How should we prepare for the next pandemic? How is noise pollution affecting my neighborhood? And how can we prevent opioid overdose from a public parking lot? From epidemiology to behavioral science, Megan Hall covers it all as she interviews public health researchers here at Brown University about their work and what brought them to the field of public health.
Making the Case for Public Health
Liz Tobin-Tyler is a public health lawyer. She works on reproductive rights, maternal and child health, domestic violence and poverty—and the health policies around those issues—from a legal point of view. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether or not firearms should be restricted for people convicted of domestic abuse. Professor Tobin-Tyler talks us through the public health implications of this decision, and those leading up to it. She also explains why there should be a lawyer in every hospital, and discusses the important role of storytelling, in the courts and in public health.
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Crisis & Humanitarian Response
When humanitarian catastrophes erupt around the world, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of suffering. How do aid workers navigate the immense challenges in order to jump into action—juggling safety, equipment and logistics? Emergency doctors Craig Spencer and Adam Levine, veterans of public health disasters across the globe, join host Megan Hall to explain how this kind of aid works, and to demystify the humanitarian response in Gaza today.
Tobacco, Nicotine and the Lesser of Two Evils
We all understand the dangers of smoking—but the debate over vapes, nicotine pouches and other tobacco alternatives rages on: Can vaping really save lives? Or are nicotine alternatives a slippery slope: a dangerous gateway to lifelong substance use? Professors Jasjit Ahluwalia and Jennifer Tidey have spent their careers researching and fighting the global scourge of tobacco-related diseases and fatalities. The two public health professionals discuss their takes on a harm reduction and how it applies to the modern nicotine landscape.
Moving the Needle with Mindfulness
Professor Eric Loucks, director of Brown's Mindfulness Center, joins host Megan Hall to discuss how practicing mindfulness can have measurable, positive health outcomes. His recent paper in JAMA Network Open looks at how an eight-week mindfulness course, focusing on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, moved the needle on cardiovascular health.
MAPPS: Social Networks, Spatial Networks, and Pathogen Spread
How do we avoid total societal shutdown during a pandemic? Professor Mark Lurie believes the key lies in understanding how social mixing and human mobility impact pathogen spread.
Using Brown's School of Public Health building as a sandbox, his newest NSF-funded project, MAPPS (Mobility Analysis for Pandemic Prevention Strategies) uses the bluetooth beacons to better understand mobility and person-to-person proximity to predict disease exposure. In this episode, Lurie joins host Megan Hall to discuss the aims and the parameters of his study—happening November 6 - November 17, 2023.
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To kick off the School of Public Health’s ten year anniversary celebration, Megan sits down with Dean Ashish Jha to hear more about his time spent serving as White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator. Dr. Jha talks about his eye-opening experience in Washington, his plans for public health education and research now that he’s back in Providence, and even what he tells his own mother when she tests positive for COVID-19.