[From Global Health Delivery Project] Cohen is co-founder and president of Health Care Without Harm. His focus is global health care delivery and its role in promoting health equity, environmental health, and sustainable development. For over 20 years, Gary has monitored the health care sector’s significant role in contributing to environmental degradation. He and his international networks have successfully advocated ways to improve human and ecological health through transforming health care practices. In conjunction with the recent 2015 Paris Climate Conference Gary, along with other health leaders from many countries, advocated for an expanded role for the global health sector in finding solutions to health threats from climate change. Our changing climate is one of the world’s most significant and destabilizing health challenges, with adverse impacts such as declining food security, increasing infectious disease and pollution, and threats to ecosystem health upon which human and non-human populations depend. For more information about Gary and a compelling video celebrating his recent MacArthur Foundation ‘genius award’, visit the MacArthur Foundation web site.
The Context: Global health delivery has made enormous strides over the last 100 years: extending life expectancy, improving birth outcomes, and slowing the death rates for young children under five. The progress has not been uniform, however, with many people experiencing health disparities and lack of access to quality health services, in both rural and urban areas. As a result, there is a growing risk to global public health. Significantly, the World Health Organization (WHO) attributes roughly one quarter of human disease and death in the world today to environmental factors, many inextricably linked to poverty. In this conversation with Gary Cohen, we explore the changing role of the global health care delivery system and opportunities for health integration in both health policy and urban and rural community infrastructure...(Continue reading)