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.
Voting begins July 28 for IAPHS’s 2017 election. At stake are the new President-Elect of IAPHS, who will subsequently serve as President and Past President; three new Board members serving 3-year terms, and a Student Representative to the Board who will serve a two-year term. Meet the candidates below… President Elect Lisa Berkman, PhD Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, Epidemiology, and Global Health and Population T.H. Chan School of Public Health Harvard University Discipline: Epidemiology Ana V. Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH Dean and Distinguished University Professor of Epidemiology Dornsife School of Public Health Drexel University Discipline: Epidemiology & Medicine Board Member (1) Sane Magnan, MD, PhD Senior Fellow, HealthPartners Institute Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Minnesota Discipline: Medicine and Public Health Practice Joshua Sharfstein, MD Associate Dean, Public Health Practice & Training Professor of the Practice Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Discipline: Public health Board Member (2) Alison Aiello, MS, PhD Professor of Epidemiology University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health Discipline: Epidemiology Gina Lovasi, PhD Dornsife Associate Professor of Urban Health Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics […]
Every presidential administration brings a new set of priorities. These priorities affect the communities that public health researchers seek to study and protect. In light of the current administration’s immigration policy and increasing willingness to use immigration home raids to detain undocumented immigrants, it is more important than ever to understand the effects of immigration raids, at both the individual and community level. Dr. William Lopez, a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Michigan, agreed to chat with me about his immigration research and to discuss some ways population health researchers can become involved. Can you tell us about your research? Sure. During the Obama era, we saw up to 400,000 deportations a year. The sheer scale of the removal–400,000 people–is incredibly important, but we cannot overlook the effects that one individual deportation can cause to individuals, families, and communities. This is largely because, contrary to what is popularly portrayed, there is no collection of undocumented individuals living alone in isolated corners of the U.S. On the contrary, undocumented immigrants are linked through marriage, work, school, commerce, church, and many other ways to individuals of all immigration statuses. These are what I call “mixed-status communities.” In my work, I look […]
Book Review: The Lives of Community Health Workers – Local Labor and Global Health in Urban Ethiopia
Book review: The Lives of Community Health Workers: Local Labor and Global Health in Urban Ethiopia, by Kenneth Maes, published by Routledge This deeply researched, intelligent, and persuasive book by Dr. Kenneth Maes addresses the moral economy of global aid for health. To fill the role of community health workers (CHWs), many poor countries extend the reach of their under-resourced public health systems by recruiting and training unpaid volunteers from poor, marginalized communities. The book describes the work of these volunteer CHWs in urban Ethiopia who willingly accept the task given to them: to provide care and support for their neighbors living with AIDS. What makes their unpaid work remarkable is that volunteers are themselves often struggling to make a living, and may themselves be HIV positive. The global health organizations and NGOs that implement donors’ programs on the ground recruit volunteers by using the language of morality. At one particular Ethiopian Volunteer Day event organized by a local NGO (HIWOT), volunteers were encouraged to sacrifice—to seek spiritual and mental rewards rather than material rewards. Themes included, “Let us protect children from HIV/AIDS and spread volunteer service” and “Everyone should give volunteer service in order to improve the country […]
Recently, UC Berkeley Professor Jason Corburn was awarded an 18-month grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for his project “Learning from Slum Upgrading for Building Healthy Communities.” Here, we interview him about his planned work. What is the goal of this project? The idea is to initiate a set of conversations between activists, researchers, and decision-makers involved in building more healthy and equitable communities. We hope to share strategies and learn from one another across the Global South and North, with the ultimate goal to reduce social and health inequities in urban communities around the world. Participants in the project include community activists, researchers, NGOs, community-based organizations, and community residents. The goal is to have practitioners from countries in the Global South, mostly in Africa and Southeast Asia, engage in a deep conversation with healthy community activists and practitioners in low-income communities of color in the U.S, namely in East Oakland and Richmond, California. This is just a starting point. The idea is not to rush to find one best practice, but to develop a new global network of practice – of action – that supports health equity. How do you plan to implement these ideas? The first task […]
A Report Card on National Government: How Will a New Government’s Policies Impact Population Health?
It’s time for a National Dashboard – a report card on how well policy-makers are supporting the conditions that allow people to be healthy. Population health is about assuring the conditions in which people—all people—can be healthy. This effort has never been more important. I will be monitoring these conditions in the United States and reporting on them here on the IAPHS blog every six months. I welcome your input on which benchmarks should be included. I will begin by monitoring six key issues. Each one has a significant impact on population health, and each can be measured reliably and objectively each year. I’ve chosen these issues for two reasons: each one informs the conditions where health happens (or doesn’t), and each responds relatively quickly to policy changes. Together these metrics make a good start for a report card for the new administration. 1.The Number of Uninsured Americans. With control of Congress, the Republican Party may dismantle several aspects of the Affordable Care Act. For example, Republican Speaker Paul Ryan has promised to dramatically curtail Medicaid by block-granting it to the states. He would also like to end Medicare as we know it and replace it with a system of […]
How are policy choices around the world affecting population health? HUD Housing Assistance, But Not Vouchers, Linked To Improvement in Health Measurements (American Journal of Public Health, April 2017) The Economist: The most neglected threat to public health in China is toxic soil (The Economist, 06/08/17) Why Safe Drinking Water Should Be At The Centre Of Public Health Policy In India (The Huffington Post 06/12/17) A Scientist’s Life: Tarik Benmarhnia Climate change epidemiologist considers human health hazards (links between climate change and pop health) (Scripps News 06/13/17) Nearly 1 In 3 Recent FDA Drug Approvals Followed by Major Safety Actions (Scientific American 05/09/17) What is happening in health disparities research? What Is Health Equity? And What Difference Does a Definition Make? (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation May 2017) Pride In Our Identities And The Public Health Of Gay Men (Huffington Post 06/06/17) Surge in Latino homeless population ‘a whole new phenomenon’ for Los Angeles (Los Angeles Times 06/18/17) Medical racism at work? Study finds blacks, Latinos get worse care for neurological disorders (Salon.com 06/11/17) Social environmental factors and health: Acute and persistent Health Effects of Dramatic Societal Events — Ramifications of the Recent Presidential Election (New England Journal of Medicine 06/08/17) […]
Registration is now open for Improving Population Health: Now, Across People’s Lives, and Across Generations to Come in Austin, Texas October 2-4, 2017. View the agenda and register here. Registration is free, but required. The conference will run from 9:30 AM October 2 to 3:45 October 4. The program features four keynote panels: The Politics of Population Health – featuring Kathleen Sebelius, Former U.S. Secretary for Health & Human Services and Governor of Kansas; Mark McClellan, Director, Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy and Margolis Professor of Business, Medicine & Health Policy, Duke University and former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ; and Joshua Sharfstein, Director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative & Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Training at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and former Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene Opportunities and Challenges for Advancing Population Health in Urban Areas – featuring Jo Ivey Boufford, President, The New York Academy of Medicine; Steven Woolf, Director, Center for Human Needs, Department of Preventative Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University; Rachel Kimbro, Professor and Founding Director of […]
Every Monday since its launch on February 6, a new post has gone up on the IAPHS blog. Readers have treated themselves to a rich range of topics, from the effects of debt on health to gossip as data in health research. And more is coming every week! We have our Blog Editors and the many committee members and writers who have worked with them to thank for this excellent record. As the blog enters its fifth month of operation, IAPHS celebrates (and thanks!) its Blog Editors and Managers: Kristin Harper, who led development of the vision for the blog as chair of the IAPHS Communications Committee from May 2016-January 2017 and continued as Blog Editor until early May. Kristin is President of Harper Health & Science Communications and a scientist-turned-science writer with a deep commitment to population health. She and her colleagues worked tirelessly to plan the blog and recruit a rich set of excellent posts to launch it. We interviewed Kristin recently about her experience in this critical volunteer job – read the interview here. Sarah Burgard, our new Blog Editor, who took over seamlessly from Kristin Harper in early May. Sarah holds Associate Professor appointments in both Sociology and Epidemiology […]
Kristin Harper, who led the development of the IAPHS blog and brought it to life in February, talked with Executive Director Christine Bachrach recently about her experience volunteering with IAPHS. Chris: Kristin, thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with me. Tell me first about your own career trajectory. You started your professional life as a biologist. What drew you into science communications? Kristin: I actually started out picturing myself as writer when I was in high school, but I fell in love with biology as a freshman in college. Biology was a whole new world for me. But even as I went through graduate school in biology, I kept writing. And along the way, I also got interested in anthropology, thanks to an adviser who chaired the anthropology department. That led me to the RWJF Health & Society Scholars program, which enabled me to combine both. Ultimately, science writing let me pursue my interests in both writing and science. Chris: What challenges did you face designing the IAPHS blog, and how did your committee contribute to this task? Kristin: The biggest challenge was starting with a blank slate! We could do anything, and we needed to find […]
Where people live matters for their health: this is a fundamental conviction among population health scientists, but how much do we really know about how and why this is true? At the 2017 meetings of the Population Association of America, held in Chicago in late April, a panel of distinguished scientists discussed how sociological neighborhood research informs research on population health. The two sociologists on the panel were Rob Sampson, Professor at Harvard University and a leader of the landmark Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), and Chris Browning, Professor at Ohio State and the leader of the Adolescent Health and Development in Context study. Ana Diez Roux, Dean of the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health and an early and prolific leader of research on neighborhoods and health, provided an epidemiologic perspective. Kate Cagney, Professor at the University of Chicago, expertly moderated the discussion. Neighborhood Impact on Health Is Complex What do we know about neighborhood effects on health? Most scientists agree that places have properties that transcend the individuals who live in them and that these properties – be they social cohesion, the mix of commercial and residential uses, or safety – matter for […]