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My politicized children


Starting work at the Harvard School of Public Health
Howard Hiatt Physician
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I visited the Harvard School of Public Health, talked with several of the faculty members and was convinced that they, too, felt that change was required, but I didn't really go into detail to find out how deep the change nor its nature in the view of... of the people to whom I spoke. I accepted the position, however, because it did seem in keeping with my eagerness to bring more quantitative analytic science into the health field, to focus more on the community needs for healthcare, to address a whole range of environmental problems that were relevant to human health, and to address problems concerned with the health of impoverished people around the world.

Herb Sherman and Barney Reifen, the two engineers who had joined me at the School of Public... at the Beth Israel Hospital, expressed their eagerness to work with me at the School of Public Health and the three of us arrived on July 1st of 1972. We spent that summer in meetings with members of the faculty. We invited each department head and his or her colleagues to meet with us to describe what went on in their departments, and to tell us of their aspirations for those departments. It seemed clearer to me at the end of those discussions than at the beginning that public health was, in fact, not a discipline but a series of problems and problems that required for their amelioration the input from people from a variety of disciplines. It also seemed to me, from my conversations with colleagues in other parts of the university, that there was widespread interest in those problems and that it would take little effort to recruit people from the other areas to address some of the problems that were on the agenda of the school.

Born in 1925, American Howard Hiatt set up one of the first medical oncology research and training units in the US and has headed up some of America's most prestigious medical institutions. Hiatt attended Harvard College and received his MD from the Harvard Medical School in 1948. He was a member of the team at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, that first identified and described mRNA, and he was among the first to demonstrate mRNA in mammalian cells. From 1991 to 1997, he was Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he began and directs the Academy's Initiatives For Children program. He is also committed to helping disadvantaged people access decent health care.

Listeners: Milton C. Weinstein

Milton C. Weinstein, Ph.D., is the Henry J. Kaiser Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. At the Harvard School of Public Health he is Academic Director of the Program in Health Decision Science, and Director of the Program on Economic Evaluation of Medical Technology . He is best known for his research on cost-effectiveness of medical practices and for developing methods of economic evaluation and decision analysis in health care. He is a co-developer of the CEPAC (Cost-Effectiveness of Preventing AIDS Complications) computer simulation model, and has conducted studies on prevention and treatment of HIV infections. He is the co-developer of the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model, which has been used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of cardiovascular prevention and treatment. He is an author of four books: Decision Making in Health and Medicine: Integrating Evidence and Values; Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine,the report of the Panel of Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine; Clinical Decision Analysis; and Hypertension: A Policy Perspective.He has also published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed medical, public health, and economics journals. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Award for Career Achievement from the Society for Medical Decision Making. Dr. Weinstein received his A.B. and A.M. in Applied Mathematics (1970), his M.P.P. (1972), and his Ph.D. in Public Policy (1973) from Harvard University.

Tags: Harvard School of Public Health, Beth Israel Medical Center, Herb Sherman, Barney Reifen

Duration: 3 minutes, 34 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008