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ISUH Conversations – Episode 12 – Season 1 Wrap-up with Dr. Yonette Thomas and Mark Sylvester

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In this closing episode, Dr. Thomas describes the “ARC” as her guiding principle for revitalizing membership and realigning the work of the ISUH. The intent with the ARC is that we begin before the conference with discussions and activities that lead into the conference in the forms of presentations, panels, and workshops. Post conference we continue those conversations so that members develop papers for publication and ideas for the next conference. The goal is to keep members interested and engaged – creating dynamic activity. Members must see the ISUH at the one organization they want to be involved in and engaged with. Each member is an urban health influencer. Our goal is 1000 members by the end of 2019. We are off to the races!

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ISUH Conversations – Episode 11 – A Conversation with Sainath Banerjee, an ISUH Board member

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Dr. Sainath Banerjee has been an ISUH Board member over the past year. Being a board member is quite exciting for him because of the scope and nature of the task. He sees his participation in ISUH enabling him to have global impact. He is currently co-leading the community solutions workgroup. This workgroup proposes to share local community solutions for urban health globally and to create opportunities for community-based actions. Dr. Banerjee wants to help ISUH figure out how to engage and amplify research being conducted by its members and provide a frame for supporting opportunities for members to develop advocacy platforms. He believes that membership engagement in ISUH can be supported through institutional level involvement, not just at the individual level. Members should see ISUH as the source of knowledge information and global initiatives on urban health. ISUH can create a bridge for issues and themes in urban health and provide regional opportunities for collaboration. Each member is an ambassador of ISUH. He thinks it will be a good idea to create regional chapters of ISUH.

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ISUH Conversations – Episode 10 – A Conversation with Dr. Jason Corburn, an ISUH Board member

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Professor Corburn views ISUH’s role in the context of his work as providing opportunities for bringing people together to dialog – likes the way the conference has evolved in bringing both researches and practitioners together – transdisciplinary activities focused on problem solving. Another area is rethinking education. We need a new set of practitioners for the 21st century city. The city is vastly changing, with new technologies, and increased inequalities and so we need to train people in new ways for dealing with these new challenges – preparing people to be change agents. Dr. Corburn sees the education workshop that he co-leads as being instrumental in helping to propel this change. The idea is that we want to think cross-culturally, different learning styles, different ways in which we can teach and train folks – focused on new ways to include the urban core and community members in cities who are the ones suffering the most around inequalities in cities. Three key things are being focused on: (1) developing a web-based platform where people can access different training; (2) bringing people together for training at each conference with a specific theme; and (3) figuring out how to bring this back to universities around the world to support education and training in urban health.

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ISUH Conversations – Episode 09 – A Conversation with two urban health influencers

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Professor Birch sees ISUH as having three functions: (1) Convener – bringing together people across disciplines. The population of the people attending the ISUH conferences crosses disciplinary boundaries and dialogue is based on good scientific research and different points of view; (2) A voice for all of the principles that we work out and promote together for good health and good healthy places; and (3) A lab – supporting projects that bring together people to solve problems affecting people in urban environments.

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ISUH Conversations – Episode 08 – A Conversation with Professor Eugenie Birch, an ISUH Board Member and President of the General Assembly of Partners (GAP)

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Professor Birch sees ISUH as having three functions: (1) Convener – bringing together people across disciplines. The population of the people attending the ISUH conferences crosses disciplinary boundaries and dialogue is based on good scientific research and different points of view; (2) A voice for all of the principles that we work out and promote together for good health and good healthy places; and (3) A lab – supporting projects that bring together people to solve problems affecting people in urban environments.

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ISUH Conversations – Episode 07 – A Conversation with Professor Billie Giles-Corti, Director of the Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia

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Professor Giles-Corti sees ISUH playing a major role in getting researchers to think differently about how we do research. If you want to change cities and influence health, you really have to influence the policy environment. She sees the ISUH conferences as opportunities for engaging policy makers and practitioners with researchers in innovative ways for generating policy-relevant research. Such research should be co-designed and resonate with the people you are trying to influence. This can be very exciting applied scientific work – applying innovative techniques focused on a particular problem that a city is trying to solve. ISUH can be a space for discussing how to do research that makes a difference and influences policy makers.

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ISUH Conversations – Episode 06 – A Conversation with Olga Sarmiento, MD, MPH, PhD

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Dr. Sarmiento Duenas sees ISUH as truly multidisciplinary and truly global and works from a perspective that shows that health is more than the health care system. To have healthy cities we need to see how other sectors can teach us how to improve the health in our cities. She is anxious to learn from other continents – e.g. the relationship between South America and other continents. Her vision for ISUH is a focus on capacity building for the new generation of academics who want to be part urban health work. Some of the ways that can help this new generation could be done through mentorship, connecting with other early career urban health thinkers, webinars, exchange opportunities, and helping build new programs in countries that have less capacity. Webinars blended within existing programs can generate interests – e.g., an ISUH webinar in one of her public health courses blended within an existing program to optimize resources.

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ISUH Conversations – Episode 05 – A Conversation with Board Member, Dr. Blessing MBeru

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Dr. Blessing MBeru is an ISUH Board member and a lead for the Africa Workgroup. In this podcast, Dr. MBeru believes that his role on the board is to help deepen ISUH’s role and work in Africa where urbanization is a major demographic event that creates many challenging issues related to health. The growth of urban informal settlements has created a number of population health challenges. Blessing sees ISUH’s focus on urban health as an important organizing hub for reaching the African continent and can bring greater relevance and value to what is happening in urban health.

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ISUH Conversations – Episode 01 – Yonette Thomas, PhD, Introduction

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In this first episode, Dr. Thomas talks about the purpose of the ISUH Conversations and how they are intended to serve as a stimulus for engaging members, highlighting the work of “Urban Health Influencers,” and generating new ideas for future ISUH activities. Yonette is a founding board member of the ISUH and recalls the early days of working with David Vlahov, the founder father of ISUH, to secure funding for the conferences. She has come back to ISUH to serve as its first executive director to lead the organization forward at this critical point in its evolution. Her vision for the organization is increased membership, an active virtual collaboratory that facilitates an arc of active engagement prior to the conference, leading to member driven panels and workshops at the conference, and post-conference papers, initiatives, and other activities. She also envisions the creation of a data bridge for visualizing community level data on urban health.