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.
Judith Kasper, PhD, Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
October 27, 2015
Ellen Wright Clayton, Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University
November 17, 2015
Tom Farley, MD, MPH, CEO, The Public Good Projects
December 15, 2015
Martin Philbert, PhD, FRSC, Dean and Professor of Toxicology, University of Michigan School of Public Health
January 26, 2016
Alain Beaudet, MD, PhD, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
February 24, 2016
Stefano M. Bertozzi, Dean and Professor of Health Policy & Management, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health
Marcia Wilson, PhD, MBA, Senior Vice President of Quality Measurement, National Quality Forum
April 12, 2016
Donna J. Petersen, ScD, MHS, CPH, Senior Associate Vice President, USF Health and Dean, College of Public Health, University of South Florida
May 10, 2016
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