Dr. Krahn is widely regarded as a national and international expert in the field of disability and public health.

"I am honored to receive this award," said Krahn. "It's been my pleasure to serve children and adults with disabilities over the years, many of whom face disparities in health compared to those without disability. I will continue to work with the disability and public health communities to help ensure that effective disease prevention and health programs be included or have been adapted for people with disabilities."

Dr. Krahn's early work in child development was followed by an interest in disabilities and development across the lifespan. Her publications and lectures have bridged the fields of child development, childhood-onset disability, health status measurement and health promotion among adults with disabilities. She is the co-editor of the first major textbook on Disability and Public Health.

Serving in a variety of leadership roles within organizations addressing disability across the lifespan, Dr. Krahn has held positions as President of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), Chair of the Disability Section of the American Public Health Association, the Executive Committee of the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, and as a leader of the Healthy People 2010 Disabilities Work Group.

Dr. Krahn received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Manitoba, her M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkley, and completed a postdoctoral residency in pediatric psychology at Oregon Health & Science University.


The American Public Health Association is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world and has been working to improve public health since 1872. The Disability Forum was started in 1988 as the Caucus on Disablement. In 2007 under the leadership of Dr. Krahn, the Disability Forum became a Section, which is the largest division in APHA. The goals of the Disability Section are to increase awareness and knowledge of disability issues across all public health professionals and the general public; advise APHA on policy development relevant to the lives of people with disabilities; and secure well-grounded interest in addressing the needs of the disability community in all public health related matters.