Public Health Fora

The Public Health Fora, the premier academic forum of our academic calendar, welcomes speakers whose work engages and challenges the school community around our guiding principles and research directions.

Past Public Health Fora

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 | 1–2:30 p.m. | Online
Working Together to Advance Health Equity
Antonia Villarruel, Professor and Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing, Penn Nursing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Online
TB: The Hidden Epidemic
Kenneth G. Castro, Professor, Rollins School of Public Health, and Kogie Naidoo, Head: CAPRISA TB-HIV Treatment Research Programme, Center for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA).

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
From Theory to Practice: What It Takes to Permanently Exit an Individual from Homelessness
Anahaita Kotval, Chief Executive Officer, Lifting Up Westchester.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Harnessing “Precision” to Advance Population Health and Health Equity
Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Lee Goldman, MD Endowed Chair in Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
On the Global Socioeconomic Context of Chronic Diseases
Onyebuchi A. Arah, Professor, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons: Race and Revenue Generation in Courts Across America
Nusrat Choudhury, Deputy Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program.

Monday, April 29, 2019 | 4:30–6:30 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Medicare for All. Is It Really Feasible?
Jon Kingsdale, Wakely Consulting and Boston University School of Public Health; Sara Rosenbaum, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University; Gail Wilensky, Project HOPE; and Jonathan Woodson, Boston University Institute for Health System Innovation & Policy, and Boston University School of Public Health. Cohosted with Boston University Institute for Health System Innovation and Policy.

Monday, March 18, 2019 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Using Digital Advocacy Strategies to Promote Public Health and Health Equity
Amelie G. Ramirez, Professor and Interim Chair, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Director, Institute for Health Promotion Research, UT Health San Antonio

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Keefer Auditorium
Advancing Discovery Science for Public Health Impact
Gary H. Gibbons, Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health. Cohosted with Boston University School of Medicine.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness and Poor Health: How Can Public Health Be Part of the Solution?
Hilary Godwin, Dean and Professor, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington School of Public Health. Cohosted with Boston University School of Theology.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
The “Skinny” on Health Disparities among Asian Americans: Biological, Behavioral, and Social Determinants
Maria Rosario Araneta, University of California San Diego. Cohosted with Boston University College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Violence Prevention: Guns, Public Health, and Health Care
Deborah B. Prothrow-Stith, College of Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. Cohosted with Boston University School of Social Work

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Stereotype Threat and Identity Threat: The Science of a Diverse Community
Claude M. Steele, Stanford University. Cohosted with Boston University Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Science for a Sustainable Planet: The Critical Role of Science & Technology in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030
Ellis Rubinstein, The New York Academy of Sciences. Cohosted with Boston University College of Engineering.

Monday, April 30, 2018 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Crises, Calamities, and Chaos: How Public Health Can Improve Response to Emerging Threats Wherever They Arise
Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Rear Admiral, US Public Health Service

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 | PHF Roy4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
The Conservative Case for Universal Coverage
Avik Roy, President, Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity and Opinion Editor, Forbes magazine
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 | PHF Ollendorf 150x1504:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Value-Based Pricing: Panacea, Building Block, or Pipe Dream?

Daniel Ollendorf, Chief Scientific Officer, Institute of Clinical and Economic Review
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Applying Lessons Learned from the Master Settlement Agreement with Big Tobacco to Other Industries

Cheryl Healton, Dean, College of Global Public Health, New York University
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Opioids and the Masses: Early Lessons from the Epidemic

Sally Satel, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute and Consulting Psychiatrist, Partners in Drug Abuse Rehabilitation and Counseling Clinic
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Precision Public Health: Balancing Scientific Investment and Prevention

Donna Arnett, Dean, University of Kentucky College of Public Health

PHF-FOXWednesday, October 11, 2017 | 4:30 to 6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Using Epidemiology to Study Policy as Well as to Inform It
Daniel M. Fox, President Emeritus of the Milbank Memorial Fund

PHF-_150x150Wednesday, September 27, 2017 | 4:30 to 6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Slow Learners: Cross-Border Lessons in Healthcare Reform
C. David Naylor, Professor of Medicine and President Emeritus, University of Toronto

PHF-_150x150Wednesday, April 12, 2017 | 4:30 to 6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Preventing Memory Loss and Dementia
Speaker: Mary Sano, Director, Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center; Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Associate Dean, Clinical Research, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Director of Research, James J. Peters VAMC. Moderator: Kay Lazar, Health Reporter, Boston Globe

PHF-_150x150Wednesday, March 29, 2017 | 4:30 to 6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Behavioral Policy in Contexts of Scarcity
Eldar Shafir, William Stuart Tod Professor of Psychology & Public Affairs, Princeton University. This event is cosponsored with the Public Health Post.

PHF-_150x150Tuesday, February 28, 2017 | 4:30 to 6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
The Health Policies of the New Administration: Applying the Epidemiology of Politics
Daniel M. Fox, President Emeritus of the Milbank Memorial Fund

_150x150Wednesday, January 25, 2017 | 4:30 to 6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
A Global Perspective on Obesity-Related Health Disparities in the United States
Shiriki K. Kumanyika, Research Professor, Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health

PHF_150x150Wednesday, November 9, 2016 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
The Good Life: Working Together to Promote Opportunity and Improve Population Health and Well-Being
Steven H. Woolf, Virginia Commonwealth University

PHF-Obamacare150x150Wednesday, October 26, 2016 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
The Fate of Obamacare
Marcia Angell, Harvard Medical School

PHF-Upstream-Downstream_150x150Wednesday, September 28, 2016 | 4:30–6 p.m. | Hiebert Lounge
Upstream, Downstream: How Public Health Schools and Graduates Can Succeed in Improving Health
Joshua M. Sharfstein, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Previous Fora

2015–2016 Schedule

The Future of Population Health

The mission of Boston University School of Public Health is to improve the health of local, national, and international populations, particularly the disadvantaged, underserved, and vulnerable, through excellence and innovation in education, research, and service. The School’s Strategic Thinking Initiative, led by a steering committee of faculty, staff, students, and alumni during 2015, articulated four principles that underlie the future direction of the school, and four directions for our scholarship. Our 2016-2017 Public Health Fora, the premier academic forum of our academic calendar, welcomes speakers whose work engages and challenges the school community around these principles and research directions.

Our guiding principles

These guide the choices we pursue in all our activities, including scholarship, education and translation, to work towards a better, healthier, and more equitable world.

1. Significance

To make the world a healthier and more equitable place, we pay particular attention to issues that are especially likely to influence population health and to opportunities to improve population health and well-being.

2. Diversity

We aim to be a school that is inclusive and genuinely embraces diversity along many dimensions of difference, to institutionalize fora in which diverse identities and perspectives become routine; create enriched environments for education, scholarship and translation.

3. Equity

We seek to address both the causes and implications of inequities in health and within the School, engaging in systematic reflection on both external and internal structures, policies and practices that may create inequities.

4. Collaboration

We aim to engage the growing breadth and complexity of public health through embracing and encouraging collaboration across disciplines, institutions, and social and economic sectors.

Directions for Our Scholarship

Four broad areas of research focus represent significant opportunities for our school to contribute to improved population health and well-being. We aim to nurture and catalyze work in each of these areas over the coming decade.

1. Urban Living

By 2050, 66 percent of the world’s population is expected to be urban. The city’s social and physical structures influence how we think, feel, and behave. Scholarship on urban living encompasses research on critical issues affecting the health of populations, including employment opportunities, housing structures, food access, racial and socioeconomic discrimination and segregation, environmental pollution, social structures that encourage/discourage healthy living, substance use disorders and addiction, homelessness, crime, and the effects of climate change.

2. Aging and well-being

Changing demographics indicate that all major areas of the world except Africa will have about a quarter of their population aged 60 or over by 2050. The broader effects of aging-associated disability and disease on well-being in late life pose new challenges and offer opportunity for scholarship to improve population health and the capacity of aging populations to adapt and flourish.

3. Health across the lifecourse

A lifecourse perspective highlights the cumulative and interactive effects of many influences on health. A lifecourse approach can be used to understand the connection between individuals and the historical, environmental, and socioeconomic contexts in which they, and the populations of which they are part, live and the health outcomes that follow.

4. Health systems

The challenge of designing/improving systems that both proactively promote health for all and provide needed care for illness and injury increases with the complexity and cost of healthcare. As the need to integrate healthcare with other services and sectors also increases, health systems must become more flexible, providing opportunities for innovative scholarship and translation.