Turner, Frenk discuss global health challenges at Forum launch

The Forum at the Harvard School of Public Health was officially launched Thursday, Dec. 9, with a lively discussion on global health issues between CNN founder and philanthropist Ted Turner and HSPH Dean Julio Frenk. Abigail Trafford, former health editor at The Washington Post, moderated the session, which was streamed live onto the Internet.

Watch The Forum webcast with Ted Turner and Dean Julio Frenk (Dec. 9, 2010)

The Forum is a flagship initiative of the School’s new Division of Policy Translation and Leadership Development. The Forum’s webcasts—which can be viewed live and on-demand on all types of video devices—can be seen on a new interactive website, www.ForumHSPH.org. The site features videos of The Forum events on-demand, expert written commentary on a separate “Decision of the Week” blog, and practical resources for decision makers and their staffs. Online viewers are encouraged to become members of The Forum community, allowing them to join the discussion and post comments on Forum topics.

Frenk said The Forum will bring together top scientists and leaders to discuss key health issues and influence public health policy. The intent is “to engage people from science and leaders together in order to be able to translate evidence and experience to produce better policy,” he said.

Turner, who funded the United Nations Foundation, which supports a range of issues, including global health, said he launched the foundation because he was taught from a young age to give to charity. Turner discussed the impact of overpopulation, stating that if couples around the globe limited themselves to having one child per family, the world’s population would be more sustainable and many health and environmental problems would be eased. Dean Frenk, the former minister of health of Mexico, responded that health and education of women has led to a lower birth rate in many parts of the world. He said it would be easier for couples to decide to have fewer children if they knew their offspring are likely to survive as a result of a lowered child and infant death rate.

Read Harvard Gazette coverage of The Forum launch

Learn more

Watch The Forum webcast on “The Impact of the 2010 Elections on U.S. Health Care Reform” (Nov. 5, 2010)