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2019 Great Decisions series at COW addresses global health

Submitted by Kris Boone,

The College of Wooster's annual Great Decisions series in on the topic of global health, a topic of interest to many on our campus.

Tuesday, Feb. 5:  documentary film: “The Unseen Enemy”

The 2019 series begins with the screening of “The Unseen Enemy,” a documentary directed and written by Janet Tobias that explores the global, political, economic, and public health conditions that may contribute to the next global pandemic. “The Unseen Enemy” takes a deep dive, through the eyes of doctors, disease detectives, and everyday men and women, as to why in the 21st century the world is experiencing a rash of diseases that were once only outbreaks but have now become full-blown epidemics.


Thursday, Feb. 7: “Before they Strike: Viral Forecasting for Pandemic Prevention”

Nathan Wolfe will present “Before They Strike: Viral Forecasting for Pandemic Prevention.” Wolfe is the founder and CEO of Metabiota, a pioneering risk analytics company that improves the world’s resilience to epidemics, and also the founder of Global Viral, an independent non-profit research organization that focuses on innovative research in ecology, biodiversity and public health.  Wolfe formerly held the Lorry I. Lokey Business Wire Consulting Professorship in Human Biology at Stanford University. Named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2011, and a National Geographic “Emerging Explorer” in 2010, he has traveled the world conducting biomedical research with hopes of tracking, studying, and eradicating the next pandemic before it strikes. 


Tuesday, Feb. 19: “The Opioid Crisis: Economic, Legal, and Clinical Perspectives”

A distinguished panel of three experts will discuss “The Opioid Crisis: Economic, Legal, and Clinical Perspectives.” Sanho Tree is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and has been director of its drug policy project since 1998; he has worked to reform both international and domestic drug policies, and to end the damage caused by the drug wars in Colombia, Bolivia, Mexico, Afghanistan, and the Philippines.  The Honorable Thomas Teodosio is a judge on the Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals who has presided over Summit county’s award-winning alternative drug court program known as “The Turning Point.” Dr. Nicole Labor is a board-certified addiction physician, and the associate medical director of addiction medicine for Summa Health in Akron, as well as medical director of OneEighty in Wooster. Together they will discuss the numerous issues surrounding the growing abuse of opioids.


Tuesday, Feb. 26: “Complexities of Conducting International Clinical Research”

Dr. Diane Jorkasky (Wooster class of ’73), an expert on drug development and international medicine, will deliver “The Complexities of Conducting International Clinical Research.” As part of the esteemed Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program, Jorkasky returns to campus where she’ll offer her expertise as a medical scientist and researcher in the pharmaceutical industry. The 2016 Winner of the University of Pennsylvania’s “Women in Medicine” award, she is currently president of her own research and development consulting business, which emphasizes translational pharmacology.  As vice president of the global clinical research operations group at Pfizer, Inc., she oversaw research groups in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and the research units under Dr. Jorkasky’s supervision were the first in the pharmaceutical industry to be awarded certification by the American Accreditation for Human Rights Protection.