Dr. Laura Bloomberg

Political Determinants of Health

Author
VP Jakub Tolar
October 23, 2020

As we have moved through the pandemic, we have seen many examples of how health (and health care) are impacted by public policy. In Minnesota, we have also seen that our policy makers have reached out to experts, many of them from this University, to gather the data that shapes that policy. In this case, it might be something as simple as whether or not wearing a mask indoors helps limit the spread of COVID-19.

Less visible, perhaps, are the daily political determinants of health. The Humphrey School of Public Affairs, led by Dean Laura Bloomberg, is ranked among the nation’s top 10 professional public policy schools and is a leader in assessing how policy and politics affect health outcomes.

As we navigate the changes to health systems brought about by the pandemic, as we continue to try to serve our community in the best way possible, we need to learn more about the larger forces that impact health. An excellent place to start would be attending the upcoming Quie & Peterson Global Health Lecture hosted by the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility on Oct. 26, where esteemed panelists including Dean Bloomberg will be presenting: “Charting the Path to Health Equity: A 20/20 Review of the Political Determinants of Health.” They will highlight the ways in which political determinants of health have a far greater impact on our ability to achieve health equity than we may realize, and how the long-lasting impact of decisions made by our political leaders can influence the health of generations to come. This timely lecture offers information valuable to all of us.

If we understand how health care is impacted by public policy, it enables us to better strategize our own research and how to present our data and best practice models to the people who create that policy.

Please consider your role in bringing about change and working toward health equity. Understanding the interplay of our governmental leadership and our ability to provide care directly impacts the wellbeing of communities around the world.

Thank you,

Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD
Vice President for Clinical Affairs


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