INTERNATIONAL LECTURE EXAMINES HEALTH INEQUALITY IN A POST-COVID WORLD
Free virtual event takes place on January 27 at noon
North Central Michigan College will host an international lecture examining health inequality in a post-pandemic world. Political scientist Ted Schrecker will cite a career’s worth of population health research to explain why improving global public health will require a multidisciplinary, activist approach that recognizes both the social determinants of health inequalities and the policies affecting them.
The free event will be held via Zoom at noon on January 27. Preregistration is required at https://www.ncmclifelonglearning.com/event-4097164/Registration.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation popularized Grand Challenges as a highly biomedical, technologically-oriented approach to improving global health. The unprecedented global effort to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV2 appears to have demonstrated the potential of this approach. At the same time, its limitations are evident in both the social and economic inequalities that were foregrounded by the pandemic’s unequal impact and the deterioration in public health preparedness that facilitated its rapid spread.
“These phenomena must be explained with reference to decades of neoliberal globalization, actively promoted by key international actors,” Schrecker said. “‘Building back better,’ the phrase used by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and others, will be complicated by such factors as relentlessly rising within-country economic inequality; the magnification of that inequality by many years of fiscal austerity in much of the world; the ungovernability of ultra-wealth in a borderless financial world; and the widespread deterioration of democratic institutions.”
Schrecker, a Canadian who relocated to the United Kingdom in 2013, has now worked in interdisciplinary population health research institutes on two continents that were shut down by the medical schools to which they were attached. His research interests focus on the political economy of health inequalities, on multiple scales, as they are affected by neoliberal globalization, and on the politics of the evidence-policy interface.
Schrecker’s work has been published in journals including Critical Public Health, Global Public Health, Globalization and Health, Health & Place, Medicine Anthropology Theory, Review of International Political Economy, Social Science & Medicine and Sociology Compass. From 2005 to 2008, he coordinated the knowledge network on globalization that supported the work of the World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health, and from 2014-2019 he was co-editor of the Journal of Public Health.
North Central Michigan College is an open-door community college based in Petoskey, with additional locations offering classes and services in Cheboygan and Gaylord. North Central’s mission is to provide exceptional, accessible, relevant higher education of and for the community. North Central is an Achieving the Dream Leader College with a designation of Veteran Friendly Silver by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.
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Megan Van Horn
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