Call for Papers: Journal of Health and Human Services Administration (JHHSA)

Affiliated with ASPA’s Section on Health and Human Services Administration

Special Symposium on Community Health

Symposium editors:
Mary Ann Feldheim (University of Central Florida)
Aaron Wachhaus (University of Baltimore)
Daniel Baracskay (Valdosta State University)

Manuscript Inquiries and Submissions:
All inquiries and submissions may be sent to Daniel Baracskay ( Final submissions should be in Word format only.

Guidelines for manuscripts submitted for review:
Interested contributors may review the JHHSA guidelines for submission at:  Manuscript submissions should be no longer than 35-40 double-spaced pages in length (including references and notes).  All papers should follow APA style guidelines, with tables, figures, and graphics appearing in the place where they are referenced rather than at the end of the manuscript.  Top and bottom margins should be set at 2.0”, and left and right margins should be set at 2.25” with Times New Roman font size 10 for the abstract, and Times New Roman font size 11 for the remaining text.  Please see the above weblink for further formatting guidelines.  Authors who have their manuscripts accepted for publication in the symposium will be required to sign and return a publication contract.

Manuscript deadline:
All manuscripts must be submitted by July 10, 2017 (11:59 p.m.).  Late submissions will not be accepted.

Anticipated publication date:
Spring-Summer 2018

Based upon the Healthy Communities Model, this symposium would focus specifically upon community health as a facet of public health systems.  This is a dimension of the model which correlates to a nation’s wellbeing and allows for investigation to occur at different units of analysis at the local, regional, and national levels.  Contributors would have the option of evaluating primary and secondary data from one or more units of analysis including localities, regions, or at the aggregated national level (as an indicator of local and regional trends).

Symposium theme:
Comparative public administration and comparative public policy emerged in earnest as topics of analysis during the 1960s, and have grown in popularity over time.  Comparative approaches have the benefit of applying diverse and interdisciplinary methodologies to better understand two or more systems of administration.  In pairing the comparative theme with the public health focus, we are asking contributors to analyze data and trends for two or more countries as part of a broader theme for assessing the vibrancy of the communities that comprise a nation, along with identifying relevant health threats that currently challenge localities, regions, and nations as a whole, and also present areas of concern for the future.  Without the benefit of having a responsive public health strategy, communities are more likely to engage in reactive policies where levels of distress, vulnerability, and instability increase as public officials and administrators (at all levels of government) respond with less organization and precision than would occur under proactive planning that seeks to address public health threats through scenario and contingency analyses.  

The benefits of utilizing comparative approaches rests in not only delineating similarities and differences in the administrative structures and policy cycles of differing nations, but in assessing how implementation strategies generate distinctive results for one nation versus another.  

Methodological approaches:
Manuscripts submitted without a comparative public administration or comparative public policy theme will not be considered (all papers will be screened prior to being sent to reviewers).  In developing the comparative theme as related to the Healthy Communities Model, we ask that contributors ground their methodological approach in one of two broad lines of inquiry.  First, contributors may use primary and secondary data sources as the basis for cross-country comparisons, to also identify apparent vulnerabilities and threats facing communities and nations as a whole.  This would have the benefit of utilizing specific nations (and subsets of nations) as case studies, upon which a comparative policy / public administration theme would be drawn out and analyzed as the basis for promoting sustainable and resilient public health systems.  This type of comparative analysis would appeal to both academics and practitioners by contrasting how relevant variables (population, levels of development, the rural versus urban composition of communities, levels of technology, number of medical personnel, etc.) affect the state of public health, allowing them to respond to threats (communicable and non-communicable diseases, declining heath, etc.).   Second, contributors may choose to develop a unique methodological approach that can be applied to a comparative analysis of nations and their public health systems.  This approach is more inductive, where broader generalizations are derived from identifying commonalities that exist in public health systems as related to the individual health and community health of a nation.  Contributors would develop a methodology that can be successfully applied to better understanding how nations promote this dimension of the Healthy Communities Model.  This likewise would appeal to practitioners involved in implementing public health policies as well as academics who have an interest in new methodological approaches.

Symposium contributors:
The symposium’s comparative theme with a public health focus seeks an interdisciplinary mixture of potential contributors from disciplines and fields such as: public health, public administration, public policy, urban affairs, psychology, and sociology to name a few selected areas.  Practitioners and academic from all disciplinary settings are encouraged to submit.
Symposium audience:
Public health is a popular area of research and study that entices considerable readership from both practitioners and academics.  This symposium is expected to provide a number of insights to both groupings: first, the comparative perspective expands beyond the many U.S.-centered studies to also include other systems of public administration and public policy, with analysis of the costs and benefits of pursuing specific alternatives based upon the demographical trends of the nation and its communities.  Second, the symposium helps to expand how we methodologically approach crucial facets of public health by delving into community level indicators that provide aggregated results for the vibrancy of a nation’s wellbeing, and what threats are relevant to its sustainability and resilience as a health system.  Third, practitioners will benefit from applying methodological innovations and data that other nations are implementing to address similar sets of problems, and academicians will benefit from sharing trends with undergraduate and graduate level students in their courses, and colleagues in the field.  Finally, the comparative theme encourages interdisciplinary perspectives for understanding public health challenges and applying this dimension of the Healthy Communities Model.

Manuscript review:
Each manuscript will undergo a careful, blind review process by 2-3 outside referees comprised of both practitioners and academics.  All identifying information on the title page will be removed prior to sending each manuscript to reviewers, and authors should take care to remove or block out any references to their identity or previous works prior to submission.  An evaluation form will be submitted by reviewers to the editors, which includes a decision on the suitability of publication in the journal.  The symposium editors will make every effort to render a final decision for which papers are accepted for publication within approximately two months of the final submission date, which will be communicated to authors in September-October 2017.