The IAPHS Blog is a virtual community that keeps population health professionals connected and up to date on the latest population health news, policy, controversies, and relevant research from multiple fields.
Our mentoring program is going strong. Find out how one mentor is unlocking the “hidden curriculum” for her mentee.
Arguments against systemic racism in policing often rely on flawed approaches and cherry-picked data.
Philip Alberti is the Senior Director of Health Equity Research & Policy at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Washington, DC. You can follow him on Twitter
Please share how your work relates to the issues and concerns that are emerging as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’ve dedicated my professional life to helping build the evidence base of what works to eliminate injustice and inequities in health. The pandemic has forced those issues into the spotlight in a sustained way that I can’t recall happening in my 20+ years as a health equity scientist. It’s been overwhelming and exciting to see politicians, journalists, the media, (my mom!) finally “get it” to some degree. It’s also been incredibly frustrating when those same folks don’t get it at all – I have a new aversion to the phrase “underlying comorbidities”, for example – or act surprised by morbidity and mortality inequities. None of this is surprising.
Much of my work also focuses on building bridges between health care and public health in service of mitigating inequities. The lack of coordination between those two (and other) sectors has also been in high relief these past months.
How we measure quality of life and college readiness is a problem. Here’s why.
Grace Noppert is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. You can follow her on twitter @gracenoppert.
Tell us about your professional journey and how you started out as an infectious disease epidemiologist and how have you since integrated sociology into your work?
My journey as an infectious disease epidemiologist has had several important twists and turns. In college, I was on track to go to med school. However, my junior year I studied abroad in Durban, South Africa—a city with some of the highest tuberculosis (TB) and HIV incidence rates in the world. It was there that I first heard the word ‘epidemiology’ and I was hooked. I was fascinated by a discipline that sought to understand the health of a whole population, rather than a single individual.
After college I became a middle and high school science teacher in Baltimore, MD. My time in the classroom has formed the basis for how I approach my infectious disease work, and specifically how I integrate sociology into that work. My students in Baltimore were remarkable young people, resilient in the face of so many challenges facing them. Many of them lacked basic opportunities to achieve health and wellness, opportunities such as healthy neighborhoods and adequate food and housing. Additionally, many of them were either caring for family members or were themselves suffering from what should be rare infectious diseases in the U.S. It was then that I really started thinking about how experiencing infectious diseases might age your body prematurely, and how the social environment is inextricably linked to the distribution of infectious disease.
I suppose sociology has been baked into how I approach infectious disease from the beginning. Thankfully, over the past few years I have the opportunity to formalize this training with some excellent sociologists and social epidemiologists. They have helped me build a framework around what I have been observing, with regards to infectious disease, for years.
Compliant But Unprotected: Communities of Color Take Greater Action to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 But Remain at Risk
Despite the risk of police profiling, people of color are wearing masks. Yet COVID-19 infection and death disparities remain.
A look at COVID-19 stories: death disparities in NYC–and how it’s not density driving the death rates, Western Kentucky’s poor air quality, undercounted data for Asians, shaping cities and spaces after COVID-19, and who fared better, NC or GA? Plus naloxone policies, the coming caregiver shortage, aging Africa, and more.
Balancing Health And Economic Considerations In COVID-19 Responses: Dilemmas And Opportunities For Population Health
Erika Blacksher, Frederick Zimmerman, Roland J. Thorpe, and Julie Maslowsky Slides: Erika Blacksher Roland J. Thorpe Frederick Zimmerman