Humility in population health science: lessons for fostering an elder-supportive ‘culture of health’ after the pandemic – Sean Valles (Michigan State University)

May 20, 2021 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Helen Curry

One component of the increasingly popular ‘population health science’ framework is a conviction that public health requires health-conducive policies and social practices across society, which together constitute a ‘culture of health’: living wages, anti-racist public education and legal reforms, community-run health clinics, etc. One challenge for such efforts is that most communities are ill-designed for supporting elders’ well-being: substandard eldercare facilities, neighbourhoods not designed for people with vision or mobility impairments, etc. I argue that one important piece of this public health effort is the humility that will need to be cultivated alongside other more concrete cultural resources. In particular, I will draw out a lesson from population health science theory: that humility is a vital part of an effort to create a culture of health in any community, a culture that fully includes elders’ well-being. This includes humility in the relations between academic disciplines, between sectors of society, and between individual members of society.

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