Topic: North America

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…

Women, welfare & human rights

[ Spring/Summer 2010 ] HSPH student examines government policies and social forces that affect the sexual and reproductive health of women. Should poor women on welfare have additional babies while receiving cash assistance? In the wake of welfare reform in 1996, some U.S. policymakers…

The art of getting things done

[ Spring/Summer 2012 ] On January 19, 2011, HSPH professor William Hsiao walked onto the podium in the well of the Vermont State House. Before him sat both chambers of the state legislature. Above him stood hundreds of onlookers in the observation…

Teaching leadership to leaders

[ Fall 2011 ] The National Preparedness Leadership Initiative teaches seasoned professionals how to handle unprecedented disasters. At  the World Trade Center on 9/11, the New York Fire Department set up a command center at the bottom of World Trade Center One.…

Health insurance and Uncle Sam

[ Fall 2008 ] A proposal to make health care more affordable Though we Americans bicker about how best to fix our health care system, on this, most agree: The system is fundamentally unfair and fails to deliver good value for our money. A…

Guns and suicide: Means matter

[ Spring 2008 ] More people die using a firearm than all other means combined, including suffocation (e.g., hanging or drowning), poisoning (e.g., drug overdoses), leaping from great heights, and cutting. Most gun users are middle-aged and male. These bar graphs reveal correlations between…

Support a Health Rights movement

Forty-four years after Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, egregious racial and ethnic inequities persist in health status and health care. As vigorously documented by the Institute of Medicine’s sentinel 2002 report, Unequal Treatment, the life-expectancy gap has widened by…

7 ways to fight health inequities

[ Spring 2008 ] Premature death is more than three times more likely to occur in those at the bottom income levels of American society. Even middle-income Americans are more than twice as likely to die earlier than top earners. The reasons…

Desegregate our healthcare system

If we as a nation are truly committed to putting our legacy of racial segregation behind us, one place to begin is our health care system. While the reasons for lower health status for racial and ethnic minorities are many, the health…

Health care for (almost) everyone

[ Winter 2008 ] Massachusetts' Bold Experiment  Heart disease. Cancer. Uninsurance. If not having health insurance were a disease, it would rank as the third-leading cause of death in Americans ages 50 to 64, according to one 2004 Health Affairs study. Many…