Congratulations to the newest members of GlobeMed at Northwestern!! We cannot wait to see you and get to know you better, and we look forward to collaborating together in partnership to have a fantastic year! A friendly reminder that our first meeting will be on Wednesday at 7pm in McTrib 3127!
For those of you who just can’t wait to start talking about global health issues, here’s a Ted Talk for you to mull over. Last night you may have heard Yo-Yo Ma talk with Damian Woetzel about the importance of the arts in citizenship. One thing they mentioned briefly was the power of music in being able to heal and care for those who have been suffering. They used this as one of many compelling arguments for the support of the arts, and how preserving and celebrating the arts is an act of citizenship. And while they used the health comparison in the context of intense tragedies including 9/11, there are sharp similarities to be drawn between what they mentioned in their conversation and what Robert Gupta discusses in his Ted Talk. Take a listen and maybe think about what you believe the role the arts and music can play in the public health of individuals and communities around the country and the world.
It’s October now, but think back to this past summer; in most parts of the country it was blisteringly hot. Over the whole United States, more than 80 people died because of the heat (http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/07/09/12642682-americans-get-relief-from-heat-but-severe-storms-loom?lite). From January to June 2012 more record highs were achieved than all of 2011 combined (http://www.wltx.com/weather/article/197773/347/More-2012-Record-Highs-than-All-of-Last-Year). While it is important to remember that a single year of high temperatures and hot summer weather alone does not prove the existence of global warming or climate change, it does make you wonder why Americans continue to think that global warming is not a real phenomenon.
But perhaps a way to get more people aware of the issues surrounding climate change is to introduce the problem not as an environmental issue but rather as a public health issue. A recent NPR article illustrates this point: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/09/10/160761974/when-heat-kills-global-warming-as-public-health-threat
Highlights from the article include the fact that public health is very rarely a partisan issue, that doctors and medical professionals are viewed as more trustworthy than environmentalists and journalists, and the overwhelming evidence that suggests a changing climate is indeed a drastic health issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. It may well be that environmentalists will turn to public and global health experts to help raise awareness of the issues surrounding climate change; otherwise, the death toll for summer heat waves may continue to rise.
Read the article and see what you think; share your thoughts by commenting on this blog post or on our facebook page and twitter feed.
Also remember to come to our open meeting for the chapter, tomorrow at 7pm at McTrib 3127! And watch the presidential debates at 8pm right afterwards in Harris 107!