Crisis as Catalyst in Public Health

This seminar series will explore crises that have sparked new thinking, planning and action with regards to public health response and prevention. Seminars will focus on:

  • Current natural or man-made disasters (e.g. the gulf oil spill, earthquake recovery in Haiti, war)
  • Policy initiatives that have sparked critical national debate (e.g. immigration reform, health reform)
  • Individual crises that move people to make sweeping lifestyle changes (e.g. diagnoses of cancer)
  • Exploration of thinking and decisions related to crises (e.g. Wharton’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, Annenberg’s review of media mechanisms that contribute to the “making of a crises.”)

The CPHI will collaborate with a variety of Schools and Centers on specific events including: Penn Institute for Urban Research (IUR); Leonard Davis Institute (LDI); and the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center.


Learning from Catastrophes: Strategies for Reaction and Response in Public Health

September 13th (Monday) 12:00pm - 1:30pm 
Location:  Room 265, Jon M. Huntsman Hall, 3730 Walnut Street
Lunch will be provided 

  • Howard Kunreuther, PhD, Professor of Decision Sciences and Public Policy at the Wharton School, Co-Director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, University of Pennsylvania 

This talk will explore how one can link the tools of risk assessment and our knowledge of risk perception to develop risk management strategies for dealing with extreme events that affect public health.  The framework presented will be illustrated with examples from a series of recent catastrophes with public health consequence such as the BP oil spill, Hurricane Katrina and the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
View PowerPoint Presentation 

The Local, State and Regional Impact of Health Care Reform

September 24th (Friday) 12:00pm - 1:30pm 
Location:  Room 360, Jon M. Huntsman Hall, 3730 Walnut Street
Lunch will be provided

  • Moderator: Arnold Rosoff, Professor of Legal Studies and Health Care Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Nan Feyler, MPH, Chief of Staff of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health
  • Calvin Johnson, MD, MPH, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Temple University Health System, former Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Dalton Paxman, PhD, Regional Health Administrator for the Mid-Atlantic Region

Join us for a panel presentation and discussion about the local, state and regional impact of healthcare reform legislation. Topics that will be addressed include short and long term changes to health related public policy and services, as well as the potential impact of the new legislation on healthcare access, public health workforce development, preventative services and much more.
View PowerPoint Presentations: Nan Feyler, Dalton Paxman 

Perspectives on the Public Health Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill 

October 13th (Wednesday) 12:00pm - 1:30pm 
Location:  Amado Recital Hall, Irvine Auditorium, 3401 Spruce Street
Lunch will be provided

  • Edward Emmett, MD, MS, Professor and Director of Academic Programs in Occupational Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Roberta Iversen, PhD, Associate Professor, Director of the Master of Science in Social Policy Program, University of Pennsylvania
  • Isadore "Irv" Rosenthal, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Wharton Risk Management
    and Decision Processes Center, University of Pennsylvania

The panelists will discuss the impact of the Gulf oil spill on residents’ mental, environmental, and occupational health and safety. A variety of photographs and stories from the region will supplement the discussion and present key issues faced post-Katrina.
View PowerPoint Presentations: Edward EmmettRoberta IversenIrv Rosenthal 

War and Public Health 

November 17th (Wednesday) 12:00pm - 1:30pm 
Location: Ben Franklin Room, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce Street
Lunch will be provided

  • Victor Sidel, MD, Co-editor of War and Public Health, Distinguished University Professor
    of Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Adjunct Professor of Public Health, Weill Medical College of Cornell University1997

A discussion of the impact of war and terrorism on public health, including the psychological effects, the effects of the diversion of human and financial resources, and the dangers posed by proliferation of nuclear weapons.
View PowerPoint Presentation

Haiti: Ongoing and Future Needs 

January 12th (Wednesday) 12:00pm - 2:00pm 
Location: Amado Recital Hall, Irvine Auditorium, 3401 Spruce Street
Lunch will be provided

  • Emily Hall, FNP, MPH, former clinical nurse mentor for Partners in Health, where she worked with the General Hospital in postearthquake Port-au-Prince, Haiti from May until September 2010
  • Amy Ross, Program Manager, Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) where she developed sanitation projects post-earthquake in Haiti.
  • Carol McLaughin, MD, MPH, Director of Research for the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, University of Pennsylvania
  • Yve-Car Momperousse, founder of Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia and involved in a variety of Haiti-focused relief efforts.
  • Presentations, Tables, and/or Posters by Penn Schools and Other Penn Groups, Including:
    Graduate School of Education
    Nursing School
    School of Arts and Sciences
    School of Medicine
    and more!

On January 12th 2010 at 4:53pm local time, Haiti was struck by a catastrophic earthquake that left Port au Prince and surrounding areas in ruins. The Haitian government reported that an estimated 230,000 people died, 300,000 were injured and 1,000,000 were made homeless.

This event will explore the immediate and ongoing needs in Haiti, including the current cholera crisis, and discuss what people can do in 2011 and beyond to assist in the country’s re-building process. Non-governmental organizational efforts will be highlighted as well as the work of Penn schools and students.

Read the Center for High Impact Philanthropy's blog post about this event.

Urban Dilemmas of Natural Disasters 

February 2nd (Wednesday) 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: Upper Gallery, Meyerson Hall, 210 S. 34th Street

  • Ed Blakely, Professor of Urban and Regional Planinng, University of Sydney; former Executive Directory of Recovery Management, City of New Orleans
  • Eugenie Birch, Co-director, Penn Institute of Urban Research; co-editor, Rebuilding Urban Places: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina
  • Andrew Miller, Associate Professor, Department of Geography & Environmental Systems, UMBC; Founder, Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education

This panel discussion will explore the effect of natural disasters on public health. Speakers include Ed Blakely, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Sydney and former Executive Director of Recovery Management for the City of New Orleans and Eugenie Birch, co-director of the Penn Institute for Urban Research and co-editor of Rebuilding Urban Places, Lessons from Hurricane Katrina.

Security and Public Health 

February 4th (Friday) 9:00am - 1:30pm 
Location: Amado Recital Hall, Irvine Auditorium, 3401 Spruce Street
Breakfast and lunch will be provided

Keynote Speakers: 

  • Stefan Elbe, PhD, Professor of International Relations, Department of International Relations, University of Sussex
  • Nicole Lurie, MD, MSPH, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Panel of Experts: 

  • Harvey Rubin, MD, PhD, Executive Director of the Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Michael C. Horowitz, PhD, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania
  • Giridhar Mallya, MD, Director of Policy and Planning, Philadelphia Department of Public Health
  • Kevin Bosch, Special Agent, Weapons of Mass Destruction Program, FBI

This half day symposium will explore the multiple issues, from bio-terrorism to
pandemics to human rights abuses, that contribute to public health insecurity in the US and globally. Key topics and interdisciplinary best practices will be discussed and presented by a variety of experts in the field drawn from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the FBI, the Transnational Legal Clinic at Penn and the Penn Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response.

Immigration Reform and the Threat of Rhetorical Violence 

March 30th (Wednesday) 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Location: Ben Franklin Room, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce Street

Join us for a fresh look at immigration reform and the impact of public discourse focused on this topic. The panel of presenters, including Stephen Glassman, Chairperson from the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, Brad Baldia, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC), and Sarah Paoletti who directs the Transnational Legal Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania will discuss current issues around immigrants, health, human rights and violence. Comments will address key concerns that arise when political and media attention directs negative attention on immigrant populations.

Speakers include:

  • Brad Baldia, MPH, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
  • Stephen Glassman, AIA, Chairperson of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission
  • Sarah Paoletti, JD, Practice Associate Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania; Director of the Transnational Legal Clinic

calendar | RSVP | View Flyer

Alex's Lemonade Stand and the Fight Against Childhood Cancer

April 11th (Monday) 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Location: Golkin Room, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce Street

calendar | RSVP | View Flyer 

Join us to discuss the history and impact of Alex’s Lemonade Stand. The panel of presenters, including Liz Scott (Alex’s mom), will explore childhood cancer from a variety of viewpoints including the development of new treatment options, survivorship, and palliative care. We will also explore the impact that individuals can make on medical and public health initiatives that improve the health of people nationally and globally.

Presenters include:

  • Liz Scott, mother of founder Alex Scott and Vice President of Outreach and Communications, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
  • John Maris, MD, Chief, Division of Oncology and Giulio D’Angio Chair in Neuroblastoma research, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Director, Center for Childhood Cancer Research
  • Anna Meadows, MD, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Tammy Kang, MD, Medical Director, Pediatric Advanced Care Team, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Series co-sponsors

Image by Kris Krug