Post date: Tue, 06/06/2017 - 13:15

De’Sean Weber learned from his mother, a social worker, that helping others is what’s most important. As an anthropology major and aspiring health care professional, Weber is using the power of personal stories to help improve health outcomes in marginalized, low-income communities like his own in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He studies the deeper, less obvious reasons people are predisposed to illness.

Post date: Tue, 06/06/2017 - 13:12

by Sean Hargadon

The plight of mixed-status families is more than an academic interest for Almita Miranda. It’s her history.

Her grandfather came to the United States from Guerrero, Mexico, as part of the Bracero Program, which allowed millions of Mexicans to cross the border for temporary work. Her parents were undocumented migrant workers in the late 1970s and legalized their status after the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Miranda ’08 was born in Chicago, but her father “continued to travel back and forth to Mexico with the hope of one day bringing the entire family back to Guerrero. But after Mexico’s economic crisis in 1994, he decided to keep the family in Chicago permanently.”

Post date: Fri, 06/02/2017 - 14:13

By Noelle Sullivan, PhD

The verdict is out. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the American Health Care Act would lower premiums and reduce the deficit by $119 billion over the next 10 years. It would also leave 23 million people in the United States uninsured by 2026. 

The CBO report paints a bleak picture in terms of healthcare access for half of the country if the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in its current form was made law: higher deductibles, and less coverage. This is particularly perilous for those with pre-existing conditions, or for mental health, substance abuse, maternity and rehabilitation coverage. 

Whether or not you like the AHCA really depends on what you prioritize. And certainly, the rhetoric circulating in the wake of the CBO report has been all but predictable, on both sides.

From The Hill

Post date: Mon, 05/15/2017 - 11:27

By Noelle Sullivan, PhD

The ongoing controversy over the American Health Care Act (AHCA) -- the GOP's proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act -- highlights a fundamental disconnect in ideas about how involved the government should be in our health care.

A striking omission in these debates is the cost of health care itself. There is considerable silence on how much Americans pay, while there is considerable noise from policy makers on health insurance costs and coverage mandates. Insurance costs are a reflection of the costs of medical care, so addressing insurance costs alone is an exercise in futility.

The US health care system operates on "free-market" logics, which call for a rolling back of government-imposed regulations, tariffs and other controls. According to capitalists, in theory, this creates an ideal environment where competition and consumer preferences would drive innovation and ensure economic growth, benefiting all classes through a "trickle down." That economic growth ideally should bring resources to everyone so they can purchase coverage they need.

From truthout

Post date: Thu, 05/04/2017 - 09:24

By Allyson Chiu

Beginning Fall Quarter, students will be able to declare adjunct majors in global health studies, the University announced.

The adjunct major comprises 11 courses: seven in global health — four core classes and three electives — and four in related classes outside global health, said anthropology Prof. William Leonard, director of the global health studies program.

The adjunct major was created due to the popularity of the minor, which now has around 300 students enrolled each year, vice president for international relations Dévora Grynspan said. Student demand has been a driving force in the growth of the global health studies program, Grynspan said.

From The Daily Northwestern

Post date: Tue, 05/02/2017 - 14:16

U.N. session focuses on women’s economic empowerment

The 61st session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, which was held March 13–24 in New York, was dedicated to examining women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. In a panel organized by the Women’s U.N. Report Network, two Northwestern professors described some of the causes and consequences of women’s food insecurity, as well as how it holds women back.

IPR anthropologist Sera Young drew attention to an “invisible” factor that keeps women from achieving economic empowerment: depression. Young noted that adverse mental health, especially depression, is one of the largest contributors to disability-adjusted life years, a measurement that looks at overall disease burden based on the number of years lost due to ill health, disability, or early death.

Post date: Thu, 04/27/2017 - 16:19

By Daniel P. Smith

The new major is a response to students' increasing interest in international health issues

One of the most popular minors at Northwestern University is taking it up a notch.

This coming fall, students can begin declaring adjunct majors in global health studies, the natural evolution of an innovative interdisciplinary program that has captured national acclaim and widespread student interest.

 “Today’s students are so much more attuned to international issues. This interest has led to global health becoming an important area of study for so many of this generation who are committed to confronting long-standing disparities in health outcomes,” says William Leonard, director of the global health studies program and the Abraham Harris Professor of Anthropology.

Post date: Wed, 04/19/2017 - 12:36

By Noelle Sullivan, PhD

With famine threatening Africa, charities need our support. But think before you act.

A potentially catastrophic global crisis looms. Famine threatens Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria – countries mired in conflict. Humanitarian agencies that ordinarily respond are strapped for cash to fund critical relief efforts, possibly due to failures of previous humanitarian efforts to demonstrate that donations went where intended.

Many have turned to their purchasing power in support of causes, from buying red noses at Walgreens to end child poverty, to Toms shoes so children in poor countries get a pair, too. However, as faculty in global health studies and anthropology at Northwestern University, I've seen firsthand the effects of well-intentioned purchasing choices and material donations. Those purchased products for a cause, and our donated goods – clothes, toys, shoes, kitchen items – have unintended consequences, in part because from afar, we don't know what is actually useful, and because there's something alluring to purchasing something for ourselves and knowing it helps someone else. The fact is, these purchases and material donations often do more harm than good.

From US News and World Report

Post date: Wed, 04/19/2017 - 09:57

As the first place winner of Northwestern University’s 4th Annual Intramural Global Health Case Competition, earlier this year, Maximus Wang, MPH, first-year MD/PhD student in the Medical Scientist Training Program, and his team traveled to Emory University for the international competition. For the competition, they were tasked with creating and presenting a plan to address mental health issues in children in Liberia.

During the Northwestern competition, graduate and undergraduate students from different schools came together to develop solutions to global health challenges. The Center for Global Health co-sponsored the case competition with Weinberg’s Global Health program, the Program in African Studies, and the Pritzker Law School’s International Human Rights program.

Post date: Fri, 04/14/2017 - 12:17

By Noelle Sullivan, PhD

The law cares about actions and outcomes, not intentions. When it comes to volunteering, so should we.

Sidney Peters. She’s the whole package: an incredibly talented athlete, an emergency medical technician (EMT), and an aspiring Coast Guard physician. She combines excellence, perseverance, and a sincere desire to do good under adverse circumstances.

Peters is the starting goalie of the University of Minnesota Women’s Hockey Team. The Minnesota Gophers hoped to become the second women’s hockey team in NCAA history to win three straight national championships. Clarkson ultimately won. But a main reason the Gophers got to the semi-finals was because Peters’ talents were able to pull the team out of a serious slump. No one expected Peters to turn things around for her team. She became a major story.

Asked how she kept her cool on the ice, Peters cited perspective she gained during a brief trip to Haiti last summer, where she volunteered as an EMT in a hospital. She treated patients with AIDS, tuberculosis, gun shot and stab wounds. She even learned to suture. She called it a “hands-on medical experience” that might help her get into medical school, but more importantly, allowed her to help others. By comparison, stress on the ice was relative.

From Role Reboot.