Public Health Fora 2015–2016

Turning the Tide: New Directions in Population Health

Improvements in health over the past century are attributable primarily to structural public health efforts to create the conditions that enable population health. Improvements in food supplies, sanitation, cleaner air, and declining birth rates have led to gains of decades in life expectancy worldwide.

Nonetheless, US and global investments in health are overwhelmingly focused on individual biomedical approaches; by some estimates more than 90 percent of our financial investments.

Why? Are population health approaches being squeezed out by our fascination with the individual solutions suggested by a “personalized” medicine agenda? Is this the result of a particularly assertive individual biomedical agenda, or has population health scholarship diluted its message, focus, and effectiveness, allowing a surging biomedical agenda to occupy our health imagination space? Have population health scholars been reluctant to shift their emphasis to the critical challenges of the 21st century, and define these challenges in a way that captures the imagination of the public?

What are the key goals and directions that should be embraced by an assertive population health that aims to elevate scholarship and action that stands to improve the health of populations? What are the approaches that we should adopt to clearly and persuasively define and communicate the priorities of a contemporary public health? What innovative initiatives should we embrace that can yield convincing quality-of-life return on investment, casting the benefits of population health into clear relief and turning the tide on the individualist cast that is currently molding the biomedical enterprise and health policy more broadly?

We shall tackle these questions throughout our Public Health Forum series in 2015–2016, inviting speakers with perspectives and thoughts on these questions and aiming to inform, stimulate, and encourage a school-wide discussion.

September 29, 2015

Public Health Priorities for an Aging Population

Judith Kasper, PhD, Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Ellen-Wright-ClaytonOctober 27, 2015

Why Public Health Is Critical in a Precision Medicine World

Ellen Wright Clayton, Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University

Tom-FarleyNovember 17, 2015

Transforming Health in America: Media Narratives and Social Change

Tom Farley, MD, MPH, CEO, The Public Good Projects

December 15, 2015

Nanomedicine, Public Health & Uncertainty

Martin Philbert, PhD, FRSC, Dean and Professor of Toxicology, University of Michigan School of Public Health

Alain-BeaudetJanuary 26, 2016

Advancing Public Health Science for Global Health: A Health Research Funder’s Perspective

Alain Beaudet, MD, PhD, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Stefano-BertozziFebruary 24, 2016

Using Bigger Data Better to Improve Population Health

Stefano M. Bertozzi, Dean and Professor of Health Policy & Management, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health

AF4Q-Yearbook-NPO-Wilson-picMarch 15, 2016

Insights on Population Health Measurement

Marcia Wilson, PhD, MBA, Senior Vice President of Quality Measurement, National Quality Forum

Donna-PetersenApril 12, 2016

Framing the Future: Transforming Public Health Curricula Toward Improved Population Health

Donna J. Petersen, ScD, MHS, CPH, Senior Associate Vice President, USF Health and Dean, College of Public Health, University of South Florida

Susan-WolfMay 10, 2016

Moving from Personalized Medicine to Public Health Genomics: Ethical, Legal & Practical Challenges

Susan M. Wolf, JD, McKnight Presidential Professor of Law, Medicine & Public Policy; Faegre Baker Daniels Professor of Law; Chair, Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences, University of Minnesota