Addressing the Public Health Challenges of the 21st Century
The afternoon began with a keynote address from James S. Marks, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President and Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Following the keynote, we focused on one specific challenge greatly affecting St. Louis: violence prevention and the role of public health. Our distinguished panel of speakers addressed this challenge and engaged the audience in a thought-provoking discussion. This conference was a great opportunity to network with public health leaders, researchers and practitioners and learn more about the research and programs that are advancing the field of public health.
James S. Marks, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President and Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Dr. James Marks directs all programs and administrative activities of the Health Group at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). This includes the foundation’s work in childhood obesity, public health and vulnerable populations. Dr. Marks is a national leader in public health who has been an advocate of strengthening public health systems and services for more than 35 years.
We know that violence in our communities is preventable and is not just a criminal justice problem. It is a significant public health issue that communities, including St. Louis, are facing in the 21st century. Like other threats to our health, factors such as education, wealth and our environment affect violence in our communities. Approaches for addressing violence have begun to emphasize a focus on preventative measures that address these underlying factors. To be successful, these approaches must be comprehensive and multidisciplinary.