NPHR Blog

Public Health Matters


Leave a comment

Public Health in the News – May 17, 2015

Global

National

Illinois/Chicago

Northwestern


Leave a comment

Public Health in the News – May 11, 2015

Global

National

Illinois/Chicago

Northwestern


Leave a comment

Announcing Keynote Speaker for Global Health Interdisciplinary Symposium

The NPHR is one of the co-sponsors of a global health symposium to be held later in the year. Here, in a cross-post from NU’s Buffett Institute website, we would like to introduce the event, which will focus on multi-disciplinary solutions to global health problems. Internationally renowned expert on global economic development Jeffrey Sachs will provide the keynote address!

On November 20-21, 2015 in Chicago, the Buffett Institute is co-sponsoring an interdisciplinary symposium with the Feinberg School of Medicine titled, “Global Health Then and Now: Equality, Development, and Globalization.” Other co-sponsors include the Buffett Institute’s Equality Development and Globalization Studies (EDGS) program, the Program of African Studies, and the Institute for Public Health and Medicine at Northwestern.

About Keynote Speaker Jeffrey D. Sachs

Jeffrey D. SachsWe are pleased to announce that the keynote speaker for the event will be economist and author Jeffrey D. Sachs. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders.

Professor Sachs is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on economic development and the fight against poverty. His work on ending poverty, promoting economic growth, fighting hunger and disease, and promoting sustainable environmental practices, has taken him to more than 125 countries with more than 90 percent of the world’s population. For more than a quarter century he has advised dozens of heads of state and governments on economic strategy, in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

About the Symposium

The central goal of this two-day symposium is to catalyze the exchange and cross pollination of ideas and research on the interdisciplinary factors, impediments, and solutions to the advancement of global health. Where multiple perspectives come together around some of the world’s largest problems, we can find the greatest potential for impactful global health solutions.

Although global health research and practice began as a primarily medical enterprise grounded in tropical medicine and public hygiene, the last decade has seen a significant change. Increasingly, it has become apparent that a confluence of factors, including good governance, effective economic infrastructures, and functional legal systems are central to building a robust framework to support a successful long-term global health agenda.

Through interdisciplinary panel sessions and keynote addresses, this symposium will bring together scholars, policy experts, non-governmental organization practitioners and other health professionals to discuss subjects including but not limited to

  • Global health governance in the age of epidemics
  • Innovation and social entrepreneurship in global health
  • Global health funding
  • Marketing and social mobilization
  • Social determinants of health and economic development
  • Public-private partnerships in global health coordination
  • Corporate social responsibility and health
  • The impact of epidemics on human capital
  • Translating research into policy: maximizing the impact of quantitative and qualitative research on global health
  • Historical global health milestones

To register and learn more about the symposium, visit the official website for the event.


Leave a comment

Public Health in the News – May 3, 2015

Global

National

Illinois/Chicago

  • A new law says that produce sold at farmer’s markets will have to include information about where it came from, so people will know if their food is locally grown.
  • Illinois’ Medicare dental program may soon be cut, although past experience tells us that this ends up costing everyone more in the long run – unresolved tooth problems can result in expensive emergency room visits.
  • The Cook County state’s attorney’s office is decriminalizing misdemeanors involving marijuana, and attempting to treat offenders in order to address the public health side of the issue.

Northwestern

  • NU scientists have found that looking at the DNA in your blood cells can help predict whether you will develop cancer.
  • A new clinic will open at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, which will give northern suburb residents easier access to cancer clinical trials.


Leave a comment

Public Health in the News – April 26, 2015

Global

National

Illinois/Chicago

Northwestern


Leave a comment

Promoting Public Health Through Music In Mali

IMG_0060 by Uttara Dukkipati, Megan Schliep, Ariel Moser and  Kathleen Fischer
(full project report  coming soon at www.nphr.org/working papers)

In 2014, the Northwestern Access to Health Project (NAHP) initiated two health interventions in Douentza, a town in the Mopti region of Mali. Mali has a very low standard of welfare and faces numerous health challenges – ranking 176 out of 187 countries and territories on the 2014 United Nations Human Development Index. NAHP’s interventions were designed to empower local residents and combat common health issues.

One of the two interventions involved the production of an educational music album to increase local residents’ knowledge of common diseases and available treatment options. This album—which was performed in a popular local dialect—has been played regularly over the past year on Radio Daande Duwansa, the local station in Douentza. When NAHP commissioned the album from Troupe de Haire, a group of local musicians, it asked the musicians to identify critical health and development issues in Douentza. With NAHP’s approval and financial support, the musicians drafted lyrics and produced six songs on the following topics: malaria, AIDS, FGM, girls’ education, breastfeeding and hygiene and sanitation.

NAHP had two primary reasons for using the album as an educational instrument in Douentza. First, music plays a central role in Malian culture, and the songs were performed a popular local style and dialect. Second, Mali has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, and spoken communication is critically important. Radio provides an effective means of spreading information across Mali. In particular, Radio Daande Duwansa is a popular local station in Douentza – in its area of broadcast, Radio Daande is listened to more than any other single station. This ensured the album had regular radio play and made it likely that local residents in Douentza would hear its educational messages.

Our group’s project proposed that NAHP survey local residents to determine the album’s impact on the local community. NAHP’s use of the album to teach local residents about health and development through music is consistent with approaches suggested in public health literature, notably, the Entertainment-Education communication strategy. The album’s teaching method also builds on principles derived from the Health Belief Model, a health theory that involves an individual’s perceptions related to health behaviors.
IMG_0333Our survey seeks to learn whether the album succeeded in changing perceptions of local residents with respect to the album’s six health and development topics. Given the album’s structure and content, it is likely the album had an impact on local residents’ knowledge and may serve as a change agent for local residents in terms of making positive changes in their health behaviors. For example, with respect to AIDS, the album’s lyrics discuss the disease’s incurability, methods of transmission, instructions regarding prevention, and treatment resources, including free antiretroviral medication at local pharmacies. Our survey is designed to assess local residents’ exposure to the album and their current beliefs regarding the barriers and benefits associated with changing health behaviors.

NAHP recognizes that assessment of the effectiveness of the album is challenging because there are limited opportunities for objective assessment of changes in practice or for listeners to demonstrate their knowledge of the relevant material. Yet with careful planning and survey design, we expect that a successful qualitative survey effort in Douentza will inform future research, including potential quantitative analysis of the album’s impact on residents’ knowledge of health and education. These impact assessments will allow NAHP to understand the implications of the album intervention and assess the potential for horizontal or vertical expansion of these efforts in Mali and beyond.
References:

Cameron, Kenzie. 2014. HBM Lecture: Health, Behavior and Society April 1, 2014. Northwestern University, Chicago, IL USA.

Near East Foundation. Where We Work: Mali Overview. http://www.neareast.org/wherewework/Mali (accessed March 7, 2015).

Singhal, Arvind and Rogers, Everett M. 2003. Combating AIDS: Communication Strategies in Action. Sage Publications Inc.: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Sood, Suruchi, Shefner-Rogers, Corrine, and Skinner, Joanna. 2014. Health communication campaigns in developing countries. Journal of Creative Communications 9(1): 67–84.

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Education Counts: Towards the Millennium Development Goals. 2011. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0019/001902/190214e.pdf (accessed March 27, 2015).

United Nations. Millennium Development Goals and Beyond. 2013. http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/bkgd.shtml (accessed March 27, 2015).


Leave a comment

National Food Security Experts and Advocates Aim to Foster Greater Health Innovation in Chicago

bannerMarch 27, 2015 – (Chicago, IL) – Fifty leaders from the Chicago area and beyond met on Thursday, March 19 to discuss innovative solutions to the food insecurity that exists in our city and region, along with how to best mobilize and scale action around the issue.

Hosted at MATTER, Chicago’s recently launched healthcare technology incubator, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health and national nonprofit organization Hope Street Group, the daylong convening explored how food insecurity directly impacts economic opportunity and what key barriers need to be addressed to make progress in this space.

“Food Security is at the very core of public health in Chicago. It is a cross-cutting issue, which requires policy, systems and environmental changes,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Acting Commissioner Julie Morita, MD. “Chicagoans in all neighborhoods need access to healthy and affordable food in order to live healthy and productive lives.”

Participants of the event, “Moving Towards a Healthy Chicago: Cross-Sector Collaboration to Ensure Food Security,” included Jay Bhatt, Managing Deputy Commissioner and Chief Innovation Officer, Chicago Department of Public Health; Kathy Dickhut, Deputy Commissioner, City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development; Luann Hamilton, Deputy Commissioner, Chicago Department of Transportation; Rajesh Karmani, Founder and Chief Impact Officer at Zero Percent; Mari Gallagher, Founding President of the National Center for Public Research; Kristy Kitzmiller, President, Louis’ Groceries; and many others. Seth Goldman, Co-Founder and TeaEO of Honest Tea, and Professor Daniel Block of Chicago State University served as introductory speakers.

Throughout the discussion, participants from nonprofit, business, and government focused on how to collaborate across organizations and sectors to drive health innovation that will have a significant impact for Chicago families.

“It was an honor to be in the room with so many distinguished leaders from Chicago and around the country,” said participant Wolfram Alderson, Founding Executive at the Institute for Responsible Nutrition. “Addressing food security and transforming our food system so that it conveys health instead of disease and malnutrition is one of the greatest challenges of our time.”

“Seeking out innovative solutions to address the ongoing problem of food insecurity is crucial, which is why we were so pleased to host this dynamic event at MATTER’s incubator space, which lends itself to thinking boldly about the potential of health technology to revamp the system” said Martin Scaglione, President and CEO of Hope Street Group.

Next steps defined include leveraging current community infrastructure and engaging thoughtfully with all communities in Chicago currently affected by high food insecurity. Participants also plan to disseminate findings, research, and lessons learned through a user-friendly technology interface; construct a sustainable funding model to address food insecurity; and aggregate best practices and ideas to increase impact.

The meeting kicks off a larger effort by the group to improve regional innovation and investments in improving food security. Food insecurity remains high in Cook County, with a Map the Meal Gap 2014 survey showing nearly 800,000 people, including 1 in 5 children, at risk of hunger. Lack of access to food frequently combines with a number of other social variables to negatively impact an individual’s opportunities for mobility and growth, thus addressing this issue is of utmost importance to the Chicago community.

The initial idea for the convening and innovation challenge was derived from a project on community wellness that Hope Street Group, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, executed in 2014. This project identified a need for greater community collaboration, investment, and ownership to further citywide health and wellness initiatives.

Chicago was selected to host the meeting due to its commitment to addressing food insecurity and the Chicago Department of Public Health’s upcoming launch of Healthy Chicago 2.0 this summer.

# # #

Hope Street Group is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for all Americans. Founded by a small group of young entrepreneurs on South Hope Street in Los Angeles, we work to expand social impact in education, health, and jobs. http://www.hopestreetgroup.org

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) works to make Chicago a safer and healthier place by working with community partners to promote health, prevent disease, reduce environmental hazards and ensure access to health care for all Chicagoans. Visit us at http://www.cityofchicago.org/health to learn more about how CDPH is transforming the health of our city.

MATTER is a community of healthcare entrepreneurs and industry leaders working together in a shared space to individually and collectively fuel the future of healthcare innovation. MATTER’s mission is to proactively connect and promote collaboration between entrepreneurs, scientists, physicians and industry partners in order to bring next-generation products and services to market that improve quality of care and save lives. For more information, visit http://www.matterchicago.com.


Leave a comment

Public Health in the News – April 19, 2015

Global

National

Illinois

Northwestern


Leave a comment

Public Health in the News – April 12, 2015

Global

National

Illinois

Northwestern

Find interesting public health new worth sharing? Email us at nphr@u.northwestern.edu!


Leave a comment

Public Health in the News – April 5, 2015

Global

National

Illinois/Chicago

Northwestern

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 84 other followers