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In the last decade, Americans’ relationship with cannabis has transformed: today, dozens of states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use and American farmers can grow hemp on an industrial scale. Meanwhile, shoppers can find cannabidiol (CBD), which is derived from cannabis but does not produce a “high” like marijuana, in everyth…
 
Hammered by unprecedented natural disasters, parts of the United States have coped with raging wildfires, catastrophic hurricanes, dangerous heat levels, blizzards and floods. In addition, climate change has introduced new risks and exacerbated existing problems, according to the National Climate Assessment. This Forum event convened a dynamic pane…
 
Antibiotics are a pillar of modern medicine. They have saved millions of lives. But as the use of antibiotics has increased, so has the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant microbes that have adapted to survive most, or all, of today’s antibiotics. The CDC reports that two million people are infected with drug-resistant bacteria every year in the …
 
Amid the bustle on U.S. college campuses, a growing challenge is causing concern. Many college students of color report mental health issues–including depression, anxiety and, among some groups, increased risk for suicide–that are not well understood or effectively addressed. According to surveys conducted by Harris Poll, students of color feel bot…
 
The U.S. officially eliminated measles nearly 20 years ago. Yet, this year, more than 1,100 cases have been reported, despite being preventable by vaccine. The CDC says the majority of cases are among those who were not vaccinated.This Forum looked at the drivers of the 2019 outbreaks and, more generally, the challenges of vaccine acceptance. Why d…
 
Maternal mortality dropped by almost half over the last 25 years around the world. However, in startling contrast, deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth doubled in the United States between 2000 and 2014, putting the nation second-to-last in maternal mortality among countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Furthe…
 
In 2017, reports of hate crimes in the United States increased for the third consecutive year, according to the FBI. In addition to physical acts, such actions and other messages of racism, intolerance and extremism potentially impact large numbers of people online. In this Forum, experts tackled the painful and distressing spread of hate and racis…
 
Rare cancers present doctors, researchers, and patients with a unique set of challenges. Rare cancers often are diagnosed at later stages. Patients typically have limited treatment options, in part because the small number of diagnoses makes gold-standard clinical trials difficult. The picture is further complicated by increasingly expensive cancer…
 
In this uniquely insightful Forum, experts examined key health and education policies — and their broad implications — that are likely to be enacted by the new Congress. The panelists discussed the current climate, including the government shutdown. For background, the discussion drew on a newly-released poll by POLITICO and the Harvard Chan School…
 
What is it like to be seriously ill in America today? From heavy financial burdens — despite insurance — to varied hospital experiences, to impacts on caregivers, people with serious illnesses shared their experiences through a recent poll by the New York Times, the Commonwealth Fund, and the Harvard Chan School. The findings carry significant impl…
 
What do rural Americans say are the biggest problems in their local communities? A new poll finds that drug/opioid abuse and economic concerns are the top challenges. When it comes to drug addiction and abuse, a majority of rural Americans say opioid addiction is a serious problem in their community. On economic issues, rural Americans largely hold…
 
Healthcare has again emerged as a pivotal issue for American voters. Conversations around preexisting conditions protections, short-term health plans, drug costs and premium rates are as contentious as ever. Debates around Medicare and Medicaid have grabbed headlines, while the Affordable Care Act has remained divisive, despite helping millions bec…
 
Stroke prevention and treatment is a remarkable success story — but strides appear to be stalling in some populations. Evidence suggests a dramatic increase in stroke incidence in people in their 30s and 40s. Disparities persist among race/ethnicities, and declines in stroke death have stalled in three out of every four states. This Forum examined …
 
What is the status of evidence-based environmental policy in the U.S? Sweeping policy shifts, regulatory rollbacks, and decisions such as the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement prompt questions. This Forum provided an opportunity to discuss the challenges facing environmental science today. Panelists explored areas potentially or already i…
 
Americans pay more money – sometimes much more money – for prescriptions than consumers in many other wealthy countries. Why? The drivers are many and complicated. Pharmaceutical companies, employers, health care providers, patients, lawmakers, and pharmacy benefit managers all play a role. Calls to make prescriptions more affordable have prompted …
 
Globally, people are living longer. What are the most compelling ways to ensure a sustainably healthy life? In this exciting live-streamed event, world-renowned author and speaker, Deepak Chopra, discussed the important connections between mind, immunity, genes and body. Dr. Chopra explored how chronic stress and inflammation can undermine immunity…
 
No longer the stuff of science fiction, driverless cars already are being tested in numerous U.S. markets. These autonomous vehicles may revolutionize the automotive world, potentially reducing human error, reshaping transportation systems and transforming the country’s roadway infrastructure. However recent deaths linked to self-driving technology…
 
Mental health issues are alarmingly on the rise among college students, and a serious gap exists in campus services to help them. What can be done to meet this growing need, spurred by issues of anxiety and depression, that has been described as sudden and dramatic by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health? In a spring 2017 survey by the American …
 
President Trump recently described a plan to tackle the opioid abuse crisis that includes tougher sentencing on dealers and expanding access to treatment. The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis cites the need to move ahead quickly with treatment alternatives for those addicted to opioids. Yet, recent public sur…
 
Inspired by students across the country, the gun violence prevention movement has gained new momentum. But can it last or lead to substantive change on the Congressional level? This Forum brought together experts in mental health, violence, and gun policy to discuss a variety of proposed gun violence and school safety measures. What is the status o…
 
More than half of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans report that they have experienced violence, threats or harassment because of their sexuality or gender identity. Nearly one in five LGBTQ people has avoided seeking medical care for fear of discrimination. In this Forum, experts in LGBTQ health explored health disparities and…
 
Six months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, a panel of experts assessed persistent public health challenges on the island and the outlook for long-term recovery. Power restoration, health care coordination, and medical services delivery on the island are just some of the pressing issues the panelists explored. They discussed the potent…
 
More than a half million deaths each year around the world result from flu-related respiratory illnesses. This year, flu has grabbed particular headlines, driven by an early start to flu season and the dominance of a particularly severe flu strain, H3N2. The flu is most dangerous to people with underlying health problems, as well as individuals ove…
 
How do Native Americans experience discrimination in daily life? A new poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health illuminates Native Americans’ personal experiences with discrimination. The report reveals that more than a third of Native Americans and their family members have experienc…
 
Will the next great medical insight come from a clinical trial, a laboratory study — or a database search? Today, health systems and insurers have access to a mountain of data about millions of Americans: what medications they take, their health history, even, in some cases, their genetics—plus an emerging body of mobile health data. Using “big dat…
 
Despite decades of research and relentless messaging about the importance of diet and exercise, type 2 diabetes remains a major threat to the lives of millions of Americans. As new diagnoses in some populations plateau, rates in others groups, including African Americans and Latinos, are increasing. Why does this largely preventable and multifactor…
 
Cancer. Alzheimer’s. Precision medicine. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The opioid crisis. These are all areas that stand to benefit from boosted federal funding. On the other hand, other areas may take a hit — immunizations, preparedness for outbreaks and epidemics, and chronic disease prevention programs to name a few. And where does the support …
 
How do African Americans experience discrimination in daily life? A new poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health illuminates reports from African Americans who share their personal experiences with discrimination. With unprecedented documentation, the poll covers a range of areas — fr…
 
Once a global scourge, polio is tantalizingly close to eradication with only 11 wild poliovirus cases reported worldwide in 2017. In this Forum event — held in advance of World Polio Day — experts from the Government of Pakistan, UNICEF, Rotary International, and the Harvard Opinion Research Program explained what factors contributed to this remark…
 
Climate-related programs face challenges from federal regulation rollbacks and proposed spending cuts. In response, some members of the public and private sectors have stepped in, announcing various commitments to take action to curb climate change. What can cities, states, research institutions and businesses do to lead the way on climate change a…
 
The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unclear. Republicans have decided not to vote this week on the Graham-Cassidy bill, but promised to revisit ACA repeal-and-replace efforts. Democrats announced recently a single-payer health care proposal. And another hurdle for the ACA looms. With open enrollment beginning on November 1, questions rem…
 
In labs and in clinical trials, scientists are seeking ways to rewrite DNA, a building block of life. Tools such as zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), TAL effector nucleases (TALENs) and, more recently, CRISPR/Cas9 have the power to seek out and replace faulty DNA. The possibilities seem almost limitless: with the ability to edit DNA at will, researcher…
 
“Lose belly fat.” “Build muscle.” “Lower your cholesterol.” “Improve your sex drive.” Browse the shelves of any supermarket or pharmacy, and you will find dietary supplements that promise to do all this, and more. Supplements are a multi-billion-dollar business, and today more than half of American adults take them, many at the advice of their doct…
 
Opioid overdoses claim the lives of 91 Americans every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In this Forum event, four former governors offered candid insights into how government policy can help, exploring what works and what doesn’t. They spoke about experiences within their own states, as well the broader national epi…
 
On the whole, American drinking water is safe. However, more than a year after toxic lead levels forced a federal state of emergency in Flint, MI, 63 percent of Americans report that they worry a great deal about polluted drinking water. This statistic comes from a new Gallup poll indicating that water pollution ranks the highest of six environment…
 
Building on two previous Forums about race, criminal justice and health (from February 2015 and October 2015), this event examined specific approaches and models to address the complexities of race and policing. Experts in law enforcement, public health, community relations and the law spoke. Subjects included safeguarding law enforcement and commu…
 
California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada became the latest states to legalize recreational marijuana, bringing to 28 the number of states that have okayed the drug for medicinal use, recreational use, or both. Even more states have rules that allow certain kinds of cannabis extracts to be used for medical purposes. At the same time that state l…
 
The passage of the 21st Century Cures Act has drawn both applause and criticism. A sweeping bipartisan effort with multiple components, the law dramatically boosts funding for medical research, particularly in areas such as cancer and brain disease. The law also relaxes regulatory processes for pharmaceuticals and medical devices. In doing so, the …
 
How can common chemicals affect our health? This Forum at HSPH was presented jointly with The Huffington Post. Watch the entire series at ForumHSPH.org.โดย Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
 
By 2050, a projected 9.7 billion people will inhabit the planet. How will we produce enough nutritious food to support this burgeoning population and ensure access to food resources, particularly as climate change stresses the environment? This Forum explored innovative methods and systems for producing food, as well as new types of products and un…
 
More than 100 million Americans struggle with chronic pain, according to one Institute of Medicine estimate, at an annual cost of as much as $635 billion in treatment and lost productivity. Further, the misuse of potent opioid painkillers, while increasing risk of addiction and abuse, can confuse the conversation around appropriate chronic pain man…
 
Health care has emerged as a hotly debated issue of the 2016 presidential election, with the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees expressing starkly different views on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While approximately 20 million people have gained healthcare coverage since the law’s passage, implementation has been marred by setbacks, i…
 
According to the CDC, nearly 29 million U.S. women and 16 million U.S. men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. Most of those experiences occur before the age of twenty-five. The evidence is clear that domestic violence takes a physical and emotional toll on individuals, families and comm…
 
Quality child care can help children develop lasting social, emotional, and learning skills and can promote healthy eating and play. But high-quality care, whether it comes from a nanny, a sitter, a daycare, or a preschool, can be difficult to find—and to afford. Drawing on the findings of a newly released poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Found…
 
With more than 23,100 cases of Zika in the continental U.S. and U.S. territories — including four newly reported non-travel cases in Miami-Dade County, Fla — this Forum continued a conversation begun in March 2016 to discuss the risks and response to the spreading Zika virus. The focus was on the U.S. and Caribbean, as well as other regions experie…
 
More than 30 million Americans — women and men, children and adults — grapple with eating disorders. These complex illnesses, which include anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder, severely undermine health and cost lives. This event explored the many dimensions to eating disorders, including their biological bases, risk factors and treatment …
 
Experts take on the concerns most expressed by American employees in a poll done by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The panelists also describe lessons learned from employers that cultivate healthy environments – to see if there are feasible measures to produce a more accessible, supportive, h…
 
People die each day waiting on lists for lifesaving organs, and the rise of chronic diseases such as diabetes only increases the demand. With the need for scientific innovation and donor support becoming ever more critical, this Forum explored biomedical advances that promise to address the scarcity, as well as the efforts of medical leaders, advoc…
 
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol has long been established as a public safety hazard. But what about hitting the road while fatigued? An estimated average of 83,000 accidents involving drowsy driving occurred annually between 2005 and 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and some estima…
 
A series of terrorist attacks — including recent bombings in Belgium — has shaken the public’s sense of security as they go about the most mundane tasks of daily life. Images of carnage at subway stations, restaurants, workplaces, concerts and sporting events have flashed across the world’s social media and traditional news outlets. Afterwards, que…
 
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