In a season of hurricanes, wildfires, gun violence and the still-churning opioid epidemic, the list of problems afflicting health in the US seems long—and short on answers.
But public health professionals, policymakers and other experts are developing new strategies for confronting these and other challenges. Many of them will be gathering later this month at the solutions-oriented Bloomberg American Health Summit in Washington DC, Nov. 29–30 to share their insights and experiences tackling tenacious public health problems, according to a Summit news release.
“The Summit comes at a critical time for public health in our nation,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, in a statement. “Life expectancy in the United States has declined for 2 years in a row, a grim milestone last reached more than 50 years ago. I believe that the type of public health leadership and innovation we will see at the Summit can help the nation change this trajectory—and help Americans live longer, healthier lives.”
Confirmed speakers include Bloomberg; Tom Wolf, governor of Pennsylvania; Arne Duncan, former U.S. secretary of Education and managing partner at Emerson Collective; Gina McCarthy, former EPA administrator and a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Leana Wen, former Baltimore City health commissioner and president of Planned Parenthood. Other speakers include Michael Botticelli, former director of National Drug Control Policy at the White House and executive director of the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center; and Joshua M. Sharfstein, director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative.
“The diverse, innovative group we are gathering will show how public health approaches—utilizing rigorous science, nontraditional partnerships and a commitment to evidence, equity and policy—can overcome obstacles and lead to groundbreaking solutions,” said Sharfstein.
With a theme of “From Local Action to National Impact: Overcoming Challenges and Improving Health,” the Summit will address 5 public areas of public health that are the focus of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative: addiction and overdose, environmental challenges, risks to adolescent health, violence, and obesity and the food system.
The Summit is hosted by the Initiative, a program of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that was created in 2016 with a $300 million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The event is invitation only but will be livestreamed. Further details will be published in the coming weeks on the Summit website.
Media professionals who want to attend can register here.
Ed. Note: Michael R. Bloomberg is a benefactor of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which publishes Global Health NOW.