208072 Wading in the new waters of public health

Monday, November 9, 2009: 5:10 PM

Jamal E. Martin, PhD, MPH , Africana Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
The concept of human agency in addressing oppression occupies a central position in the history of social and political thought. Moreover, globalization and corporate practices are significant phenomena that enable scholars and activists to take up social determinants of health and the nature of civil and human rights. The rising tide of human suffering and environmental degradation brought about policies or the absence of policies as filtered by the mass media remains under the control of an ‘axis of evil.' In the U.S., both neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism have led to academic, corporate, and political practices that determine health or do little to improve population or community health. The global crisis involving water sustainability needs more direct attention from public health advocates and professionals. Denying more than 1 billion people the right to clean water and 2.6 billion people access to adequate sanitation is inexcusable. Yet, we still debate the degree or magnitude of disparities rather than discuss action steps based on equity or fairness of resource distribution. We need to also focus on structural racism embedded in neo-liberal and neo-conservative policies. This presentation calls for improvements in critical and systems thinking in undergraduate public health education. Public scholarship and liberal education along with an understanding of public health ethics ought to bring change in our views of the global commonwealth.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain in your own words what human agency is? 2. Describe in your own words how oppression has an impact on water and public health (sustainability). 3. Contrast “disparities” and “inequalities”. 4. Examine how critical thinking is useful in epidemiology and public health policy and practice. 5. Identify the principles of public health ethics.

Keywords: Social Justice, Social Inequalities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Jamal Martín is a scholar-activist and adjunct professor in Family & Community Medicine and Africana Studies at the University of New Mexico. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in social and behavioral sciences, mathematics, health sciences, global and public health. A former United States Public Health Service Trainee he worked on “Child Survival” and “Health Leadership Development” programs as the assistant to the Secretary-General, Office of the Secretariat, Asia Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health in Southeast Asia. Dr. Martín studied psychology at the New School for Social Research then completed his undergraduate work at Hawaii Pacific University and his graduate degree in the School of Public Health, University of Hawaii at Manoa. He carried out post graduate study and training in epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of Michigan and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. His doctoral research at the University of New Mexico involved brain-behavior relationships in health and illness as applied to violence prevention and community health education. His research involves forensic and psychosocial epidemiology, multicultural health, social determinants, disparities/inequalities, social justice, ethics and public health law. He advocates for translational research that frames civil and human rights as public health issues. He is a board member and co-chair with: Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless, Cultural Competence Task Force/New Mexico Higher Education Department, the New Mexico Public Health Association, New Mexico Health Equity Working Group and Race Matters-Behavioral Health Task Force/ New Mexico Voices for Children. A former guest reviewer for Columbia Teacher’s College Record and technical writer in biological psychiatry and neuropsychopharmacological research, Dr. Martin is author and editor of African American Health in New Mexico: Social and Economic Factors. Other contributions and co-authorships are acknowledged in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Controlled Clinical Trials, American Journal of Emergency Medicine, Pediatric Abstracts, and Communicable Disease Reports. Key Presentations Inequalities in Healthcare: Dr. King to President Obama (2009); Brain Functions and the Health Effects of Racism (2008/2007); Impact of Race and Socioeconomic Status on Birth Outcomes (2008); Health Equity and Contemporary Immigration to the United States (2008); Cultural Dimensions of Health Literacy: African American Perspectives (2008); Equity and Foundations of Public Health Action (2008); Public Mental Health Policy and Therapeutic Justice (2007); New Mexico Race Matters Coalition (2007); Criminal Justice Disparities and the U.S. War on Drugs (2006); Social Justice and Leadership Development for Eliminating Minority Health Disparities (2006); Diversity Issues in Clinical Psychology: The African American Experience in the Southwest (2005); Health Disparities: Institutionalized American Racism and Public Health Law (2005); Primary Prevention of Psychopathology through Anti-racist Education and Multicultural Organizational Development (2004); and The Continuing Significance of Racial Micro-Aggressions: Strategies for Community Mental Health Policy (2003).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.