Public Health On the Brink

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed alarming gaps in our public health system. This year-long event series from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will examine the urgent challenges facing public health today and explore the most promising ideas for rebuilding and revitalizing the field. We’ll hear from leaders on the frontlines of local, state, and federal responses to the pandemic. We’ll discuss equity and access and meet a new generation of community activists. We’ll also talk to members of Congress pushing for solutions. Join us for these important discussions at a critical moment for public health.


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Featured event

View from the Hill: A conversation with Sen. Michael Bennet

May 23, 2022 | Go to the event page


Upcoming events


May 23rd, 2022 @ 12:00 pm

View from the Hill: A conversation with Sen. Michael Bennet

Presented jointly with POLITICO Sen. Michael Bennet has called for dramatically expanding the public health workforce and rethinking the federal role in spurring development of critical therapeutics, such as next-generation antibiotics. An outspoken supporter of reproductive rights, he has also has raised concerns about what he calls “the radical nature of this Supreme Court” and the prospect that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Bennet will talk about these proposals and his other work in the health care arena, including … Continue reading "View from the Hill: A conversation with Sen. Michael Bennet"


June 6th, 2022 @ 12:00 pm

Dismantling Disinformation

An on-demand video will be posted after the event. We’ve all seen the perils of disinformation. So, how do we combat it? This panel will explore concrete proposals for dismantling disinformation in communities, on social media, and through public policy and regulation. We’ll bring together experts from multiple fields — including communication, education, behavioral psychology, and First Amendment law — to tackle an issue that could well shape the future of public health. This is a conversation about solutions and … Continue reading "Dismantling Disinformation"

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Past events


May 20th, 2022 @ 12:00 pm

View from the Hill: A conversation with Rep. Lauren Underwood

Presented jointly with POLITICO Rep. Lauren Underwood brings a unique perspective to Capitol Hill. The youngest African-American woman ever to serve in the House, she is a registered nurse and former senior adviser to the Department of Health and Human Services, where she helped communities prepare for bioterrorism threats and other public health emergencies. The Illinois Democrat will discuss emergency preparedness, Black maternal health, reproductive rights, gun violence, disinformation, and other issues at the top of her agenda in this … Continue reading "View from the Hill: A conversation with Rep. Lauren Underwood"


May 19th, 2022 @ 12:00 pm

View from the Hill: A conversation with Sen. Bill Cassidy

Presented jointly with POLITICO Sen. Bill Cassidy has been outspoken about the need to improve our response time in future public health emergencies. He has bucked many in his party by supporting local control over decisions such as mask mandates. And he’s a leader in the conservative movement to ban abortions — an issue that has taken on new urgency with the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. The Louisiana Republican, a physician … Continue reading "View from the Hill: A conversation with Sen. Bill Cassidy"


May 4th, 2022 @ 12:00 pm

Reinventing mental health care

A Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Forum Mental health care is in crisis. Demand for services has shot up during the pandemic, and it’s harder than ever for patients to find a clinician. Laws requiring insurers to treat mental and physical health conditions equitably are often ignored. The resulting toll on individuals, families, and communities is staggering. There’s no doubt the current system is broken, part of a public health infrastructure teetering on the brink. But there is a … Continue reading "Reinventing mental health care"


April 25th, 2022 @ 1:00 pm

Fortifying public health from the ground up

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the public health system was grappling with chronically strained budgets, a shrinking workforce, and archaic data systems. Now, in the midst of crisis, public health officials also are confronting unprecedented politicization of their work, including personal threats and new laws that undermine their ability to make and enforce local rules. In this discussion, a diverse panel of local and state health officials share insights on the forces that have brought public health to the brink—and … Continue reading "Fortifying public health from the ground up"


April 13th, 2022 @ 12:00 pm

View from the Hill: A conversation with Rep. Raul Ruiz

A physician with a master’s in public health and a decade of service in Congress, Rep. Raul Ruiz has a unique perspective on the U.S. health care system, including the response to COVID-19. In this Q&A with POLITICO health care reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein, the California Democrat will talk candidly about his frustrations with the legislative process, the challenge of securing funds for pandemic preparedness, and the danger of disinformation — including a flood of anti-vaccine content targeted at Spanish-speaking … Continue reading "View from the Hill: A conversation with Rep. Raul Ruiz"

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