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What Shapes Health? Webcast Explores Social And Economic Factors


Mitchell Funk/Getty Images/Harvard

Health is more than the sum of its parts. Sometimes in surprising ways, factors such as childhood experiences, housing conditions, poor diets and health care access drive who ends up sick — and who does not.

As part of our series "What Shapes Health," created in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard sponsored a webcast on the question.

The speakers investigated public perceptions of what impacts health, based on the new poll, as well as what actions can be taken to improve health, both for individuals and communities.

NPR's Joe Neel, deputy senior supervising editor, moderated the discussion with:

  • Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School
  • Lisa Berkman, professor of public policy and of epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Dwayne Proctor, director and senior adviser, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Rebecca Onie, co-founder and CEO of Health Leads
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