Category Archives: Fall 2017

Paul Greenough,Thursday, December 14, 2017

Picture1“Chasing Urban Crows in India: A Fool’s Errand to Mend an Environmental Crisis? ”

Paul R. Greenough is Emeritus Professor of Modern Indian History and of Community and Behavioral Health at the University of Iowa. He was the Director of the University’s South Asian Studies Program and co-director of the Global Health Studies Program.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and his PhD from the University of Chicago.  His recent research concerns themes in India’s environmental history and the history of public health and the introduction of field epidemiology into the post-colonial world. Among other works he is the author of Prosperity and Misery in Modern Bengal: the Famine of 1943 (1982; reprint edition 2017; Bengali edition 1997) and co-editor of three collections: Nature in the Global South: Environmental Projects in South and Southeast Asia (2003), Against Stigma: Global Studies in Caste and Race (2009), and The Politics of Vaccination: A Global History (2017).  Professor Greenough is a Senior Fulbright-Nehru Fellow attached to the Department of History of Jadavpur University.

The house crows of India, as the name suggests, live side by side with humans in towns and cities. They mainly survive by eating left-over food wastes (garbage). They are highly intelligent birds and occupy a middle position between wild nature and human culture; they show up prominently in Indian art, religion, literature and folklore. From ancient times the cawing of crows has been India’s sound-track. Nowadays their voice is fainter because of intense environmental hazards, and crow populations in larger Indian cities are declining. At the same time Indian house crows have been spreading to other countries (for example, a breeding colony was established in Florida only in 2015). This talk recaps a recent research trip he made to study house crows in India and the challenges he faces writing about their saga.

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Filed under Environmental Issues, Fall 2017, Uncategorized

Mariano Magalhães and Elisa Klewinski,Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IMG_4332“The Economic and Political Challenges Confronting Brazil ”

Dr. Mariano Magalhães is a professor of Political Science at Augustana College, where he teaches courses that focus primarily on the consolidation and quality of democracy in the developing world, with a special emphasis on Latin America. Dr. Magalhães was a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidade de Brasília in 2011 and currently serves as Director of the Brazil Term Study Abroad Program, Director of the Africana Studies Program, and Chair of the Division of Social Sciences at Augustana College. He has published articles on the impact of decentralization on democracy in Brazil, the role of the Brazilian armed forces in post-1985 Brazil and this past summer conducted research on the relationship between feminist civil society and the state in Brazil.

Elisa Klewinski is a junior Political Science and Environmental Studies double major at Augustana College. She recently spent five and a half weeks in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador studying the nature of democracy and the state of economic development in Brazil.

In the span of roughly a generation Brazilian democracy has gone from being labeled as “feckless” and the economy as “drunk” in the early 1990s to being hailed for its innovative social policies, emerging economy and robust democracy in the first part of the 21st century (under the guidance primarily of former President Lula da Silva) and, in the last three years, back to economic paralysis and political crisis, amid the worst corruption scandal in the history of the country. The goal of our presentation is to show that these characterizations tend to exaggerate both the bad and the good of Brazil during these periods. Instead, by most accounts, Brazil is now an established democracy but with flaws. The most recent crisis has deeply divided the nation, leading many Brazilians to question the legitimacy of not only the current government but of the democratic project itself. The impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff in 2016 and the greed of so many politicians caught up in the Lava-Jato corruption scandal has led to high levels of popular disenchantment and dissatisfaction of the political elite. Despite this, democracy shows signs of significant growth, with the development of strong institutions of accountability, especially the judiciary and the media, a vibrant civil society and the following of democratic political rules by key actors.

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Filed under Economics, Fall 2017, Past Events, Uncategorized

Sara Mitchell ,Thursday, November 30, 2017

Mitchell_2017_0

“Patterns of Maritime Conflicts, 1900-2010”

Sara McLaughlin Mitchell is the F. Wendell Miller Professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa. She has authored five books, the most recent being What Do We Know About Civil Wars? and has edited several special journal issues and published more than forty journal articles and book chapters. She is the recipient of several major research awards from the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development. Her areas of expertise include international conflict, political methodology, and gender issues in academia. Professor Mitchell is co-founder of the Journeys in World Politics workshop, a mentoring workshop for junior women studying international relations. She has received several prestigious awards, the most recent being the Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award (2015) from the International Studies Association, and served as President of the Peace Science Society.

There is little understanding of their generalizable patterns with respect to claim onset and management. This project utilizes data from the Issue Correlates of War (ICOW) on diplomatic claims over maritime areas globally from 1900-2010 to explore patterns in states’ interactions over territorial and resource issues of the seas. Initial results suggest that potential oil resources are more dangerous for producing militarized disputes than extracted oil resources (or none). Migratory fish stocks also raise the risks for militarized confrontation over maritime claims. Surprisingly, maritime claims are more likely to occur between wealthier and more democratic countries, although escalation of such disputes to fatal militarized disputes is rare. These findings will help us understand how prominent cases like the South China Sea disputes fit into the broader landscape of maritime conflicts.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, War & Conflict

T.B. Bram Elias,Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Bram photo“Immigration Hits Home: How New Immigration Policies Affect Iowa City and How Iowa City is Responding”

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Professor Bram Elias is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Iowa’s College of Law and directs the Clinic’s immigration practice. Bram received his BA from the University of Michigan, an MA from The Queen’s University in Belfast, an MPP from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a JD from the Yale University Law School.  He also clerked for Senior Judge Dorothy Nelson of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Judge Denise Casper of the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Prior to joining the University of Iowa College of Law, Bram worked as an immigration attorney in private practice in Iowa City, where his work focused on federal immigration law, removal defense, immigration-related family law issues in state court, and immigration-related post-conviction review and habeas corpus litigation in state and federal courts.  Professor Elias’ students practice before federal immigration courts and administrative bodies, the federal Board of Immigration Appeals, and state and federal courts and both the trial and appellate levels.

Bram will be speaking about the most common problems and changes that are seen locally as a result of the new tenor of immigration politics and policies being spread by the Trump Administration. He will give specific examples in his discussion, such as cases where members of immigrant communities are too afraid to talk to local law enforcement or go to court, children of mixed-status families refusing free and reduced lunch at school, and members of immigrant communities being too afraid to go to the emergency room. He will also speak about his students’ work within the area, such as working with the Johnson County Community ID program, helping set up new organizations like the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Fund, designing bespoke “power of attorney”/ “in case of emergency” legal packets for individual families, and more.

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Filed under Domestic Issues, Fall 2017, Governance Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized

Elizabeth Menninga, Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Menninga_2017_0“Mediation to End Civil Wars: Assembling the Dream Team”

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Elizabeth Menninga is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science department at the University of Iowa. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015, specializing in International Relations and Political Methodology. Her research focuses on the effectiveness of international mediation in intrastate wars. Elizabeth teaches undergraduate courses in international relations and research methods as well as graduate statistics courses. Her most recent article, “Kantian fractionalization predicts the conflict propensity of the international system” published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, won the 2016 Political Ties award for best paper published on political networks.

Elizabeth will be discussing her research on when and how multiparty mediation can help the prospects for peace in civil wars. She identifies three characteristics of mediation efforts expected to improve mediation’s chances of success. These three being complementary efforts, balanced mediation, and coordination among the mediators. To evaluate these characteristics, she employs statistical tests on a set of mediation attempts in civil wars between 1989 and 2005. She will also discuss two specific cases of multiparty mediation: Angola and Mozambique. Elizabeth will discuss her findings and what light they bring to how multiparty mediation helps the prospects for peace in civil wars.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Governance Issues, Past Events, Uncategorized, War & Conflict

America Colemenares, Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Screenshot_20171013-160536“Venezuela in Crisis”

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America Colmenares is a native of Caracas, Venezuela.  She moved to the United States in 1989 to study English and graduated from Augustana College in 1997 with a B.A. in Communications, Political Sciences, and Spanish and Literature.  In 2001, America graduated from the University of Kansas with a Masters in Latin American Studies with an emphasis in business and politics.  After graduate school, America worked at the University of Miami as a Spanish Lecturer. She came to Augustana College in the fall of 2006.  At Augustana, America teaches beginner and intermediate Spanish, Latin American History and Civilization, Business in Latin America, and Latinos in the United States.   She is also a First Year Advisor working closely with multicultural and international students.  Her passion is to educate people about Latin America in all of its aspects.

What was once the richest country in South America in 2001, Venezuela has found itself in an economic crisis with an increasingly authoritarian government. In the midst of this, food and medicine shortages leave its people in a desperate state. Many of which have fled to neighboring countries to escape the hardship. America Colmenares will provide an overview on how Venezuela, once a wealthy oil country, has now found itself in crisis.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Past Events, Uncategorized, War & Conflict

Andrea Cohen, Thursday, October 26, 2017

edited pic“The UN is Our Greatest Hope for the Future”

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Andrea Cohen is a passionate human rights defender and supporter of the UN. She is Executive Director of the Iowa United Nations Association whose mission is to promote, educate about, and advocate for the entire United Nations system. Ms. Cohen attended the United Nations International School in New York, giving her a special connection with the organization. Ms. Cohen has a Bachelors in Anthropology from Barnard College and a Masters in Anthropology and Education, from Teacher’s College, Columbia University. She also has a Master of Science in Teaching (Social Studies and Civics) from the Free University in Amsterdam. Originally Dutch, Ms. Cohen moved to New York City in the early 1960s, living there for 28 years before moving back to The Netherlands. She came back to Iowa City with her family in 2012. She is an Iowa City Human Rights Commissioner and a member of the Board of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights.

The fundamental principles of the United Nations are as vital today as they were in 1945; perhaps even more so. Focusing inwards is not a solution when the world is so interconnected. The 17 UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development provide a framework for tackling sticky problems together: for Iowa, the US, and the world. Her remarks will explore why and how the Global Goals urge cooperation and collaboration on a global scale. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please renew your ICFRC membership.

 

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Filed under Domestic Issues, Fall 2017, Governance Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized

Juan R.I. Cole, Tuesday, October 17, 2017

la-ca-jc-juan-cole-20140720“The New Arabs: U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East”

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Juan R. I. Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He received his B.A. in History and Literature of Religions from Northwestern University, his M.A. in Arabic Studies / History from American University in Cairo, and his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from UCLA. Juan speaks Arabic and possesses skill in Persian, Urdu, and reads Turkish. He is the author of Engaging the Muslim World and Napoleon’s Egypt. He has been a regular guest on PBS NewsHour and has also appeared on ABC World News, Nightline, the Today show, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper 360, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Colbert Report, Democracy!, Al Jazeera America, and many other programs. He has commented extensively on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Iraq, Egypt, the politics of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Syria, and Iranian domestic struggles and foreign affairs.

For thirty-five years, he has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. His deep knowledge of language, Middle Eastern Culture, and the differing theological traditions of Islam, have made him an authority on the region. Professor Cole will be discussing his most recent book, The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East will be the focus of his presentation.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Past Events, The Middle East, U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized

Karen Wachsmuth, Thursday, October 12, 2017

 Karen in Japan 2“Why the Japanese School Year Begins in Cherry Blossom Time”

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Karen Wachsmuth will share her recent experiences as a Fulbright International Education Administrator awardee to Japan. While in the country, she met with Ministry of Education officials, top-level university administrators, professors, high school teachers, guidance counselors, students, and job placement agencies. She will share with us how their differing viewpoints reflected unique and sometimes contradictory aspects of Japanese culture and history. She will also discuss the context of her travels to Hiroshima, Tokyo, and Kyoto, which took place during a year in which U.S.-Japan relations were undergoing epic, positive change.

Wachsmuth is a Juilliard-trained conductor, musician, and scholar. Under her dynamic and innovative leadership as the UI Fulbright Program Advisor, the University of Iowa was named a top producer of Fulbright students for 2016-17, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. This is the second year in a row that UI has achieved this elite ranking.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2017, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized

Steve Schulz, Wednesday, October 4, 2017

      EP-170119847 (1)“Travel Bans: Uncertainties and Real World Consequences”

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Steve Schulz is the Senior Director for the Global Talent Acquisition and Mobility organization at Rockwell-Collins.  His responsibilities include all recruiting efforts across the globe, foreign national employee strategy, contract labor, relocation, mobility, short and long-term assignments, K-12 STEM efforts, and external diversity partnerships.  Steve has been a leader in the talent acquisition efforts for more than two decades spending half his time in the external agency industry and the other half leading talent acquisition functions.

Rockwell-Collins employs 30,000 people worldwide and is one of Iowa’s largest employers with 8,700 employees in Cedar Rapids plus another 1,200 employees in other Eastern Iowa locations including Iowa City.  Founded in 1933, Rockwell-Collins is the industry leader in advanced avionics for commercial and military aircraft.

This presentation will focus on Rockwell-Collins foreign national employment strategy and why it is a critical element for our company’s people strategy.  Changes to the program including current global and political challenges confronting our organization will be discussed.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Governance Issues, Past Events, Technology, U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized

Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ubah“To Leave in the Afternoon: Inheriting the Language of a Civil War”

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Ubah Cristina Ali Farah is a Somali-Italian novelist, performer, teacher and social activist. Her two novels, Madre piccola [Little Mother, Indiana UP 2011] and Il Comandante del fiume [The Commander of the River] tell stories of the Somali civil war and its refugees in Italy. In 2006, she was awarded the Lingua Madre National Literary Prize, and in 2008, the Vittorini Prize. She has a PhD in African Studies from the University of Naples; currently she lives in Brussels. She is participating in the International Writing Program’s 2017 Fall Residency courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Born in Italy to a Somali father and an Italian mother, Ubah Cristina Ali Farah grew up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, attending an Italian school there until the Somalia Civil War broke out in 1991.  Ali Farah and her family subsequently relocated to Pécs, Hungary, and then later moved back to her birthplace, Verona, Italy.  In the intervening years, she has carried with her a Somali language that was radically re-shaped by the conflict and stories that seem like her own memories.  Farah draws on Eva Hoffman’s concept of “postmemory” to describe the effect of these traumatic experiences on the entire generation born after the Civil War.  In this lunchtime lecture, Ubah Cristina Ali Farah will share her experiences as a writer addressing violence, civil division, and national memory.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please remember to renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Uncategorized, War & Conflict

Greg Carmichael, Wednesday, September 20, 2017

“Current Environmental Challenges”gcarmich

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Gregory R. Carmichael is the Karl Kammermeyer Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa and he is the Co-Director of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.  Greg also serves as the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research for the College of Engineering.

He has done extensive research related to air quality and its environmental impacts with over 280 journal publications, and he is a leader in the development and application of chemical transport models at scales ranging from local to global. The majority of his recent papers deal with the development and application of chemical transport models (CTM) to studies in regional atmospheric chemistry, air quality and climate. He is a member of the scientific steering committee for the UNEP ABC Asia project. He also serves as chair of the Scientific Advisory Group for the World Meteorological Organization Global Atmospheric Watch Urban Meteorology and Environment project, which is focused on building capacity worldwide to improve air quality forecasts and related services.

Much has changed since the 2015 historic Paris Climate Accord.  Even though the U.S. has expressed its plan to withdraw from the agreement, there remain many efforts at local, regional and global scales to address climate and environmental change. Post-Paris opportunities for addressing climate and the challenges to come with them will be discussed.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please remember to renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Environmental Issues, Fall 2017, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Technology, Uncategorized

Ted Powers, Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Theodore Powers

“Public Health in Post-Apartheid South Africa: HIV/AIDS, Primary Care & Social Inequality”

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Ted Powers is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research focuses on the dynamics of health, politics, and social inequality in post-apartheid South Africa. Ted received his B.A. in Political Science (2001) at Bates College in Maine as well as his Master’s (2007) and Ph.D. in Anthropology (2012) at City University in New York. Ted has written numerous pieces of literature discussing the subject of HIV/AIDS for publications such as the Journal of African History, the AIDS Legal Quarterly, the Journal of Southern African Studies, the Journal of Modern African Studies, and The Human Economy Book Series. Before coming to the University of Iowa, Ted taught at Hunter College, Columbia University, Pace College, and the University of Pretoria.

The post-apartheid era has seen improvements in public health provision in South Africa, with the expansion of primary care and development of the world’s largest HIV / AIDS treatment program.  However, the country also has a high burden of disease, with the world’s largest HIV / AIDS epidemic and a growing drug-resistant Tuberculosis epidemic. Amid the threat of declining donor funding for HIV / AIDS and other global programs, the question of how public health will be maintained in the world’s second most unequal society looms large. Key public health trends will be discussed alongside the implications of declining resources for public health programs in South Africa.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please remember to renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Health & Medicine, Past Events

Jonathan Hollander, Thursday September 7, 2017

10686686_10153064077701410_5106998071599227401_n “Dance Diplomacy”

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Jonathan is one of the world’s outstanding choreographers, a man committed to international cultural exchange and social activism through dance. He is the Founder of Battery Dance and Dancing to Connect. Jonathan Hollander is the founder of Battery Dance, a group that teaches, performs, and advocates for the area of dance. Currently he serves as its President and Artistic Director.

In 1982, he created Downtown Dance Festival, New York City’s longest-running dance festival. Jonathan and his organization are very active in NYC’s public schools with the objective of reaching at risk youth and fostering a love of dance. His work has brought him to diverse locations such as Japan, France, Greece, India, Mongolia, Paraguay, Poland, Malaysia, Russia, and the Philippines. His work has been supported by the U.S. Department of State, the National endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Ford Foundation. Jonathan founded Battery Dance and Dancing to Connect to bridge divides, unite communities, empower youth, combat bullying and xenophobia. Jonathan will speak to how dance can ease conflict, breed trust and represent American values abroad.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Fall 2017, Past Events

Hans House, Thursday August 31, 2017

HansHouse_LabcoatHeadshot.jpeg“Avian Flue H7N9 and the Risk of the Next Great Pandemic”

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Hans House is Professor, and Vice Chair for Education, Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Iowa.  He received his undergraduate degree, Cum Laude, in Marine Biology from University of Southern California.  He then received his MD degree from USC in 1997.  He subsequently received a Diploma of Tropical Medicine from the London School of Tropical Medicine, and an MA in Academic Medicine from the Keck School of Medicine at USC.  Dr. House holds Board Certifications as Diplomate American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Emergency Medicine.

Avian Flu was first identified in Hong Kong in 1997.  Despite fears that this virus might mutate and spread rapidly around the world, it has smoldered and persisted in nature, eventually causing a few hundred deaths.  More recently, a new strain, H7N9, has become established in China and has led to five seasonal waves of illness.  How do new strains develop?  What factors lead to their severity or spread?  Why do they always seem to start in East Asia?  I will explore the nature of the influenza virus and examine the latest epidemiological evidence, trying to determine the risk of H9N9 developing into the next great pandemic.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please remember to renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2017, Health & Medicine, Past Events

Peter Damiano, Thursday August 24, 2017

Picture1“Health Care- Lessons from Abroad”

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Presentation slides can be downloaded here!

Dr. Damiano received his BS from the University of Iowa in 1982, and his DDS from Iowa in 1986. He received his MPH from the University of California in 1990. Dr. Damiano joined the UI College of Dentistry in 1990. In 1993, Dr. Damiano received a Certificate from the Robert Wood Johnson Dental Health Services Research Scholar Program, and a Certificate in Public Health Service, AACPR Primary Care Policy Fellowship. Through his work as Director of the UI Public Policy Center, Dr. Damiano studies access to and quality of primary health services. He is conducting studies in the areas of health care reform, health insurance coverage, health disparities, and health care for the uninsured. He is the author of more than 200 journal articles and has been the principal investigator on more than 75 funded research studies. Through the UI Public Policy Center he regularly shares research findings with policymakers and the public through talks and symposia to help them understand the nuances of challenging policy issues.

With all the changes underway in the financing and delivery of health care in the U.S., many are looking to models in other countries for ideas. Dr. Damiano will provide an overview of the financing and delivery of care in the U.S., and several other industrialized countries. Included in this discussion will be the advantages and disadvantages of these different approaches and what lessons we might be able to learn from the experiences of these countries.

Reminder: If you have not already done so, please remember to renew your ICFRC membership.

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Filed under Fall 2017, Health & Medicine, Past Events