Comprehensive Public Health Initiative

The Ferguson administration building from across the quad.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter the lives of millions of people across the country and billions around the world, Albion is focusing a new action-oriented initiative on addressing some of the greatest public health issues in the last century.

Led by 1977 alumnus James Wilson, M.D. Ph.D., a renowned medical scientist, the College has launched an ambitious Comprehensive Public Health Initiative that will advance community conversation and understanding of the social, political, economic and public health dimensions of the devastating pandemic and is beginning work with students, staff, faculty and community members to address the ongoing toll of COVID-19.

Seminar Series

Albion’s multifaceted Comprehensive Public Health Initiative includes an online seminar series developed and led by Dr. Wilson featuring world-recognized experts in public health and policy. All seminars are open to the public and will be 60 minutes in total, with a 40-minute presentation followed by a 20-minute Q&A. Recordings of all events will be available on Albion's YouTube channel.

Rep. Debbie Dingell - September 8, 7 p.m. E.T. Watch now

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell represents Michigan’s 12th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she has made it a priority to be a voice for the Midwest on issues that matter most to working families.

A member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Debbie is a leader on efforts to grow manufacturing, improve access to quality affordable health care, support seniors and veterans and protect the Great Lakes. Recognized as one of the 25 hardest-working Members of Congress, Debbie is focused on forging bipartisan solutions that support Michigan’s families and economy, including improving long-term care and ushering in the future of the American auto industry.

Newt Gingrich - September 10, 7 p.m. E.T.* Watch now

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich is one of the foremost economic, social, political, and security-focused conservative thinkers today.

Today, Newt is Chairman of Gingrich 360, a full-service American consulting, education, and media production group that connects the past, present, and future to inspire audiences, solve challenges, and develop opportunities. As Chairman, Newt continues to promote American values as he works toward thinking through and helping to solve our nation’s greatest challenges in healthcare, education, national security and many other areas.

*Please note this session will be pre-recorded. An email with the recording will be sent to registrants at the scheduled time.

Ezekiel‌ ‌J.‌ ‌Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D. - September 15, 7 p.m. E.T. Watch now

Ezekiel J. Emanuel is the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, and Co-Director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. From January 2009 to January 2011, Dr. Emanuel served as a Special Advisor on Health Policy to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and National Economic Council.

Dr. Emanuel was the founding chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health from 1997 to August of 2011. He has published over 300 articles and has authored or edited 15 books, including his most recent, “Which Country Has the World’s Best Health Care?”

Fritz François, M.D., M.Sc., FACG - September 17, 7 p.m. E.T. Register now

Fritz François, M.D., serves as Chief Medical Officer at NYU Langone Health. In this role, he is responsible for the day-to-day coordination of medical care, clinical quality, risk assessment, system improvement, utilization management, patient experience and infection surveillance across all medical and surgical services within the health system. Additionally, he helped lead efforts to open NYU Langone’s state-of-the-art Kimmel Pavilion and Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital, and improve results around quality, safety, efficiency and patient satisfaction.

Prior to his appointment in 2015, Dr. François served as Chief of Medicine at NYU Langone’s Tisch Hospital, leading transformative efforts around Value-Based Management and leadership development at NYU Langone.

Anjelica Dunlap & Kaitlyn Simmons, RN, BSN, PCCN -
September 22, 7 p.m. E.T. Register now

Anjelica Dunlap is an intensive care unit nurse in the medical ICU at Ascension St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit. She has three years of experience in the ICU and has been been a registered nurse for over four years. 

During this time, she has obtained her Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certification and has been accepted into Nurse Anesthesia school. 

Kaitlyn SimmonsKaitlyn Simmons, RN, BSN, PCCN is Clinical Nurse III at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania on a Vascular Surgery/COVID progressive care unit. She serves as the Core Charge Nurse where she coordinates staffing and patient-flow and assists with patient care on a high-acuity surgical unit. In the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, her unit was the first to be converted to provide care for patients with COVID-19. During that time, Kaitlyn acted as the charge nurse, responsible for coordinating nurses from multiple units to work together to provide care for COVID patients. 

In July, Kaitlyn was awarded the Barton B. Rinehart Fellowship for providing innovative care to patients with COVID-19.

Stéphane Bancel‌ - September 24, 7 p.m. E.T. Register now

Stéphane Bancel has served as Moderna, Inc.'s Chief Executive Officer since October 2011 and as a member of Moderna’s Board of Directors since March 2011. Moderna is currently in late-stage trials for its coronavirus vaccine, co-developed with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. The vaccine is one of nine coronavirus vaccines worldwide that have reached phase three clinical trials.

Mr. Bancel currently serves on the board of directors of Qiagen N.V. and previously served on the board of directors of BG Medicine, Inc. and Syros Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SYRS).

Andrew‌ ‌Lo,‌ ‌Ph.D. - September 29, 7 p.m. E.T. Register now

Andrew W. Lo is the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, director of the MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering, a principal investigator at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and an affiliated faculty member of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is also an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Lo’s current research spans five areas: evolutionary models of investor behavior and adaptive markets, systemic risk and financial regulation, quantitative models of financial markets, financial applications of machine-learning techniques and secure multi-party computation, and healthcare finance.

Troyen‌ ‌Brennan‌, ‌M.D.,‌ ‌J.D.,‌ ‌MPH‌ - October 1, 7 p.m. E.T.Register now

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Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., is Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health. In this role, Brennan provides oversight for the development of CVS Health’s clinical and medical affairs and health care strategy.

Previously, Brennan was Chief Medical Officer of Aetna Inc. Prior to that, Brennan served as president of Brigham and Women's Physicians Organization. In his academic work, he was Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Law and Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health.

Salaam Muhsin & Debra Pérez, Ph.D. - October 6, 7 p.m. E.T.Register now

Salaam Muhsin is a Managing Partner at Structure Design Inc. and Financial Findings Inc., Philadelphia.

Dr. Debra Joy Perez is Senior Vice President of Organizational Culture, Inclusion and Equity at Simmons University. As SVP, Dr. Perez is responsible for advancing diversity and inclusive practices across the University including working with faculty, staff and students to create an inclusive and welcoming campus. Reporting to the President, Dr. Perez works in partnership across Simmons Leadership Team to advance organizational culture, inclusion and equity. Among her responsibilities, she develops policies and practices to promote inclusion in the pedagogy and in the social life at Simmons.

Dr. Pérez’s primary objective and commitment is to work with all constituents to make Simmons University the most inclusive campus in New England.

An Integrated Curricular and Co-Curricular Public Health Focus

Under the leadership of Dr. Bradley Rabquer, director of the Wilson Institute at Albion College, Albion’s Comprehensive Public Health Initiative will also‌ include a significant expansion in health curriculum and co-curricular training to prepare a new generation of students and other stakeholders for a world that will likely look very different in the wake of the current pandemic.

Faculty and staff have collaborated to develop a suite of public‌ ‌health‌ offerings including:

  • A post-baccalaureate pre-medical studies program: Starting in spring 2021, Albion’s one-year post-baccalaureate certificate program in pre-medical studies will allow students to enhance their academic record prior to starting medical school.
  • Expanded nursing opportunities: Working closely with partners at the Oakland University School of Nursing, the Wilson Institute is crafting a four-year nursing degree for students that will provide the highest level of clinical training coupled with the analytical and critical-thinking skills that a liberal arts college like Albion provides.
  • Contact tracing: Efforts are underway to train Albion students who are members of the Wilson Institute to become COVID-19 contact tracers. Trained students will work with local public health officials to confidentially identify individuals who may have been in contact with someone infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19.
  • Opportunities for additional course credit: A new free online course focused on the pandemic is being offered to all newly enrolled students and will begin in July.
  • A public health living-learning community: A living-learning community will be open to more than 30 first-year students who want to study the public health challenges faced today.
  • New public health programs: New programs are being built and explored in undergraduate and graduate public health.