Lunch and Learn, public health, power, leverage, advocacy

LLP314: Levering the Power of Public Health & Advocacy with Leela Ramachandran

So let's talk about levering the power of public health…

How important are civic engagement and politics in elevating the power and practice of public health?

It’s still sad how it took us a pandemic for people to recognize that we really should be thinking about the importance of public health. That COVID-19 pandemic—that is what happens when we don’t have a great structure, especially on a national level.

We should be taking action hand-in-hand, for as today’s guest said, public health is ingrained in all that we do in life. Unfortunately, here we are, forgetting its importance as soon as things got “well” with us.

But we don’t want that to go on, that’s why I invited Leela Ramachandran. She is a Research Associate for the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts and an Elected School Committee Member at Acton Boxborough Regional School District. Through experiences in research and projects, she realized her passion for dismantling systems of oppression, centering historically marginalized populations, and decolonizing the field of public health.

Join us as we learn how we can take part in this initiative and hopefully create a better version of both the world and ourselves.

Why you need to check this episode:

  • Recognize how important the role of civic engagement and politics are in relation to public health;
  • Understand the power of your network/s in helping activate people’s eagerness to take action for a better world; and
  • Gain insights from Leela’s experiences and tips on how you can take part in putting the power of public health & advocacy into mainstream

“It’s important to find the ways that you can contribute. There are plenty of ways to do things; you just have to want to do it and find the thing that works for you.”– Leela Ramachandran

Notable Quotes:

“I don’t think I’d be the physician that I am today without my public health degree.” – Dr. Berry Pierre

“All this is public health, and that’s why I love public health so much. It’s so ingrained in every profession; everything that we do in our lives is somehow related to public health… I just think public health is one of the most important things that you could do. And it’s not just like a job; for me, it’s perspective.” – Leela Ramachandran

“We’re important when we matter when it’s a national crisis—international, actually—and then all of a sudden, it’s kind of forgotten about even though the public health duties do not end.” – Leela Ramachandran

“In this beautiful, capitalist country that we live in, money talks and money does things, and money allows you and affords you the opportunity to implement really good public health programs; lack thereof can be detrimental. And so, oftentimes, public health depends on policy, funding, our work.” – Leela Ramachandran

“I am not the world’s best expert at international policies and politics, but other people are… I think it’s just doing what you can in circles of influence. I can’t get the whole town to care, but if I can get five of my friends to care like each one teaches one, then they can go get their friends to come on. It’s really about who’s in your network, who can you pull into this, and who they’re affecting.” – Leela Ramachandran

“In a world that really overwhelms you, you have to pick something and just go for it. And if not’s working, that’s fine; it doesn’t have to be perfect on the first run.” – Leela Ramachandran

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