Public health success hinges on connecting vision with funding, Harvard panelist says

Connecting the vision between funding and implementation regarding public health solutions can help implement change, according to one of the Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard School of Public Health panel of practitioners collaborating on public health solutions Oct. 26, as reported by The Harvard Crimson.

Founder of the Global Organization of Health Education, Teguo Djoyum addressed the panel as part of a year-long series, "Public Health on the Brink."

"A lot of people really want to solve problems, and some may have the know-how, the skillset, and they’re on the ground doing it," Mr. Djoyum said. "Some may have the funds to do it, but they're in [a] different world, or in [a] different department, but it would be nice to find a way where we can connect these two people, so they can all have the same vision."

The panelists addressed urgent challenges in the field, like equitable access to healthcare. Topics ranged from allocating scarce resources to improving accessibility regarding public health communication. 

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the impact of these challenges, according to Tiffani Bell Washington, MD, diversity research scholar at Harvard University's nutrition obesity research center. She initiated the discussion on combating mental health stigma and noted the importance of seeking help. 

"There's so many negative spins in the news on people with mental health being blamed for various things like crimes, people are often afraid to even seek care." Dr. Bell Washington said. 

Director of Emergency Preparedness at Mass General Brigham, Sarah Tsay, said effective public health policy requires communication and collaboration from diverse stakeholders. 

"We need subject matter experts across the board to be public health champions," Ms. Tsay said.

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