It’s not every day the nation’s doctor stops by campus for a visit.
During a trip through the Garden State, Jerome Adams, the 20th and current Surgeon General of the United States, spoke with a group of University students and faculty on a wide range of topics in public health, including insurance coverage, disease prevention, and precision medicine. It was one of CHW’s most anticipated events of the semester, as all spots filled within minutes of the sign-up sheet going live.
The surgeon general said he wanted to make the stop in Princeton to speak with undergraduates, graduates, and faculty because of the energy and creativity they bring to the public health arena. For the students, it was a fantastic opportunity to learn how principles from the classroom and laboratory help to inform public health decision-making at the highest levels.
In his remarks, Dr. Adams, an anesthesiologist, cited communication and community engagement as two pillars of effective public health leadership. In response to a sudden surge in drug-related HIV infections during his tenure as Indiana’s State Health Commissioner from 2014 to 2017, Dr. Adams partnered with local law enforcement, businesses, and faith leaders. This new alliance among public health and non-health related actors proved crucial in achieving community support for a syringe exchange program that ultimately reduced HIV rates. The success also inspired Dr. Adams’ current motto as Surgeon General: “Better Health through Better Partnerships”.
And while much of the conversation centered around the importance of these civil society partnerships in combating domestic challenges including opioid addiction and gun violence, the group also discussed health issues facing the international community. Several seniors in the global health program shared their research on nutrition programs, disease modeling, and antimicrobial resistance, leaving the Surgeon General impressed and optimistic about the next generation of public health leaders.
Dr. Adams concluded by reflecting on what he described as his own improbable journey from growing up in a small town in southern Maryland to leading the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. For students unsure of their next steps, it was a reassuring message that there are many ways to impact public health, and a constellation of opportunities await.
This dinner conversation took place in Prospect House, courtesy of Princeton’s Center for Health and Wellbeing. Many thanks to Dr. Adams and his team, as well as to the students and faculty in attendance, for a lively and informative conversation!
Best Photo Work Category: Teeto Ezeonu '19 - Morning Hike
About this photo Teeto said:
This picture illustrates a typical hike back from the designated trapping site for the day. On this particular day, we were hiking back from Bear Cliffs, our farthest and most elevated site, which usually took 15-20 minutes. Each day, the six of us who were working with the Mouse Crew rotated such that five people went trapping every day. Each morning we took approximately 15 clean traps each (75 traps total) up to the two grids of the site where we were trapping and checked/replaced the 64 traps at each grid for mice. During peak season, we usually caught about 22 Peromyscus mice every day and a plethora of other by-catch including chipmunks, flying squirrels, voles, etc. The traps we used were Sherman live traps which allowed the mice to stay in an enclosed rectangular box with grain seeds once it tripped the trap. After collecting measurements and samples, the mice were released near their home sites each day. This picture captures a period of time on the mountain of heavy rain in the afternoon and at night. This, consequently, made it foggy during our morning hikes (and often reduced the number of mice caught that day). These mice will provide an abundance of data for research on parasite infection and specifically on interactions between nematodes and the Hantavirus, commonly observed in these mountain mice.
Honorable Mention: Work Category
Driving in Mpala - Carly Bonnet '19
Sunglasses - Asia Kaiser '21
In the Lab at the NCRC - Fares Marayati '19
Best Photo Leisure Category: Maria Malik '19 - Lemur Friends
About this photo Maria said:
I was in Madagascar doing thesis research when I took both of these photos. I spent the most of my time there surveying health centers and learning about the impact of cyclones on public health infrastructure and infectious disease incidence. Two days before I came back to the US, I went to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park and the Vakona Private Reserve to see some lemurs and other cool animals that can only be found in Madagascar. Since I'm concentrating in EEB, I was super excited about this trip and at the prospect of being able to see lemurs in their natural habitats. The picture of me with the lemur was taken at Vakona Private Reserve. The reserve has a small collection of islands that each hold different species of lemurs depending on whether they can coexist and their specific habitat needs. One of the islands that my guide and I canoed to had a small family of ring-tailed lemurs that were very friendly to humans. As we were rowing along the canal, the lemurs saw us and all six of them bounced alongside the boat until we docked. They bounce like kangaroos! I didn't realize the guide had put a piece of banana on my head so I was part surprised and part delighted when one of the really brave - and hungry - lemurs jumped on to the canoe and climbed up my shoulder. His friends climbed on to the boat too and I fed them them all little pieces of bananas. They were really soft and cuddly and although they don't like to be pet, they seemed to really enjoy climbing on me.
Honorable Mention: Leisure
Repping GHP in South Africa - Kasia Kalinowska '19
Solitary Boat - Dylan Kim '21
Hide and Seek - Maria Malik '19