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At the opening general session of the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting, I learned a few things about Philadelphia, where this year’s meeting is happening. Philadelphia opened the nation’s first public hospital, nursing school, and medical school, and it boasts the highest childhood immunization rate in the nation and the greatest proportion of workers who walk to work. Also, given that water is the theme for this year’s meeting, it’s fitting to note that Philly was the home of the nation’s first municipal waterworks.

Speakers at the opening session set the tone for an ambitious and optimistic meeting (with some of that optimism probably due to the House’s passage of healthcare legislation last night):

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