World Health Day with Dr. Sandro Galea and Dr. Valerie Maholmes

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Thursday, April 7 at 8pm ET | 5pm PT.  In celebration of World Health Day, PBS Books, in partnership with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), is pleased to host a conversation with scholar and author Dr. Sandro Galea, discussing his latest book The Contagion Next Time, with Dr. Valerie Maholmes, Chief of the Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

As a physician, epidemiologist, and public health voice, Dr. Sandro Galea will highlight the foundational forces behind the health system in the United States that led to its failures during COVID-19.  This conversation will highlight necessary elements of health for our communities—housing, education, food, and safe neighborhoods.  How can we prevent the next pandemic and protect the most vulnerable?  These two doctors will share stories from their experiences and help us to understand changes that need to be made today to make our country’s future equitable and bright.  This conversation is a great way to celebrate World Health Day nearly two years after the pandemic began and contemplate the best choices for the future.


About the Author: Sandro Galea, Ph.D. MPH Dr.PH

Sandro Galea, a physician, epidemiologist, and author, is dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. In 2015, he became the youngest public health dean in the country, assuming leadership of Boston University School of Public Health.

One of the most widely-cited scholars in the social sciences, Galea has published more than 950 scientific journal articles, 70 chapters, and 19 books. He has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature about the social causes of health, mental health, and trauma. He has documented the consequences of mass trauma and conflict worldwide, including as a result of the September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa, and the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His research has been principally funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and philanthropic foundations.

He is past chair of the board of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science. He formerly served as chair of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Community Services Board and as member of its Health Board. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Galea has received several lifetime achievement awards for his research, including the Rema Lapouse Award from the American Public Health Association and the Robert S. Laufer, PhD, Memorial Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. He is a regular contributor to media, including The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, The Boston Globe, TEDMED, and The New York Times.

Galea was born in Malta and emigrated to Canada with his family at the age of 14. After receiving his medical degree, Galea worked in Somalia with Doctors Without Borders before attending graduate school in the United States.

Galea holds a medical degree from the University of Toronto, graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow. Prior to his appointment at Boston University, Galea served as the Gelman Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He previously held academic and leadership positions at the University of Michigan and at the New York Academy of Medicine.

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About the Moderator: Valerie Maholmes, Ph.D. CAS

Dr. Valerie Maholmes is the chief of the Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. In this capacity, she supports research and training in trauma, injury, and critical illness across the continuum of care. She serves on numerous NIH and federal interagency working groups to further the mission and goals of the branch.

Prior to joining NICHD, she was a faculty member at the Yale School of Medicine in the Child Study Center, where she served in numerous capacities, including director of research and policy for the School Development Program. In this role, she provided an array of educational, clinical, and technical support services to schools in low-income neighborhoods and communities around the country to promote child health and well-being. In 1999, she was named the Irving B. Harris Assistant Professor of Child Psychiatry.

In 2003, Dr. Maholmes received the Executive Branch Science Policy Fellowship, sponsored by the Society for Research in Child Development and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Maholmes completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Montclair State University in New Jersey and her doctoral degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She also earned a sixth-year degree from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. She is the author of numerous publications, including commentaries, scientific and review articles, books chapters, and monographs.



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