HGHI Global Health Symposium 2023

HGHI’s Inaugural Global Health Symposium: April 12th, 2023

The Harvard Global Health Institute is thrilled to announce that registration is now open for virtual attendance to our Inaugural Global Health Symposium! While in person capacity is limited, we invite our longstanding global and Harvard-based community to join us virtually on April 12th, 2023 from 9:00am to 4:00pm ET for a series of conversations centered around the theme “Global Health Equity through Community Engagement.”


Health Systems Archive

Connecting the Dots

By Austin Frakt One of the goals of Drivers of Health project is to engage diverse audiences in learning about what affects our health. But how do you get people interested? We thought an interactive might help, so we made one. The interactive encourages users to indicate what they think drives health by connecting the dots Continue reading [...]

When black patients see non-black doctors

By Austin Frakt African American men live about 4.6 fewer years than non-Hispanic white men. There are many causes contributing to the difference, including a learned mistrust of the health system by African Americans. Another set of potential factors arises when non-black physicians treat black men. According to a study published earlier this year, that care just isn’t as good as Continue reading [...]

The Proximal/Distal Paradigm

By Austin Frakt Factors that affect health are often described as either “proximal” (downstream or directly affecting health) or “distal” (upstream or indirectly affecting health). For example, income is thought of as distal (upstream) because it doesn’t directly affect health. However, just as upstream water flows downstream, income is thought to influence proximal factors like where Continue reading [...]

The legacy of the Tuskegee study

By Austin Frakt In the United States, African American men have the worst health outcomes of any major demographic group. At age 45, their life expectancy is more than three years less than that of non-Hispanic Caucasian men and more than five years less than African American women. According to a 2017 study published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, one-third and Continue reading [...]

What is known about drivers of health: a literature review

By Austin Frakt While there is widespread understanding that the health system and other factors — social determinants — affect health, we know relatively little about their precise contributions to health differences across a population at a point in time or differences in health of a fixed population over time. Our just-released literature review provides a historical Continue reading [...]

Allocating health outcomes to risk factors, part 3

By Austin Frakt A common way to assess how much various factors contribute to health is to estimate how much variation in health across the country is explained by each of those factors. But explaining variation is not as useful as many may think. This is the third and final post in a series on Nancy Krieger’s ‘s American Continue reading [...]

Allocating health outcomes to risk factors, part 2

By Austin Frakt I wrote about Nancy Krieger’s insightful American Journal of Public Health paper in a previous post. In this second of three posts, I will continue to unpack some of the content of her article, focusing on the distinction between correlation and causation. Krieger’s paper is titled “Health Equity and the Fallacy of Treating Causes of Population Continue reading [...]

Allocating health outcomes to risk factors, part 1

By Austin Frakt In 2017, Nancy Krieger, Professor of Social Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, published a truly insightful paper in the American Journal of Public Health in which she raised several conceptual problems with allocating health outcomes to contributions from risk factors. This is the first of three posts that will Continue reading [...]

Next Phase for the Drivers of Health Project

By Austin Frakt The next public meeting of the Drivers of Health project will be held in Detroit on September 11. Housing, education, and access and quality of health care will be the focus. Why? This post explains. The first public meeting of the Drivers of Health project, held in Princeton, NJ on June 17, covered social Continue reading [...]