become a world leader in public health education and research, the
Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) needs to increase its footprint
on the Emory campus, according to the school’s recently released
strategic plan. The leading public health schools of the 21st century
must provide state-of-the-art physical and virtual education and
research facilities. To answer that challenge, the RSPH has just
completed a feasibility study to define potential construction adjacent
to its current space in the Grace Crum Rollins Building.
The proposed building is envisioned
as the hub of global health at Emory. The new facility will enhance
teaching and collaborative research at Emory among infectious diseases,
nutrition, cancer, chronic diseases, and other areas. Additionally,
conference capabilities will speed up the development of specialized
training, individualized distance-learning modules, and professional
exchange programs that will help spread public health solutions
around the globe.
The school’s goal is to extend
its reach well beyond the boundaries of the new physical walls and
deliver information and resources to where they are needed—whether
locally, nationally, or globally. The new building also will serve
as a destination for strengthening and enhancing collaboration with
the school’s Atlanta-based public health partners, such as
CDC, CARE, The Carter Center, the American Cancer Society, the Georgia
Division of Public Health, the DeKalb County Board of Health, and
Rotary Club of Atlanta, among others.
Within five years, the RSPH estimates
the need for an additional 150,000 square feet to accommodate a
growing faculty, greatly expanded research programs, and new doctoral
students. The new building will allow the consolidation of public
health activities now spread out in the School of Nursing building,
the 1525 building, the Dental building, the Briarcliff campus, and
three additional locations.
Plans for the new building call for
a mixed-use facility with more laboratory space, classrooms, offices,
conference facilities, and an auditorium. Open meetings for faculty,
staff, and students will take place throughout the fall to gather
a design wish-list from throughout the RSPH community.
recent faculty works
Urban sprawl and public health: Designing, Planning, and
Building for Healthy Communities. By Howard Frumkin, Lawrence
Frank, and Richard Jackson. Island Press, 2004.
Urban sprawl is taking a toll on
Americans’ health, says Howard Frumkin, recently appointed
director of CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health
(NCEH) and an
adjunct professor at the Rollins School of Public Health
(RSPH). Frumkin lives what he believes. He has a home near his office
so he can bike to work, and his son rides a bicycle to school. When
the Frumkins need to travel somewhere a bike can’t take them,
they drive a hybrid car. When running errands, they do what they
call “trip stacking,” or combining multiple errands
in one outing.
Frumkin has joined with two of the
nation’s leading public health and urban planning experts
to present Urban
Sprawl and Public Health. The book is a resource for health
care professionals, environmentalists, architects, city
planners, transportation engineers, developers, and students in
these fields as well as members of zoning boards and the general
“The places we live, work, and
play affect our health,” Frumkin says. “We have choices
in the way we design our environment, and those choices matter a
great deal to those who care about health.”
Urban Sprawl and Public Health
makes a case for smart growth as a public health strategy. By placing
homes, work places, stores, and other land uses near each other,
compact communities offer alternatives to the automobile for getting
from place to place. These communities encourage physical activity,
contribute to clean air, improve personal safety, and promote social
interactions, in turn leading to healthier hearts and lungs, a cleaner
environment, and even better psychological health. After all, as
Frumkin says, “You’ve heard of road rage, but you’ve
never heard of sidewalk rage.”
Urban Sprawl and Public Health
discusses alternate approaches to design, land use, and transportation,
and it outlines the complex challenges of developing policies that
promote and protect public health.
Frumkin’s collaborators are
Lawrence Frank, Bombardier Chair in Sustainable Transportation Systems
at the University of British Columbia, and Richard Jackson, former
director of the NCEH and currently the state public health officer
for California. Frumkin himself is a member of the Clean Air Campaign,
the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Environmental Health
Sciences, and the Board of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
From 1995 to 2005, he was professor and chair of RSPH’s Department
of Environmental and Occupational Health.
Scaling Up Treatment for the Global AIDS Pandemic.
Edited by James Curran, Haile Debas, Monisha Arya, Patrick Kelley,
Stacey Knobler, and Leslie Pray. National Academies Press, 2005.
In recent years, many HIV-infected
patients in wealthy nations have enjoyed significantly longer, good-quality
lives as a result of antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, most
infected people live in the poorest regions. The largely unchecked
pace of infection and its impact on the social, political, and economic
dimensions of individuals and communities continue to undermine
the development of entire countries and regions.
This book is an independent review
and assessment of rapid scale-up ART programs by an Institute of
Medicine committee, including identification of the components of
effective implementation programs. The report recommends that ART
scale-up in resource-constrained settings worldwide must proceed
immediately to extend the duration of as many lives as possible
and to reverse the course of social collapse in many countries heavily
afflicted by HIV/AIDS.
Chapters cover coordinating and sustaining
the global response, developing and managing treatment, building
a comprehensive infrastructure for scaling up, and monitoring and
“Recognizing the limited infrastructure,
tools, knowledge, and personnel currently available in resource-constrained
settings, it is clear that future efforts in the provision of ART
will benefit from expanded investments and research,” write
the authors. “Given the limited experience with large-scale
ART programs in poor countries, the capturing of lessons learned
from newly implemented programs will be essential to informing the
direction and priorities that will ensure long-term sustainability,
quality, and success. Gaps in knowledge still inhibit our efforts
to prevent, diagnose, and treat HIV/AIDS more effectively. Such
discoveries will ultimately facilitate not only more cost-effective
care, but also the saving of millions of lives.”
Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance.
Edited by Jeffrey Koplan, Catharyn Liverman, and Vivica Kraak. National
Academies Press, 2004.
Reversing the rapid rise in obesity
among American children and youth will require a multi-pronged approach
by schools, families, communities, industry, and government that
would be as comprehensive and ambitious as national anti-smoking
efforts, according to this book published by the Institute of Medicine.
While no single intervention or group acting alone can stop the
epidemic of childhood obesity, the steps recommended by the committee
that prepared this report all aim to increase and improve opportunities
for children to engage in physical activity and eat a healthy diet.
Among specific steps recommended is
a call for schools to implement nutritional standards for all foods
and beverages served on school grounds, including those from vending
machines. The report also recommends that schools expand opportunities
for all students to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to
vigorous physical activity each day.
Food, beverage, and entertainment
industries must also do their part to voluntarily develop and implement
guidelines for advertising and marketing directed at children and
youth. The authors recommend that restaurants continue to expand
their offerings of nutritious foods and drinks and provide calorie
content and other nutritional information as well.
The book calls on parents to provide
healthy foods in the home and to encourage physical activity by
limiting children’s recreational TV, video game, and computer
time to less than two hours a day.
Emerging Illnesses and Society: Negotiating the Public Health
Agenda. Edited by Randall Packard, Peter Brown, Ruth Berkelman,
and Howard Frumkin, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.
From 1998 to 2000, the Center for
the Study of Health, Culture, and Society at Emory organized interdisciplinary
faculty seminars to explore three themes: emerging illness and communities
of suffering; environmental hazards, community activism, and the
public health; and emerging illnesses and institutional responses.
This volume presents case studies from those seminars, which brought
together historians, sociologists, and anthropologists with physicians,
public health researchers, practitioners, policy analysts, and community
The introductory essay analyzes broad
social processes through which emerging illnesses gain or fail to
gain a place on public health agendas. “Making Illnesses Visible”
examines the efforts of illness support groups and organizations
to gain public health recognition for specific health problems such
as multiple sclerosis and Tourette syndrome.
A second section focuses on how and
why the institutions of public health and medicine respond to different
types of emerging illnesses. It includes essays on the cultural
politics surrounding tuberculosis epidemics in New York City and
Lima, Peru; emerging infections and the CDC response; and hepatitis
C and the news media, among others.
Academy of Sciences medalist
MAY, the National
Academy of Sciences (NAS) awarded Presidential Distinguished Professor
of International Health Emeritus William Foege the Public Welfare
Medal, the most prestigious award presented by the NAS. Established
in 1914, the medal is presented annually to honor extraordinary
use of science for the public good. The academy chose Foege for
his dedication to eradicating global disease and his leadership
in redefining the scope of public health policy in the United States.
“In terms of lives saved and freed from disease, Dr. Foege
has changed the world as we know it,” says John Brauman, home
secretary of the NAS and chair of the selection committee, who presented
the award at the academy’s annual meeting.
award for SORT
THE STUDENT OUTREACH and Response Team (SORT) took
second place in the annual 2005 Linkage Awards. Presented annually
by the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice,
the awards recognize exemplary community-based collaborative activities
between public health practice agencies and academic institutions.
The Center for Public Health Preparedness
and Research at the Rollins School of Public Health and the DeKalb
County Board of Health developed SORT to help bridge the gap between
classroom theories and the realities of public
health practice. It is designed for students to gain a better understanding
of how local public health works at a community level and to interest
more students in pursuing a career in local public health.
“Local and state public health
departments have a great need for students trained in public health,
and we’re hopeful that the SORT experience in DeKalb will
be used as a model for other local public health departments,”
says center director Ruth Berkelman.
During the past year, SORT students
have participated in an outbreak investigation involving a student
with active TB at a DeKalb County high school, an investigation
of food-borne illnesses, and administration of community-wide influenza
vaccination clinics. Since its pilot year in 2002, the program has
expanded from 15 students primarily in epidemiology to 30 students
from departments across the school.
of Medicine honorees
Berkelman was elected to the Institute of Medicine’s recent
class of leading national health scientists. Joining Berkelman in
achieving this highest honor are Rollins School of Public Health
adjunct faculty members Julie Gerberding, director of CDC, and James
Marks, senior vice president and director of the Health Group of
the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
RSPH representation in the IOM
is strong, including faculty James Curran, Godfrey Oakley, and Reynaldo
Martorell; jointly appointed faculty James Hughes, Michael M.E.
Johns, Arthur Kellermann, Jeffrey Koplan, Marla Salmon, and Rick
Martinez; adjunct faculty Claire Broome, Roger Glass, Jaime Sepulveda,
Don Hopkins, and Mark Rosenberg; and emeritus faculty William Foege.
sizable costs of supersizing
A FAST FOOD NATION where supersize
is a common verb and the search is on for a carb-free cure-all for
the country’s expanding girth, one thing is for sure. As Americans
add pounds and inches, the costs are making a dent in both health
and the wallet. Rising obesity rates
alone account for 27% of the growth in health spending from 1987
to 2001, according to a study by health policy researchers at the
Rollins School of Public Health.
“The impact of weight on per
capita spending is sizable,” says Kenneth Thorpe, professor
and chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management who
led the study. “Although we attributed the growth in health
care spending to three of the major conditions (diabetes, hyperlipidemia,
and heart disease), spending is also affected by the rising prevalence
of gallstones, some forms of cancer, and other obesity-linked diseases.”
Published in Health Affairs
(October 20, 2004), the research examined the contribution of obesity-related
factors to the growth in spending for three conditions clinically
linked to obesity. During the 14-year period, when the prevalence
of obesity increased to almost 24% of the population, the obesity
trend accounted for more than 38% of diabetes spending growth, 22%
of spending growth for hyperlipidemia, and 41% for heart disease.
When comparing health care spending
between obese and normal weight categories in 1987, the researchers
found that the estimated per capita health care spending in 1987
(based on 2001 dollars) was $2,188 overall, with obese people spending
15.2% more per capita than people of normal weight. The year 2001
brought larger differences in health care spending by weight category.
Spending among the obese shot to 37% higher than among those with
spirit of Jefferson
LEVINSON (right) received
Emory’s most prestigious honor
at Commencement 2005, the Thomas Jefferson award. Each year at commencement,
the award is given to an administrator or faculty member for significant
service in the areas of teaching, scholarship, University advancement,
community service, and work with students.
Levinson is the Charles Howard Candler
Professor and executive associate dean of the Rollins School of
Public Health (RSPH). He began his Emory career as a sociologist
in Emory College in 1972. With a lifelong interest in health issues,
he joined a group interested in biomedical ethics. This group led
him to join the School of Medicine’s preventive medicine faculty
in 1978, a program that grew to offer a master’s in community
health. When the RSPH was founded in 1990, Levinson’s broad
range of experiences at the University helped him build bridges
to the new school.
Throughout his career, he has
served on dissertation committees for graduate students, taught
undergraduate classes abroad in England, and helped create a dual-degree
program that combines an MPH with a master’s degree in mathematics.
Most recently, he put the finishing touches on two new PhD programs
at the RSPH in behavioral sciences and health education and health
services research and health policy.
Although only 15 years old, the RSPH
has four faculty members who have garnered the Thomas Jefferson
award: Eugene Gangarosa (1991), Donna Brogan (1993), and John Boring