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Dr. Frances Kelsey: American Hero, Government Regulator

Dr. Frances Kelsey passed away last week at the ripe old age of 101. She was a true hero in every sense of the word. How did she achieve this status? She did not pull someone out of a burning building. Didn’t dive into a lake to rescue a drowning child. Never threw herself on a hand grenade to save troops in combat, although she did find herself on a…

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Turning to Big, Big Data to See What Ails the World

Image from IHME website Like many fields, public health is in the midst of a data revolution: randomized control trials, pay-for-performance and value calculations, all based on data, are changing our ideas about what works and how to finance it. The impact of these new methods to gather and evaluate data pales, however, next to the Global Burden of Disease Report, an attempt to understand what sickens us and kills…

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Ebola restrictions continue to defy CDC advice

As more doctors and nurses return from Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa, public anxiety has soared about the potential for contagion — even though only one person in the United States has died from the virus, and several have recovered or returned from West Africa and never shown symptoms. In response, governors of both parties are struggling to define public health policies on the virus, leaving a confusing patchwork of…

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TV: The new public health education champion

WASHINGTON — Kailyn Lowry, at age 17, decided to let MTV film her pregnancy and the birth of her first child in the hope of persuading other young men and women to wait to start a family. “I did get two awesome blessings,” said Ms. Lowry, now 21 and married with a second child. “But I still haven’t gotten my bachelor’s degree, because, one, day care is so expensive and,…

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