The Jane Wilson Smith (JWS) Lectureship Series schooled faculty, staff and students from Tulane as well as other university and community partners on a number of important topics this spring, with visits from three speakers. We began the year with Laura Kubzansky, Ph. D, Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Society and Health Psychophysiology Laboratory at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Kubzansky shared her research on affective states and health, highlighting the need to focus on the important role of emotional and mental health in physical health and the trends in disparities in health we continue to see in the US. She also stressed the importance of addressing the social environment (e.g., neighborhood, family and workplace) and their impact on both affective states and health.
Peter Shin, Ph.D., M.P.H., is Director of the Geiger Gibson Program (GGP) in Community Health Policy, RCHN CHF Research Director, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy (DHP), and faculty affiliate at the Jacobs Institute for Women’s Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. In collaboration with the Scholars Strategy Network and MAC and the JWS Lectureship Series, Shin visited the Tulane School of Public Health and shared his research on challenges and opportunities facing Title X providers of family-planning services. He delved into the disparities in health care along racial, ethnic and sex lines and the need to advocate for reproductive health policies, particularly considering budget cuts and current climate on reproductive health programs. He presented strong evidence against the proposed Texas House Bill that would severely restrict women’s access to legal abortion: it would ban abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later; it would require that abortion centers have the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers; and it would require that abortion providers have admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they perform abortions. In addition, Shin was an invited Scholars Strategy Network panelist at Newcomb College Institute at Tulane where he discussed the implications of cuts in funding and access to healthcare.
The annual JWS / Tulane Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Distinguished Lectureship series hosted Janine Austin Clayton, MD , Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health, National Institutes of Health (NIH). In her talk, “Better with Both: Studying Both Sexes is Good Science”, Dr. Clayton explained how sex and gender differences in scientific research inform treatment and policy and discussed the new NIH guidelines on not only sex but also other criteria that must be addressed in research proposals, starting in May 2016.