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Precision Public Health: Unlocking Health For All through Data for Health Equity

Downtown Campus
Diboll Auditorium

Featuring Dr. Naveen Rao, MD; FACP, Managing Director, Health & Senior Adviser to the President, Rockefeller Foundation

In recent years, countries have achieved important progress on health, but most are still far behind where they need to be. Half of all people go without access to basic health services, and efforts to improve health often focus narrowly on providing care, overlooking larger social factors. The Rockefeller Foundation believes this global health divide is exacerbated by a divide in data-informed decision making. The most vulnerable, resource-poor communities are simply not benefitting from advances in data science for health. This data equity gap will continue to widen unless we decide to close it. By collaborating across sectors, data’s full potential can be leveraged not only to improve health outcomes, but also to prevent disease, illness and pandemics before they occur.

The Rockefeller Foundation envisions a world where community health systems everywhere are equipped to apply data-driven decisions in order to deliverthe right health interventions to the right communities at the right time. We call this Precision Public Health. Achieving Precision Public Health will require multi-faceted data science innovations. Health data needs to be linked with other types of data – from socioeconomic conditions to climate patterns and beyond – that can help predict health needs. Using these data sets, health workers will be equipped with real time information about communities and their health to prioritize when and where they should focus their efforts.

Over the next decade, The Rockefeller Foundation will lead a global effort for Precision Public Health by convening the right global and country partners, catalyzing innovation, engaging the private sector and developing best practices.

Dr. Naveen Rao joined The Rockefeller Foundation in 2018 as Managing Director for Health. In this role, he advances innovative strategies with the goal of bending the curve on country achievement of health Sustainable Development Goals, starting with maternal and child mortality, and data driven community health.

School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine