School of public health

“America’s Doctor” makes a house call

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy ’03MD, ’03MBA, told a gathering at the Yale School of Public Health in September that a “golden age” of health is within reach, one marked by fairness and equality. Murthy delivered a Milbank Lecture as part of the school’s ongoing centennial celebration in 2015. The fall semester’s other three Milbank lecturers are Lynn Goldman, dean of public health, George Washington University; Ana Diez Roux, dean, Drexel University School of Public Health; and George Howard, professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. The Milbank Lecture Series recognizes YSPH’s contribution to the understanding of public health as well as the Milbank Memorial Fund’s tradition of forward-looking public health initiatives.

Door-to-door health survey

YSPH has launched a health survey of residents in some of New Haven’s most underserved neighborhoods. The door-to-door canvass of about 1,300 residents by CARE, the Community Alliance for Research and Engagement, focuses on social, environmental, and behavioral risk factors. The goal is to “convert evidence into action,” said Jeannette Ickovics, professor of public health and CARE’s director. This is CARE’s third neighborhood survey. The previous surveys, done in 2009 and 2012, found that New Haven residents in low-resource neighborhoods suffered from higher rates of chronic diseases—heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and asthma—than city, state, and national averages.

Studying climate change and health

The World Health Organization estimates that climate change will cause an additional 250,000 deaths per year between 2030 and 2050, mainly due to heat exposure, diarrhea, malaria, and childhood malnutrition, and that the poor will be disproportionately impacted. In response to the growing health threat posed by climate change, YSPH has created a new program—Climate Change and Health @Yale—to train future public health leaders to search for innovative solutions. Directed by Professor of Epidemiology Robert Dubrow, the program is one of the first of its kind and includes new undergraduate and graduate courses that will debut next fall.

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