HSPH Class Day
Class Day Photo Gallery
Alumni Day Symposium
|HSPH CLASS DAY
Photos by Suzanne Camarata
|During the HSPH commencement, CDC director Julie Gerberding and HSPH dean Barry Bloom pointed to the opportunities for graduates in public health, but also told the audience that the field faces budget cuts and perennial threats such as health disparities and chronic diseases.|
“But you do have some big challenges,” she added, namely, developing collaborations, building public health capacity, and—perhaps most difficult—avoiding the kind of complacency that abetted the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.
HSPH dean Barry Bloom echoed Gerberding’s concerns and noted in introducing her that the CDC experienced its first budget cut in 25 years in 2006. More cuts have been proposed for fiscal year 2007.
“Avian influenza [and] biodefense preparedness are clearly entirely appropriate and high priorities,” said Bloom. “But we are radically underfunding and otherwise neglecting what one would have to call ‘urgent realities.’ We continue to emphasize disease treatment and, in particular, the increased financing of treatment, while we tend to overlook and underfund the principle focus of public health—which is disease prevention, promoting health, and protecting the public.”
He added: “We cannot forget the time wasted in the early years of the HIV epidemic resulting from our failure to address the problem with a full arsenal of weapons available—policy changes, traditional public health measures, funding—that now seems so short-sighted and tragic. Will we be saying the same 25 or 50 years from now about our inattention to obesity, preventable diabetes, and cardiovascular disease and injury? We need your voices to champion the value of what … we all in public health do and strive to do for the American public and the people of this world.”
A transcript of Gerberding’s and Bloom’s remarks are available at www.hsph.harvard.edu/commencement2006.
HSPH awarded 499 graduate degrees in public health this year. More than half of the class were women, and nearly one third of the students came from countries outside the United States. Joseph Camillus, MPH ’06, delivered the student speech, and J. Jacques Carter provided greetings as president of the HSPH Alumni Council.