Brown School begins public health lecture series

This fall, the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis is launching a new Public Health speaker series titled “Innovative Solutions in State and Local Agencies,” designed to showcase fresh thinking to address tough public health problems.

The series hosts experts and policymakers from throughout the country speaking on timely and important challenges facing communities and organizations. All lectures are free and open to the public and will take place from noon-1 p.m. in Brown Lounge, in Brown Hall.

“Finding effective solutions to real-world health problems is just a first step,” said Matthew W. Kreuter, PhD, associate dean for public health and professor at the Brown School. “By sharing what works, we can broaden the impact and the reach of public-health research.”

The lecture series kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 11, with Kreuter and Peter Hovmand, PhD, professor of practice at the Brown School, presenting “The ‘Long Tail’ and Public Health: New Thinking For Addressing Health Disparities.”

“The prevailing approach to improving population health emphasizes shifting population means through a few targeted and universal interventions,” Kreuter said.

“The success of this approach for eliminating health disparities depends on an assumption about the distribution of demand for these interventions. This presentation explores whether Long Tail thinking — involving a large number of smaller-scale interventions — might yield greater progress in eliminating disparities.”

The remaining schedule:

Oct. 9, “The Oregon Solar Highway,” Alison Hamilton, Solar Highway program manager at the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Oct. 24, “A New Way to Talk About the Social Determinants of Health,” Ann Christiano, the Frank and Betsy Karel Endowed Chair in Public Interest Communications at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication.

Nov. 13, “Public Health and Transportation: Policy, Funding and Data Collection,” Leslie Meehan, director of healthy communities at the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Jan. 22, 2014, “Changes in Organ Allocation Policy: Development, Implementation and Evaluation,” Ciara Samana, assistant director for policy at the United Network for Organ Sharing.

Feb. 12, “Health-care Systems Change and Using the Electronic Health Record to Identify and Treat Patients Who Use Tobacco,” Robert Adsit, outreach program manager at the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention.

March 19, “Entrepreneurship in Public Health,” Joe Steensma, EdD, visiting professor at the Brown School.

April 9, “Innovations in Medicaid Policy in Missouri,” Samar Muzaffar, MD, state EMS medical director for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

April 28, “The Built Environment and Public Health,” J. Aaron Hipp, PhD, assistant professor of social work at the Brown School.

More lectures may be added throughout the year. For more information, contact Kim Freels at (314) 935-3599 or