8:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m.
72 East Concord Street
Live-Streaming Available During Event
Can the physical and social aspects of your neighborhood influence your health? The symposium will explore the roles of the built environment and housing and will evaluate the science on how interventions can improve the health of vulnerable populations.
Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor, Boston University School of Public Health
Professor, Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health
BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Washington
Howard Frumkin is a professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and former dean at the University of Washington School of Public Health. He is an internist, environmental and occupational medicine specialist, and epidemiologist. Previously he directed the National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR) at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005¬2010) and was professor and chair of environmental and occupational health at the Rollins School of Public Health, as well as professor of medicine at Emory Medical School (1990–2005). Frumkin’s research interests include public health aspects of the built environment, climate change, energy policy, and nature contact; toxic effects of chemicals; and environmental health policy. A strong proponent of academic engagement with communities, he currently serves on the boards of the Washington Global Health Alliance, the Bullitt Foundation, the Children and Nature Network, and the Seattle Parks Foundation, as well as on the executive committee of the Regional Open Space Strategy for Central Puget Sound, among other activities. He is the author or co-author of more than 200 scientific journal articles and chapters, and his books include Urban Sprawl and Public Health (2004), Emerging Illness and Society (2004), Safe and Healthy School Environments (2006), Green Healthcare Institutions: Health, Environment, Economics (2007), Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-Being, and Sustainability (2011), and Environmental Health: From Global to Local (Third Edition, 2016).
Frumkin was educated at Brown University (AB), the University of Pennsylvania (MD), and Harvard University (MPH and DrPH). He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Collegium Ramazzini, and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. He is an avid cyclist, paddler, and hiker. He is married to radio journalist Joanne Silberner, and has two children: Gabe, an environmental campaign worker, and Amara, a medical student.
Panel Discussion: Separating Neighborhood-Level from Individual-Level Risk Factors
Assistant Professor, Urban Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mariana Arcaya is a social epidemiologist and urban planner whose work explores dynamic relationships between geographic contexts, particularly neighborhoods, and health. Arcaya conducts scholarly and policy-relevant research in two main areas: bi-directional relationships between place and health, including how health considerations shape socioeconomic outcomes for individuals and communities; and applied and translational research on the social determinants of health, particularly health risk factors shaped by urban policy and planning decisions. Prior to coming to MIT in 2015, Arcaya served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. She holds a doctorate of science from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a master of city planning from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies & Planning. Her professional work experience includes instituting and managing a public health division within Metropolitan Boston’s regional planning agency, as well as designing and overseeing the implementation of healthy urban planning strategies under a federally funded Community Transformation Grant.
Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and Assistant Professor, Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health
Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health
Theresa L. Osypuk is a social epidemiologist, and her research examines why place and social policy influence health and health disparities. Specifically, she examines the influence of racial residential segregation, neighborhood context, and policies outside of the health sector (i.e. those concerned with housing or neighborhoods), for their effects on racial/ethnic and immigrant health disparities. Osypuk is currently the principal investigator of several NIH grants investigating how Housing Choice Vouchers (the largest federal affordable housing policy in the US) and neighborhood context influence the health of adolescents and their families. She also collaborates on other studies examining the impacts of place-based inequity on health and health disparities across the lifecourse. Osypuk’s research has appeared in leading medical, epidemiology, public health, and urban studies journals. She has also collaborated on applied projects by contributing to the development of two indicator website projects (www.diversitydata.org and www.diversitydatakids.org), the goal of which is to stimulate policy to improve the context and life chances of US racial/ethnic minority children and families, emphasizing equity and diversity. Osypuk entered public health field via communications, creating national public service campaigns to change attitudes and behavior related to public health and social issues, at the Ad Council. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and trained as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar in population health at the University of Michigan. Osypuk is currently an associate professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
Associate Professor, Epidemiology, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health
Shakira Suglia is an associate professor of epidemiology at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Her research takes a multi-disciplinary approach toward understanding health disparities, examining the impact of environmental exposures and social stressors on disease and health. She focuses in particular on the health of children and adolescents, and their relation to social and environmental issues such as childhood adversity, violence, housing, and traffic exposures. Suglia received her ScD in epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Monica L. Wang (Moderator)
Assistant Professor, Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health
HOUSING AND HEALTH
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m
Former Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Ron Sims is a civic volunteer active in health, education, environmental, and social equity issues. Appointed by Governor Jay Inslee, Sims serves as the chair of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board. The board is responsible for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Washington State. Sims is on the Board of Regents of Washington State University. He was appointed to the board by former Governor Chris Gregoire. Sims is also on the Board of Directors of the Washington Health Alliance, formerly the Puget Sound Health Alliance, a nonprofit organization he helped found at which employers, physicians, hospitals, patients, health plan providers, and others from throughout the region come together to improve health care quality. Sims served as the deputy secretary for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2009 to 2011. He was appointed by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the US Senate. As the second most senior official at HUD, Sims managed the day-to-day operations of an agency with 8,500 employees and an operating budget of nearly $40 billion.
Prior to his appointment at HUD, Sims served for 12 years as the elected executive of Martin Luther King, Jr. County in Washington State, the 13th largest county in the nation with 1.8 million residents and 39 cities, including the cities of Seattle, Bellevue, and Redmond. As county executive, Sims was nationally recognized for his work on the integration of environmental, social equity, and public health policies that produced groundbreaking work on climate change, healthcare reform, affordable housing, mass transit, environmental protection, land use, and equity and social justice. Born in Spokane, Washington, in 1948, Sims is a graduate of Central Washington University.
Panel Discussion: The Influence of Housing on Health
Coordinator, Public Health and the Environment Department, World Health Organization
Carlos Dora is a health policy expert with the World Health Organization (WHO), leading work on health impacts of sector policies (energy, transport, housing, extractive industry) involving health impact assessment (HIA) and systems to manage health risks and benefits. He is leading the development of a new urban health initiative to strengthen capacity in cities to obtain health co-benefits from urban policies. WHO Unit in charge of providing guidance health risks (air pollution, indoors and outdoors, radiation, occupation), as well as monitoring, evaluation, and tracking-related policies and health impacts. Dora leads WHO’s work on “Health in a Green Economy” focusing on health benefits from climate change mitigation policies, and is contributing to WHO’s work on health indicators for post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. He is engaged in the health co-benefits of sustainable energy initiatives, including SE4All, GACC, and CCAC. He previously worked at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, with the World Bank, and as a senior policy adviser to the WHO director general. Previously he worked in the organization of primary care systems in Brazil, where he also practiced clinical medicine. He has served on many policy committees. He earned his MSc and PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His publications cover health impacts of sector policies, health impact assessment, and health risk communication.
Research Assistant Professor, Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health
Chief Scientist, National Center for Healthy Housing
David Jacobs is the chief scientist at the National Center for Healthy Housing in the US. He also serves as director of the US Collaborating Center for Research and Training on Housing Related Disease and Injury for the World Health Organization (WHO)/Pan American Health Organization, adjunct associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, and faculty associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on childhood lead poisoning prevention, and was principal author of the President’s Task Force Report on the subject in 2000 and the Healthy Homes Report to Congress in 1999. More recently he has served on a WHO Healthy Housing Guidelines Development Group. He has testified before Congress and other legislative bodies and has many peer-reviewed publications. Jacobs is the former director of the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he was responsible for program evaluations, grants, contracts, public education, enforcement, regulation, and policy related to lead and healthy homes. His current work includes research on asthma, international healthy housing guidelines, lead poisoning prevention, and green sustainable building design. He is a certified industrial hygienist and has degrees in political science, environmental health, technology, and science policy, and a doctorate in environmental engineering.
Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine
Megan Sandel is the associate director of the GROW clinic at Boston Medical Center, a principal investigator with Children’s Health Watch, and an associate professor of pediatrics at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. She is the former pediatric medical director of Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program, and is a nationally recognized expert on housing and child health. In 1998 she published, with other doctors at Boston Medical Center, the DOC4Kids report, a national report on how housing affected child health, the first of its kind; over the course of her career, Sandel has written numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles and papers on this subject. In 2001, she became the first medical director of the founding site for medical-legal partnerships, Medical-Legal Partnership–Boston, and from 2007 to 2016 she served as the medical director of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership. She has served as a principal investigator for numerous National Institutes of Health, HUD, and foundation grants, working with the Boston Public Health Commission and Massachusetts Department of Public Health to improve the health of vulnerable children, particularly those with asthma. She has served on many national boards, including that of Enterprise Community Partners, as well as on national advisory committees at American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC Advisory Committee for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention.
John Spengler (Moderator)
Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
John Spengler is the Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation and director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He has conducted research in the areas of personal monitoring, air pollution health effects, indoor air pollution, and a variety of environmental sustainability issues. Several of his investigations have focused on housing design and its effects on ventilation rates, building materials’ selection, energy consumption, and total environmental quality in homes. Spengler chaired the committee on Harvard Sustainability Principles; served on Harvard’s Greenhouse Gases Taskforce to develop the university’s carbon reduction goals and strategies; and was a member of Harvard’s Greenhouse Gases Executive Committee. He has served on several National Academies’ committees, including the National Research Council Committee on Green Schools: Attributes for Health and Learning (chair) and the Institute of Medicine Committee on Effect of Climate Change on Indoor Air Quality and Public Health (chair), and has been an advisor to the World Health Organization on indoor air pollution, personal exposure, and air pollution epidemiology. In 2003 Spengler received a Heinz Award for the Environment; in 2007, the Lyman A. Ripperton Environmental Educator Award from the Air & Waste Management Association; in 2008, the Max von Pettenkofer Award for distinguished contributions in indoor air science from the International Society of Indoor Air Quality & Climate’s Academy of Fellows; and in 2015, the ASHRAE Environmental Health Award.
Panel Discussion: High-Risk Populations and Strategies to Improve Health
Executive Director, Alternatives for Community and Environment
Kalila Barnett is the executive director of Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), a leading environmental justice organization based in Boston. For more than 20 years, ACE has worked to build the power of low-income communities and communities of color in Massachusetts and in the region. Barnett first got involved with ACE as a volunteer and member and later served on the board of directors. Barnett has more than a decade of experience in community organizing around affordable housing, land development, and environmental justice. She is a Roxbury native and lifelong resident of Boston. Barnett graduated from Bates College with a degree in American studies and Spanish. Prior to assuming her current position, Barnett was a senior organizer at Community Labor United and worked at Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation and Madison Park Development Corporation. Barnett serves on the board of Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and the Center for Environmental Health.
Legal Director, Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston (MLPB)
JoHanna Flacks is the legal director at Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston (MLPB), serving as a liaison to all of MLPB’s private bar partners. Before joining MLPB in 2006, Flacks was in private practice and provided pro bono services to the Cape Cod Anti-Discrimination Task Force in its campaign to establish the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission. Prior to that, she served as assistant general counsel for the Boston Public Health Commission and senior investigator for the Boston Fair Housing Commission. She began her career as a labor-side employment discrimination litigation associate. Flacks graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and Brandeis University.
Associate Professor and Director of Research, University of Texas at El Paso School of Nursing
Hector A. Olvera is an associate professor and the director of research at the University of Texas at El Paso School of Nursing. He is also currently a JPB environmental health fellow through the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Olvera’s primary research interest is in environmental health disparities. His current work focuses on studying the biological mechanisms through which social and environmental factors interact and impact the early onset of depression and the atherosclerotic process in youth. Olvera also works closely with government-subsidized housing communities in El Paso, Texas, with whom he has developed a research partnership to identify modifiable factors to be targeted early in life to the promote healthy development of children and youth in low-income communities. Olvera’s work progressed to this area of research from conducting exposure assessment of urban air pollutants for regional epidemiologic studies. His past contributions include the development of a modeling technique to maximize the utility of data from small air quality monitoring networks and the development of semi-controlled exposure protocols to study the lung deposition of ultrafine particles in asthmatic children.
Olvera received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and master’s and doctoral degrees in environmental science and engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso. He received postdoctoral training at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque New Mexico, and recently completed a graduate certification program in epidemiology at the University of Michigan.
Assistant Professor, Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health
Carey Goldberg (Moderator)
Health and Science Reporter, WBUR
Carey Goldberg is a health and science reporter at WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, and the host of WBUR’s CommonHealth blog. She also co-hosts WBUR’s new exercise podcast, “The Magic Pill.” She has been the Boston bureau chief of The New York Times, a staff Moscow correspondent for The Los Angeles Times, and a health/science reporter for The Boston Globe. She was a Knight Science Journalism fellow at MIT and graduated summa cum laude from Yale. She is co-author of the triple memoir Three Wishes: A True Story Of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak and Astonishing Luck On Our Way To Love and Motherhood.
Professor, Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health
This symposium is sponsored in part by the Joe G. Lopez Lectureship on Racial Disparities in Health. Joe Galindo Lopez (1922-2007) was a lifelong promoter of equality and social justice. Established in his memory, the lectureship aims to highlight social, cultural, and environmental factors contributing to differing health outcomes among vulnerable populations to showcase efforts to address health disparities.
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