Topic: North America

Our bugs, ourselves

[ Spring 2013 ] Microbes in and on our bodies outnumber human cells 10 to 1—and may determine how we get sick and stay well. The story of public health has largely been a story of conquering infections, from smallpox to syphilis…

Hitting the lottery

[ Winter 2012 ] Oregon's experiment with Medicaid gives an HSPH economist a rare chance to analyze effects of extended coverage. Katherine Baicker, professor of health economics In March 2008, a colleague burst into the office of HSPH…

A launchpad for leaders

[ Fall 2011 ] When Roy Wade was a medical resident at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, one patient in the pediatric clinic he was working in really stuck with him: a 16-year-old girl with a deeply troubled history of depression and…

Reining in Health Costs

The making of reformer Sarah Iselin By the latest estimates, only 2.6 percent of Massachusetts residents lack health insurance, the lowest rate of any U.S. state. "It's amazing," says Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) alumna Sarah Iselin, who has been part of the…

Health care with dignity

[ Spring/Summer 2011 ] Alum Robert Taube helps homeless people build healthier lives—and self-esteem. Casey Hubbs’s world crumbled after her husband died, and she wound up living under a bridge in Boston. Her existence was grim, and she felt ashamed. “I smelled…

Electronic health records

[ Fall 2008 ] Electronic health records could make care safer and save money. So why aren't more doctors and hospitals using them? Boston internist "Dr. Sean James" greets patient "Sara Hill" in an examination room, then sits down at a computer and calls…

Community health champion

[ Spring 2008 ] Florida's First Surgeon General Takes her Message on the Road In 2007, more than a fifth of Florida's approximately 18 million residents lacked health insurance, and 23 percent were obese, according to America's Health Rankings, an annual state-by-state report from…

Employer health incentives

[Winter 2009] Employee wellness programs prod workers to adopt healthy lifestyles A Massachusetts man lost his job at a Scotts Miracle-Gro lawn and garden center in 2006 when a routine drug test came back positive. The finding: nicotine. Company leaders were cracking…

Dr. Ruiz goes to Washington

[ Spring 2013 ] From California’s impoverished Coachella Valley to HSPH to Capitol Hill When Raul Ruiz was growing up in California’s Coachella Valley, his parents—both migrant farm workers—couldn’t afford health insurance, so they relied on home remedies and nutritious meals to stay healthy.…

Public housing, private vice

[Fall 2010] Should smoking be banned in people’s homes? Smoking is banned in the common areas of Yelena Lantsman’s home, a public-housing high-rise for the elderly in Brookline, Massachusetts, where she has lived for the last eighteen years. But it is not…