At any moment, adversaries are fighting numerous wars across the world. Although many scholars concentrate on the emotional toll or geopolitical repercussions of these conflicts, a growing body of research has delineated the public health consequences of war. Specifically, war has a profound effect on communicable disease, as well as consequences for mental, environmental, and behavioral health both domestically and globally. This presentation will focus on foundational concepts in understanding war’s impact on public health. First, I will address how the public health effects of war can be informed by a Social Ecological framework. Second, I will describe how the destruction of the health infrastructure and systems during war impacts public health. Finally, I will discuss my program of research on the mental health consequences of military conflict. Findings from a mixed-methods study of grief in combat veterans who have lost comrades to suicide or combat will be discussed, and a study of the resettlement experiences of Iraqi refugees will be briefly described.
Speaker Biography - Pauline Lubens
Pauline Lubens is a Public Health doctoral candidate who will be completing her doctorate in June, 2018, and whose research focuses on war and public health. Ms. Lubens was a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist during a successful career as an award-winning photojournalist where she spent years documenting the personal impact of war and disasters, humanitarian response, and global health crises. In 2010, she left journalism to pursue a Master of Public Health and graduated from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2011. Ms. Lubens’ firsthand experiences covering the toll of war — including the impact of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on the health of returning U.S. military personnel and their families, and on Iraqis displaced by the war — motivated her to concentrate her studies on how war impacts public health. Her research specifically focuses on the emotional, psychosocial, and somatic health outcomes associated with armed conflict in U.S. combat veterans, military families, and refugees. While at Hopkins, she designed War and Public Health, an undergraduate course that she taught at UCI for three terms during the 2011-2012 academic year, and several quarters since then.
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