St. Louis community health is focus of Dec. 12 public forum

WUSTL faculty to join discussion hosted by The Atlantic, GlaxoSmithKline

The Atlantic is inviting St. Louis residents to join local public health and medical leaders for a free “Conversation on Community Health” town hall forum from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the Hyatt Regency, 315 Chestnut St. in downtown St. Louis.

St. Louis is the second stop on the news organization’s three-city “Conversation” tour, which aims to gather insight from people on the frontlines of community health: doctors, educators, legislators, community leaders and advocates. The discussion will explore critical national and local health problems impacting Missouri, and explore best practices our medical experts are uncovering and employing to combat them.

The event is open to the public; those interested in attending are asked to register by email at or online at For more information, visit the program’s website.

Several faculty from Washington University in St. Louis will be participating in the program.


Jason Purnell, PhD, assistant professor of public health at the Brown School, is featured in the opening panel discussion, along with Robert Fruend, CEO of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission; Joy Krieger, executive director of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America; and Melba Moore, commissioner of health for the City of St. Louis.

These panelists will introduce the audience to their experiences and best practices they have uncovered, and also discuss audience-generated submissions from the innovative iPad technology to be used during the forum. Each group will use iPads powered by an app that allows for the rapid collection of responses and the real-time synthesis of key themes, all aimed at driving the conversation toward a critical, solutions-based dialog.

Following the panel, U.S. Olympic gold medalist and community health leader Jackie Joyner-Kersee will be joining the forum for an onstage interview. Born in East St. Louis, Joyner-Kersee has dedicated much of her life since retiring as an athlete to the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, which works to improve community health in St. Louis’s poorest neighborhoods. She is one of the most famous and decorated U.S. Olympians in track and field history.

The program is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, a global research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company with operations in St. Louis.