Dean’s Message: Connections for Health, Locally and Globally

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A year ago we initiated a collaborative strategic planning process to define a vision for our School of Public Health. We built on our many existing strengths while identifying ways our education could be even more innovative, our research more impactful, and our community partnerships could be deepened and strengthened.

The result was a plan that reaffirms many of our values, and reshapes others. If you haven’t yet seen the plan, I encourage you to visit sph.berkeley.edu/strategy. This is a living document that will continue to evolve as we begin the hard work of implementation.

In this issue of Berkeley Health, we are featuring some of the collaborative, far-reaching work our faculty, researchers, students, and alumni are already doing—locally and globally—that aligns with the School’s mission and values outlined in our strategic plan.

For example, associate professor Julianna Deardorff’s investigation into how early-life experiences can influence puberty and risky behaviors among adolescents in Salinas Valley has led her to develop a partnership with Camila Corvalán, a physician and epidemiologist at the University of Chile’s Institute for Nutrition and Food Technology. By sharing data from cohorts in Salinas Valley and Santiago, they realized they could widen the scope of their research and ask and answer more questions about pubertal development.

In the area of public health and climate change, we have faculty members working in India and at home in California. Our graduates have fanned out across the climate change landscape, taking the lessons learned here and applying them in myriad venues. David Pennise PhD ’03 co-founded a company that tests cookstoves in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Beth Altshuler MCP, MPH ’10 leads a practice that is developing a climate action plan for the City of Coachella in California’s Riverside County.

We also have researchers engaged in broad academic collaborations that are working to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS. In a great example of group science, some of our biostatisticians have joined forces with UCSF and Makerere University in Uganda as part of a consortium that proposes to stop the spread of HIV through greatly expanded treatment in entire communities. Closer to home, associate professor Coco Auerswald is working with the mayor’s office in San Francisco on a pilot project looking at structural interventions to decrease HIV risk, particularly among homeless youth.

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the lines between local and global concerns have become fundamentally blurred. As you will read in this issue, our new vision—Healthy People, Locally and Globally—builds on our past accomplishments and challenges us to be prepared for the future.

Sincerely,

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Stefano M. Bertozzi MD, PhD

Dean and Professor of Health Policy and Management

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