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New National Appointment

Therese S. Richmond, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Andrea B. Laporte Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean for Research & Innovation at Penn Nursing has been appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice. The three-year appointment runs through March 2024.

The Board is broadly concerned with promoting the health of the public—physical, mental, and social—particularly through population-based interventions. It examines and develops strategies for disease prevention, taking into account the multiple factors affecting health-genetic endowment, social and environmental conditions, individual behavior (including tobacco use, alcohol consumption, diet, and exercise) and personal preventive services. It addresses the science base for such interventions, the public health infrastructure, the education and supply of health professionals necessary for carrying them out, and levers available in other sectors and through interdisciplinary inquiry and cross-sector collaboration.

The Board has an ongoing program of studies and convening activities on the promotion of health equity, improving population health, health literacy, the public health infrastructure, women’s and children’s health; immunization; AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases; and environmental and occupational health. In particular, the Board has identified three priority areas that fall within a broad focus covering both preventive services and public health functions to emphasize in its work:

  • re-examining public health capacities and responsibilities to meet public health challenges;
  • population based interventions to promote healthful behavior; and
  • occupational and environmental health issues.

“This past year has highlighted the importance of population health and the public health infrastructure to the health of the nation,” said Richmond. “NASEM is grounded in science in addressing high priority issues and I look forward to contributing to the work of this Board.”