Expertise and experience:
1. Advising and mentoring Amherst College students and young alumni who seek to explore and pursue careers in health.
2. Teaching (until December 2010 at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and as adjunct lecturer at UMassAmherst School of Public Health), mentoring, advising, dialogue, organizing, advocating, and experience to learn, practice, and pursue health in all its dimesnions. Has included courses on health disparities, and cultural and linguistic competence,
internships, independent study, research, seminars to build leadership capacity of young people and future public health work force.
Synthesizing research on social determinants of health, resilience, traumatic childhood experiences, racism, chronic stress, and conditions for productive dialogue that will have a significant impact on future public health practice.
3. Translating this research into humane MCH and public health practice to improve the health of women and children, with systems that honor families, communities, and cultures.
4. Integrating cultural understanding and respect as a key strategy to end health disparities.
5. Changing the language of public health and medicine to better reflect our ideals and purpose.
6. Bringing multiple stakeholders together to untangle complex public health challenges and take collaborative action to solve them.

1. Inspiring a new generation of leaders in public health and service through a wide range of local, national, and global opportunities.
Until January 2011, consultation to individuals, communities, organizations to build capacity in the above, by
a) Inspiring keynotes, presentations, workshops.
b) Organizing forums to build essential but previously unlikely partnerships.
c) Serving as catalyst for intergenerational and cross-cultural dialogue.
c) Writing papers and grants.
3. Organization and facilitation of interactive meetings with broad stakeholder participation to unite diverse parties and spark action to create public health equity.

For more information, contact:

"A smile is the light in the window of your face, which tells people that your heart is at home."
- Kolawole Bankole, M.D, M.S

Friday, July 31, 2009

Health Disparities Course Hampshire College Fall 2009

By Richard A. Aronson, MD, MPH: For a long time now, I have been wanting to focus my full energy on teaching, mentoring, and being in dialogue with college level students to inspire them to pursue public health as a noble profession…a profession that: 1. Forms its foundation in the quest for social justice. 2. Honors the dignity of all people and communities throughout the world, and their languages and cultures and religions. 3. Unites multiple stakeholders for collaborative action. 4. Combines mind, body, and spirit in its vision of health. 5. Integrates and applies the internal and external dimensions of healing. 6. Focuses on common ground and celebrates diversity. 7. Represents an exquisitely inter-disciplinary field of study that combines the natural and social sciences, and humanities. 8. Fosters a legacy of hope. To that end, I am honored to have the opportunity to teach a course this fall at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. The title of the course is “Health Disparities”, and it will be a seminar-type course for roughly 25 students, meeting twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays 2 – 3:20 pm Eastern Time USA). Students from the other colleges in the Five-College Area (Amherst, Smith, Mount Holyoke, and the University of Massachusetts) will be able to enroll. The course will be part of a Five-College Inter-Disciplinary Program called Culture, Health, and Science. I have put the course description below. I welcome suggestions for any reference materials (articles, books, videos, stories, poems, web sites, works of art, community organizations, etc.) that I could include in the syllabus or in the classes themselves or case examples of best practices. Thank you. I'm at I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!

Health Disparities Course Description
Fall 2009
Hampshire College Course 209 School of Natural Science
Room 333, Cole Science Center, 2-3:20 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays
Professor: Richard A. Aronson, MD, MPH

Social injustice and inequality create conditions that lead to unconscionable health disparities according to race, ethnicity, gender, childhood experiences, and many other factors. An example is the infant mortality gap in the United States, where black babies die at more than twice the rate of whites. This course explores the origins of selected health disparities and highlights promising community-based efforts to address them. How do we define health disparities in a public health context? How do such disparities occur and persist across generations? What is the "life course perspective" for maternal and child health? Specifically, how does chronic stress experienced by women of color in the U.S. make them more likely to give birth to premature and low weight babies? And how are traumatic childhood experiences associated with earlier and more severe chronic diseases in adulthood? We will explore research related to these questions, and then consider specific promising community-based practices. We will critically examine how such practices: 1) Draw on the resilience of individuals, families, and communities; 2) Tap into the potential for social capital to enrich physical, mental, and spiritual health; 3) Foster collaborative action among multiple stakeholders, including the communities directly affected, to trust each other and unite as equal partners; and 4) Emphasize learning how culture and language influence health, and how the need to respect culture and to communicate clearly is essential to effective and humane programs, policies, and systems. Throughout the course, we will seek, in various ways, to include the voices of people and communities who have experienced disparities into our dialogue.