After many Forum events, we collect key highlights and video clips. Click the links below for full advisories and more brief videos from the event.
Gene Editing: Promises and Challenges
Example highlight: New techniques such as CRISPR and TALENS allow scientists to add, subtract or edit genetic material. These techniques have enormous promise for human health, but raise new ethical and regulatory questions. The public needs better education around these techniques and issues. More.
May 19, 2017
Supplements and Health: Sorting the Facts
Example highlight: Labeling is often misleading or inaccurate on contents, incorrect effects and dosage, but the public is generally unaware of those issues. Supplements contribute to at least 23,000 emergency room visits annually, but incidents are often misdiagnosed and under-reported. More.
May 11, 2017
The Opioid Crisis: A Governors Roundtable
Example highlight: Addiction to prescription opioids or heroin takes 91 American lives per day, four times the 1999 level, and 1.5 million people are treated for substance use yearly—a real public health issue. Federal funding for opioid treatment quadrupled in recent funding legislation, but in 27 states crystal meth is still the drug of choice. More.
May 5, 2017
Lead Contamination Beyond Flint: Drinking Water and Children’s Health
Example highlight: Cuts to the EPA budget will weaken regulatory enforcement even further and make local and citizen action more critical in getting the lead out of U.S. drinking water. More.
April 20, 2017
Race and Policing: State and Local Perspectives
Example highlight: Both civilians and police officers – in fact, all people – have implicit biases, and often people on both sides of a dispute have undergone trauma. More.
March 27, 2017
Marijuana: The Latest Scientific Findings and Legalization
Example highlight: Regulations on marijuana use are changing rapidly at state and federal levels but remain in conflict and confusing, in part because cannabis remains listed as a Schedule 1 addictive drug. Conflicting state and federal laws are unlikely to be clarified in the near future. More.
March 24, 2017
Example highlight: “We’re all exposed, and we’re all exposed every day” to toxic chemicals called endocrine disruptors, which interfere with hormone function, even at very low concentrations. More.
January 31, 2017
Child Care and Health in America
Example highlight: A poll of 1,100 parents finds most think their child care is excellent, but that they have few or only one option for it and strain to cover the cost. Experts say most child care is only fair, but demand is soaring as parents see its benefits for their children’s development and for their own lives. More.
October 18, 2016
Zika in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Beyond
Example highlight: The Zika virus turns out to be a disease like no other, with many hazards for exposed fetuses beyond microcephaly, as well as for infected adults. More.
September 29, 2016
Eating Disorders, Mental Health and Body Image: The Public Health Connections
Example highlight: EDs have genetic, psychological, and social components and patients may have a history of abuse, depression, and traumatic experiences. These are magnified into fear and compulsive behaviors by stigma and “fat shaming” in misguided health education programs, unrealistic body images in media, and widespread weight discrimination and harassment. More.
September 20, 2016
Health in the American Workplace: Are We Doing Enough?
Example highlight: Financial incentives don’t work if self-care is not a part of the workplace culture. But companies that invest in their workers’ health do show measurable economic gain. More.
July 11, 2016
Asleep at the Wheel–Drowsy Driving and Public Health
Example highlight: Drowsy driving is implicated in a million crashes each year in the U.S. Those are not “accidents” but “crashes” that are 100 percent preventable. Saying “drowsy” driver trivializes the problem. More.
May 10, 2016
Building Resiliency in an Age of Terrorism: Public Health Perspectives
Example highlight: No security measures can reduce the risk of terrorist attacks to zero, so the goal of leaders must be to minimize risk, maximize defenses and promote public resilience through careful and coordinated response preparations. More.
April 25, 2016
Health Care Inequalities in America: The Need for Continuing Reform
Example highlight: The Affordable Care Act has improved health conditions and survival rates for low-income Americans, but polls find almost half say they feel they have to use emergency rooms because nothing else is available to them in their communities, even though most rank services there to be poor-quality. More.
April 20, 2016
Drug Trials: Challenges for Alzheimer’s and Other Urgent Needs
Example highlight: Clinical trials began as a way to eliminate outside factors in proving a drug safe and effective. The Food and Drug Administration now allows flexibility in the classic three-phase trial, so that new drugs meeting unmet or life-threatening needs can follow an expedited approval process. A single phase-3 trial, in addition to confirmatory evidence, is sufficient to meet the efficacy standard. These drugs may be compared to a placebo only and not to active therapy; may be shown to affect a biomarker or other surrogate endpoint, not actual patients; or may undergo only a very short test period. More.
April 15, 2016
The Zika Crisis—Latest Findings
Example highlight: New research findings have global implications: the Zika virus can apparently spread not just through mosquitoes but also through sexual contact. The situation is evolving and much more needs to be learned, especially about mounting evidence of a direct link to microcephaly, epilepsy and Guillain-Barre syndrome, among other fetal defects. More.
March 4, 2016
Chemical Exposures and the Brain: The Flint Water Crisis and More
Example highlight: The lead contamination that happened in Flint could have happened in many communities in the U.S because of the extent of lead pipe use in the country. Corrosive water can leach lead into drinking water. More.
February 19, 2016
The Aging Workforce: Challenges and Benefits for the Public’s Health
Example highlight: The United States is in an unprecedented demographic transition in which we will soon have more people over age 60 than under age 5. Longer life spans and lower fertility rates are transforming the workforce, the workplace and family dynamics, while challenging current health care and social welfare systems as well as individuals trying to navigate them. More.
February 11, 2016
Preventing Gun Violence: Public Health Perspectives
Example highlight: On average, more than 300 people are shot every day in the United States and, of those, more than 90 die. The United States has more guns and weaker gun laws than other developed countries. While crime rates have declined among all such countries, gun suicide rates in the U.S. are up. More.
January 26, 2016
Cancer and Diet: The Latest on Processed Meats, Fats and More
Example highlight: The idea that diet is linked to cancer arose only in the late 1970s with studies showing U.S. cancer rates higher than in other developed countries. Initial studies finding weak links to fat levels were mistranslated into avoidance of all fats, which led to over-consumption of sugars and carbohydrates and contributed to today’s U.S. obesity epidemic. More.
January 15, 2016