51 episodes

An exchange focused on health issues and controversies of current concern to decision-makers around the world.

The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Harvard University

    • Health & Fitness

An exchange focused on health issues and controversies of current concern to decision-makers around the world.

    Recreational Marijuana and CBD: Public Attitudes, Science, and the Law

    Recreational Marijuana and CBD: Public Attitudes, Science, and the Law

    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 everything from oils to vapes, chocolate bars, cosmetics—even dog treats. Some say CBD can relieve stress, pain, anxiety, and more, with no side effects. But the evidence for many of these claims is limited, and state and federal laws around the sale of CBD are still evolving. Drawing on a newly-released poll by POLITICO and the Harvard Chan School, this Forum examined public attitudes toward CBD products and recreational marijuana. Panelists examined how research studies of both recreational and medical marijuana offer insights into the current debate. They also discussed the current state of policy and research regarding recreational marijuana in particular, and consider various solutions that have emerged to understand and regulate these rapidly growing industries.

    This Forum event was presented jointly with POLITICO on December 3, 2019.

    Watch the entire series: https://theforum.sph.harvard.edu/

    • 59 min
    Unprecedented Natural Disasters in a Time of Climate Change: A Governors Roundtable

    Unprecedented Natural Disasters in a Time of Climate Change: A Governors Roundtable

    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 panel of former governors, who will share their unique insights into the challenges of leadership and natural disasters. What does it take to prepare, respond and rebuild? What roles do the public, local and state officials and emergency responders play? What is the intersection between economies and disasters? And what climate change considerations need to be understood?

    This Forum event was presented jointly with Reuters on November 14, 2019.

    Watch the entire series: https://theforum.sph.harvard.edu/

    • 58 min
    Drug-Resistant Infections: Confronting an Escalating Crisis

    Drug-Resistant Infections: Confronting an Escalating Crisis

    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 United States, and the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance estimated that, around the world, 700,000 people die of such infections annually. That number stands to increase: the Review predicts that, by 2050, drug resistance could be responsible for 10 million deaths a year. And while these numbers are dominated by bacterial infections, fungal infections like Candida auris are also a threat, especially to vulnerable patients in hospitals and nursing homes.

    Despite drug resistance growing, the development of new antibiotics has slowed. How can policymakers help accelerate the pace of new drug development, and how can all of us—doctors, hospitals, and patients, as well as the agricultural sector—be better stewards of existing drugs? Forum panelists examined the scope of this looming crisis and look at how changes in policy and practice can help us stay one step ahead of these superbugs.

    Watch the entire series: https://theforum.sph.harvard.edu/

    • 58 min
    Mental Health and Wellness for Students of Color: Transitioning to College

    Mental Health and Wellness for Students of Color: Transitioning to College

    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 both more isolated and more overwhelmed than their white classmates. At the same time, they are less likely to seek counseling services on campus.

    Bringing together experts with diverse experiences and perspectives, this Forum explored how colleges can better support the social, emotional and mental health needs of students of color, particularly during the critical transition to college. Panelists emphasized evidence-based steps and policies that can help cultivate a positive and healthy experience for college students of color.

    This Forum event was presented in partnership with The Steve Fund and jointly with HuffPost on September 18, 2019.

    Watch the entire series: https://theforum.sph.harvard.edu/

    • 1 hr 1 min
    The Measles Outbreak: Why Vaccines Matter

    The Measles Outbreak: Why Vaccines Matter

    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 do some parents delay or decline vaccinating their children? How might their concerns be addressed? What about exemptions? Why does the global picture matter? And what can be done once an outbreak begins? New polling data framed this discussion, providing a uniquely current picture of vaccine acceptance in the U.S.

    Part of The Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Forums, this event was presented jointly with PRI's The World & WGBH on September 12, 2019.

    Watch the entire series: https://theforum.sph.harvard.edu/

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Deaths From Pregnancy and Childbirth: Why Are More U.S. Mothers Dying and What Can Be Done?

    Deaths From Pregnancy and Childbirth: Why Are More U.S. Mothers Dying and What Can Be Done?

    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. Further, pernicious racial disparities mean that black women in the United States face a deeply distressing three- to four-times higher risk of pregnancy-related deaths. What factors are driving these increases and disparities? What changes will narrow the survival gap between white and black women? How can health care systems more effectively prevent complications and poor outcomes? And how can mothers themselves and their communities be agents for change for a more equitable and safe delivery of the next generation?

    Part of The Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Forums, this event was presented jointly with PRI's The World & WGBH on March 4, 2019.

    Watch the entire series: https://theforum.sph.harvard.edu/

    • 56 min

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