2004 Public Health Symposium

2004 Symposium Logo

They 2004 symposium was held on Monday, October 4, 2004 at Rackham auditorium.

The University of Michigan School of Public Health Symposium brings together the school community to focus on a cross-cutting public health problem. Regular classes are suspended for the day, enabling all students and faculty to attend the symposium. This all-day event is an important and required component of the school's BIC curriculum (Breadth, Integration, and Capstone).

Members of the public and university community are welcome at the morning presentations. Afternoon events are for SPH students, faculty, and staff only, and registration is required by Sept. 29.

2004 Symposium Overview

The 2004 Public Health Symposium aims to address some of the critical questions of the new global health agenda (see BACKGROUND below), focusing on the problem of inequality and the world's poor. We hope to challenge the next generation of public health workers and scholars to create an agenda of effort and action that acknowledges how we truly are a "global health village." We will explore how globalization has altered the conceptualization, knowledge base, policy considerations, and practice of public health.

Learning objectives include:

  • Develop an appreciation of how globalization is affecting economic, environmental, cultural, and behavioral patterns in both underdeveloped and developed countries
  • Characterize the many ways in which the various components of globalization influence the health of people throughout the world
  • Identify the broad spectrum of disciplines that must be brought together to address how globalization affects the public's health
  • Understand how the consequences of this public health issue can impact on our professional endeavors
  • Identify new research, analysis, and resulting policies that can be used to address these issues

BACKGROUND: The increasing global interconnectedness of economies, environments, governments, and cultures is challenging how we attempt to improve the human condition. It has become inappropriate to view the well-being of people in a community or nation as independent from that of others throughout the world.

"International health" is undergoing an expansion that has begun to articulate how "international" means more than "developing" and how "global health" recognizes the interconnectedness of health among nations, races, genders, or classes. Indeed, there is increasing recognition of how globalization, with its many manifestations, has altered the terrain of disease risk and health preparedness for all people in the world. This is true in many pathways: environmental degradation, international conflict, emerging infectious diseases, or health education, for example.

A new perspective, coming from diverse disciplines, is being unevenly adopted by public health organizations with many different interpretations. Not only is the debate expanding over whether globalization is beneficial to people, but many analysts are increasingly concerned that international (and often intranational) inequalities are on the rise as globalization is expanding. There is growing evidence of the many ways in which the health of people in developed countries is increasingly linked to that of people in the Third World. These new complexities reverberate in diverse ways, not always affecting "developed" and "underdeveloped" countries similarly.

Invited Speakers

  • Dr. Eileen Crimmins, Edna M. Jones Professor of Gerontology and Director Center on Biodemography and Population Health, University of Southern California: 'World Population Aging, Inequality, and Health'.
  • Dr. James M. Hughes, Director, National Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC and an Assistant Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service: 'Microbial Threats to Health: Root Causes and Global Challenges'.
  • Dr. Thomas Robins, UM SPH Department of Environmental Health Sciences: 'Challenges of Globalization for Occupational and Environmental Health'
  • Dr. Gita Sen, Sir Ratan Tata Chair Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India: 'Poverty, Economic Growth, and Gender Equity: Impacts on Health'