Past Event

Charles Branas – Changing Places: Using Science to Design Safer and Healthier Cities

January 19, 2017
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
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Mailman School of Public Health (Room 532B), 722 West 168th St., New York

Speaker: Charles Branas, Chair & Professor of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health

Interest in health and safety programs that directly change the places people live, work, and play has grown over the past decade. In many ways, these place-based programs are a departure from business-as-usual public health and medical practice, which has focused primarily on individuals and lifestyle modifications. Even when proven effective, individually based programs can lose sight of the bigger picture. Episodically treating small numbers of people, while ignoring the obviously unhealthy social and environmental surroundings within which people live, has stunted our treatments and moved the health of the nation forward at too slow a pace.

Place-based programs that change basic structures, for large populations and with reasonable sustainability, have the potential to become truly transformational policies for the health and safety. Although these programs are all around us, literally “all over the place,” only recently have they seen a renaissance of interest as public health solutions, with accompanying studies showing the effectiveness of select place-based programs at some of the highest levels of scientific inquiry. It is incumbent on public health scientists, physicians, and practitioners to work with groups implementing place-based programs to promote appropriate recognition and scientific study of these programs as solutions to some of our biggest public health challenges.

Charles Branas works to improve health and healthcare and is recognized for his efforts to reduce violence and enhance emergency care. Much of his work incorporates human geography and place-based interventions. His studies have been replicated nationally and in cities across the US and other countries. Dr. Branas has served on boards and offered scientific expertise for numerous groups including the NIH, the CDC, and the National Academies in the US, as well as scientific organizations in several other countries. His work has been cited by the US Supreme Court and Congress. He is a past President of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research and an elected member of the American Epidemiological Society. He is currently focused on a series of natural experiments and large randomized controlled field trials that alter urban environments to determine the effects on health and safety in multiple cities.

For more details and to RSVP, please visit the event’s website.

This event is part of the Columbia Population Research Center Seminar Series.