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No one knows when the next pandemic will sweep across the United States. It could be bird flu, or an as-yet unknown infection. But after living through the Covid-19 pandemic, which claimed more than 1 million American lives, left more than 300,000 children orphaned, and shut down workplaces and schools, U.S. citizens should demand that the nation does better next time.
When I began my Ph.D. in an interdisciplinary environmental studies program, students further along in the program warned it was going to be particularly hard for us to get academic jobs. They pointed out that among the brilliant and productive faculty who enthusiastically taught our program, none had in fact received training like ours— they all had Ph.D.s in clearly defined fields.
Swearer Center

Student Spotlight: Batool Behnam

Batool Behnam, Graduate Assistant with Swearer Center’s community partnership team and current master's student at Brown’s School of Public Health, is concentrating on Global Health and graduating this Spring 2024. Through research, teaching and community services, Behnam’s dream is to reduce inequalities among communities.
The Information Futures Lab (IFL) at Brown University’s School of Public Health is pleased to introduce its 2024 Visiting Fellows cohort. Leaders in community-based journalism, equitable tech entrepreneurship, culturally competent communication and infodemics research have joined the Lab to drive a set of innovative projects and pilots that are responding to urgent information challenges in real time.
Boston Globe

What the drug reform movement missed

Camping on city streets, open-air drug use, and crime are generating fierce pushback against harm reduction efforts like decriminalization. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Here’s just the tip of the iceberg: $722.50 for a nurse to push a drug into an IV. $21,500 for ten stitches. The prices charged by hospitals are exorbitant and rising. Private health insurance premiums paid by working age adults are rising rapidly. Many Americans skip necessary medical care, while those who do get treated can end up bankrupt. With U.S. health care spending reaching $4.5 trillion in 2022, finding ways to cut costs has become increasingly urgent.
Homicides were down sharply in Boston during the first three months of 2024 compared to the same period in recent years, records show. The city saw just two confirmed homicides in the first quarter of the year, compared to 11 during the first quarter of 2023, according to Boston police statistics. There were five homicides in Boston in the first quarter of 2022, nine during the same period in 2021, and 10 in the first quarter of 2020.
A Texas dairy worker has tested positive for the avian flu, marking the first identified human case of an illness in the U.S. that has sickened cattle across several states over the past few weeks.
Americans who test positive for COVID-19 no longer need to stay in isolation for five days, U.S. health officials announced Friday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its longstanding guidance, saying that people can return to work or regular activities if their symptoms are mild and improving and it’s been a day since they’ve had a fever.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may soon drop its isolation guidance for people with COVID-19. The planned change was reported in The Washington Post on Tuesday, attributed to several unnamed CDC officials.
The number of private equity firms has exploded in health care in recent years, spending hundreds of billions of dollars to buy physician practices, hospitals, laboratories and nursing homes. It’s a trend that should have everyone’s attention, from politicians to patients, because it can significantly increase costs, reduce access and even threaten patient safety.
Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has grown substantially in the past few decades, enticing more than half of eligible people, primarily those 65 or older, with low premium costs and perks like dental and vision insurance. And as the private plans' share of the Medicare patient pie has ballooned to 30.8 million people, so too have concerns about the insurers' aggressive sales tactics and misleading coverage claims.
With Intus Care, Robbie Felton, Evan Jackson and Alex Rothberg are building healthcare analytics software to help identify risks and optimize healthcare for low-income seniors. Health insurers use the Intus Care platform to help 1,500 providers treat 15,000 patients representing $1.5 billion in value-based care payments. The company expects more than $2.1 million in revenue in 2023.
Over the coming months, more than 100,000 Americans will likely die, mostly unnecessarily, from respiratory infections. Yes, that is the reality we are now facing this fall and winter—and likely every fall and winter for the foreseeable future. Unless we act.
COVID cases are on the rise and this week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that anyone who is six months or older get the new COVID-19 vaccines. Health reporter Lynn Arditi talked about the new vaccines with Doctor Ashish Jha, former White House COVID advisor and current dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health.
If you’re 60 or over, “you don’t want to get into November without having an R.S.V. vaccine,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, the former White House Covid adviser and current dean of Brown University’s public health school.