This Week @ Gillings: The Abstract

June 13, 2022

Whether you’re local or global, student or alumni, the Abstract’s weekly news digest will help you stay in the loop with our amazing Gillings School community.

UNC Gillings Team to Compete in Map the System 2022 Global Final

Hiba F.

Hiba F.

Doyoung Kim

Doyoung Kim

Sharita R. Thomas

Sharita R. Thomas

Registration is now open to the general public for the Map the System 2022 Global Final!  Six finalists – chosen based on their level of insight and application of systems thinking – will advance to the public final round on June 19 from 4am-11am EST (held in London) and compete for cash prizes and audience favorite. These teams will share their systems analysis with peers, the wider community and with practitioner experts and academic educators who have guided them on their journey. The event will be livestreamed to an online audience and a small live audience to join in person.

The UNC Gillings Team “Illuminating SPARCS for Maternal Health Equity in NC” is one of the six competing teams! This team includes Hiba F., doctoral candidate in the Department of Maternal and Child Health, Doyoung Kim, doctoral candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management, and Sharita R. Thomas, doctoral candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management. SPARCS (Systems, Paradigms, and Restorative Community Solutions) for Maternal Health Equity in N.C. is applying systems thinking to understand and identify the many components, conditions, and connections working to sustain inequitable maternal outcomes and the hierarchy of solutions that can target this system in tandem with the undesirable outcome it produces. We wish them luck!

Register online.

Palmquist to co-lead Humanitarian Health Initiative

Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist

Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist

Aunchalee Palmquist, PhD, MA, IBCLC, assistant professor of maternal and child health, has been selected to join Sheila Leatherman, CBE, HonFRCP, professor of global health policy and Gillings global advisor, in co-leading The Humanitarian Health Initiative (HHI) at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

“Aunchalee will participate in the full array of management responsibilities, as well as developing and leading service projects and supporting new learning and academic opportunities,” said Leatherman. “The HHI is thriving, but we can do so much more.”

In the face of fragile health systems, conflict and violence that threaten the health of more than 2 billion people globally, the HHI leverages expertise at the Gillings School to respond directly to humanitarian crises around the world.

Dodds co-edits new book on stories in environmental courage

Felix DoddsFelix Dodds, adjunct professor of environmental sciences and engineering, has co-edited a new book with Chris Spence, Environmental Heroes of Diplomacy: Profiles in Courage, to be published on June 27, that shares stories of those who have had an impact on environmental health.

From the publisher:

Today more than ever, when the world is beset by environmental, social, healthcare and economic challenges, we need courage in our politics, both nationally and globally. This book tells the stories, some for the first time, of twelve individuals who made heroic contributions to protecting our planet through ground-breaking international treaties.

Can individuals change the world? Today, when impersonal forces and new technologies seem to be directing our lives and even our entire planet in ways we cannot control, this question feels more relevant than ever before. This book argues that we can all make a difference. It tells inspiring stories of individuals who have had a global impact that is beyond dispute, as well as others who have brought about change that is understated or hard to measure, where the scale of the impact will only become clear in years to come. While some are scientists, others are politicians, diplomats, activists and even businesspeople. However, they all share the qualities of perseverance, patience, a willingness to innovate or try new approaches, and the endurance to continue over years, even decades, to pursue their goal. Drawing on interviews and the inside stories of those involved, each chapter follows one or more of these heroic individuals, a list which includes Luc Hoffmann, Mostafa Tolba, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Raul Oyuela Estrada, Barack Obama, Maurice Strong and Paula Caballero.

Presenting an uplifting and gripping narrative, this book is an invaluable resource for students, scholars, activists and professionals who are seeking to understand how consensus is reached in these global meetings and how individuals can have a genuine impact on preserving our planet and reinforcing the positive message that global cooperation can actually work.

The book is now available for pre-order.

Gottfredson awarded funding to research impact of structural racism during adolescence

Dr. Nisha Gottfredson

Dr. Nisha Gottfredson

Congratulations to Nisha Gottfredson, PhD, associate professor of health behavior, who was awarded an R01 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) entitled “Measuring the impact of structural racism and discrimination during adolescence on substance use, psychological distress, and criminal justice outcomes in adulthood.”

Gottfredson will be conducting this research along with Tamara Taggart, PhD, at George Washington University.

This study focuses on measuring the consequences of adolescent exposure to structural racism and discrimination within neighborhoods and school and peer networks on interactions with the criminal legal system, mental health, substance use and treatment-seeking in adulthood. The investigators aim to gather evidence on different structural leverage points such as community resilience factors to improve future interventions serving adolescents and young adults living in rural North Carolina.

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