April 20, 2011

Cooking and Climate: The Unfinished Health Agenda of Incomplete Combustion


Kirk R. Smith, MPH, PhD

Professor of Global Environmental Health
Founder and Director, Global Health and Environment Program
Associate Director for International Programs, Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
University of California, Berkeley
Member, United States National Academy of Sciences 

Burning Solid Fuels for Cooking Affects Health and the Climate

Tomás Guilarte, PhD, chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and Dean Linda P. Fried host Kirk R. Smith, a prolific researcher and thought leader in the field of global environmental health, as he explores the devastating health effects of burning solid fuels for cooking—an activity that more than half the world's households rely upon daily.

"If you follow the money, you follow the exotic factors affecting the world's rich, but if you follow the risk, you find mundane ones that seriously impact the lives of the poor," says Smith.

Reflecting on the recent events in Japan, Smith discusses his own early career studying the health risks associated with nuclear energy and points out that more commonplace energy sources have an even bigger impact on health. 

"You could have a Chernobyl a month and it wouldn’t come close to the health impact of burning biomass and coal in the home—these energy sources contribute to one million premature deaths per year. More than half the households in the world burn biomass and coal to cook their meals," he says.

Smith also explores: How the incomplete combustion of wood, crops, cow dung, coal, etc. contributes to global warming and outdoor air pollution, and what existing and emerging technologies  public health workers and policymakers can tap to find viable solutions for families in settings with limited resources.

March 9, 2011

ClancyMD.jpgCarolyn M. Clancy, MD  
Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), explores ways to address the enormous gap that remains between what we know can improve health outcomes and what is currently being delivered to most Americans. How can a sharper focus on implementation, dissemination, collaboration, and patient engagement improve the public's health and transform our health system?

February 16, 2011

GrandRounds2-16-11FB.jpgComplexity in Public Health

Today's public health challenges involve multiple factors, interwoven in elaborate ways—from the most basic chemical reactions in our bodies to the cultural norms that influence how societies behave. Methods for studying the causes of disease and the best ways to support health must evolve to reckon with these complex relationships. Burke and Galea discuss a different approach—the systems science and dynamic models—used by researchers to untangle the web of factors and understand system behavior and outcomes.

"Explicit Or Not, Every Decision is Based on a Model"
Donald S. Burke, MD

Dean, Graduate School of Public Health
UPMC—Jonas Salk Chair in Global Health
Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Health
Director, Center for Vaccine Research 
University of Pittsburgh

"Thinking in Systems, Looking for the Complex Causes of Population Health"
Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH '03

Gelman Professor and Chair, Department of Epidemiology

January 19, 2011

RobertaNess.jpgThe Future of Public Health: Innovation

Roberta B. Ness, MD, MPH

Dean, University of Texas School of Public Health
M. David Low Chair in Public Health

Watch Video

Click here to read an article about the talk.

November 10, 2010 

Corrections Health: A System Where Public Health and Medicine Intersect

Lester N. Wright, MD, MPH

Deputy Commissioner and Chief Medical Officer (Retired)
New York Department of Correctional Services, Albany
Distinguished Lecturer, City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College

Elizabeth Ritter, RN
Assistant Commissioner of Corrections
New York State Department of Correctional Services

September 15, 2010


Global Health: How United States Universities are Responding to a Global Priority

Michael Merson, MD 
Wolfgang Joklick Professor of Global Health 
Professor of Medicine, Community and Family Medicine, and Public Policy
Director, Duke Global Health Institute
Duke University


Wafaa El Sadr, MD, PhD [bio]
Director, International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs 
Director, Global Health Initiative 

Richard Parker, PhD [bio]
Director, Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Health

Moderator: Alastair Ager, PhD [bio]
Executive Director, Global Health Initiative

This event was sponsored by the Mailman School's Global Health Initiative.