2012-2013 Recaps


May 1, 2013

The Future of Mass Incarceration in America

Ernest Drucker, PhD 

Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology
Co-director of the Dean's Initiative on Mass Incarceration and Public Health

No country in the world has a greater proportion of its citizens behind bars than the United States. The rate is estimated to be 743 people in prison per 100,000 free. Drawing on his 2011 book A Plague of Prisons, Drucker argues that the spiraling impact of mass incarceration is akin to an epidemic.



April 10, 2013

20th Granville H. Sewell Lecture

Global Obesity: Current Patterns, Dynamics, and Future Challenges

Barry M. Popkin, PhD [BIO]

W. R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor, Department of Nutrition 
Director, Nutrition Transition Research Project
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Approximately two billion individuals worldwide are overweight or obese. Underlying this reality are major shifts in both dietary and activity patterns—modern marketing, food systems, and technologies that influence how we eat, drink, and move. The confluence of these changes along with major global shifts in water and climate conditions threaten our health and our overall existence. In this lecture, Popkin discusses how understanding these dynamics—and the ways some countries are addressing the challenges—can provide guidance for the future. He also explores recent data that suggest a rise in obesity levels across low and middle income populations, the uneven impact of the cardio-metabolic consequences on various communities, and key areas in need of further research.

Inaugurated in 1993 by the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, the annual Granville H. Sewell Distinguished Lecture honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to environmental health sciences. The lecture series was established in memory of Dr. Granville Sewell, who directed the educational programs in Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University for more than 20 years.



March 13, 2013

Turning the Tide on Obesity:
Beyond Eating Less and Exercising More

Andrew Rundle, DrPH
Associate Professor of Epidemiology

Y. Claire Wang, MD, ScD 
Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management

Among the key questions that Rundle and Wang address are: Why is obesity associated with disease but not mortality? Why is obesity more prevalent in resource-poor communities? What new actions and scientific directions are needed to address this complex problem? And how do we make the case for prevention as a priority?




February 13, 2013

Transforming Global Health: Lessons Learned from the HIV Epidemic

Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH 
Professor of Epidemiology

The last decade has witnessed historic public health achievements in battling the global HIV epidemic. Through mobilization of resources and an energized global public health community, access to life-saving treatment has been greatly expanded and signs of a decrease in new infections have been noted in some countries. In this lecture, El-Sadr discusses: How these gains were achieved in some of the world's poorest countries, if there are lessons that can be applied in the United States to confronting domestic HIV, and will it be possible to truly reverse the epidemic. What lessons can inform the response to other health threats? 

View the narrated slides on YouTube:

counselinghiv-negrecapimage.jpgFebruary 4, 2013 

Counseling HIV-Negative Individuals at the Time of HIV Testing: A Contested Practice

Lisa R. Metsch, PhD 

Stephen Smith Professor and Chair of Sociomedical Sciences 

Ron Bayer, PhD 

Professor of Sociomedical Sciences
Co-Director, Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health

Monica Sweeney, MD, MPH '92, FACP

Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

This talk explores the effectiveness of counseling HIV-negative individuals at the time of HIV testing as a means for prevention by examining the evidence, history, and public health policy surrounding this issue. 


December 12, 2012

The Affordable Care Act: An Insider's Perspective

Sherry Glied, PhD

Professor of Health Policy and Management

Glied served as assistant secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the United States Department of Health and Human Services under President Barack Obama from July 2010 through August 2012. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was signed by President Obama in March of 2010, is already contributing to a transformation in the healthcare delivery systems and will, beginning in 2014, produce the largest ever expansion of health insurance coverage in United States history. Passage of the law was an extraordinary political achievement, but its ultimate success will depend on how it is implemented. At this lecture, Glied discusses the federal implementation process for the Affordable Care Act and lessons about what that process can tell us about federal policymaking. Her talk also examined the potential implications of the ACA for public health.


October 10, 2012

Adventures in Microbe Hunting

W. Ian Lipkin, MD 

John Snow Professor of Epidemiology

Director, Center for Infection and Immunity

The science and methodology of identifying new pathogens is one of the fastest evolving areas in public health. Lipkin has developed breakthrough techniques that enabled him to identify more than 500 previously unknown viruses. His lecture draws on personal experience in pathogen discovery, surveillance, and outbreak response, including how the media and movies like Contagion can educate the public about the risk of pandemic threats.


September 19, 2012

Public Health and the Healthcare Ecosystem

Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH [BIO]

New York State Department of Health

What is the role of public health in healthcare reform? How can we create a robust and well-coordinated healthcare ecosystem that connects public health with healthcare delivery to prevent disease, promote healthy behaviors, address social determinants of health, and inform policy and programs? 

At this lecture, Shah discusses these questions and highlights New York State’s historic Medicaid redesign initiative, which is laying a foundation to advance the health status and well-being of the most vulnerable New Yorkers.

Scroll down to view the talk or click here.