UM Public Health Leader Emphasizes Importance of Prevention Strategies

Primary prevention strategies are crucial in addressing the nation’s persistent medical challenges, according to Guillermo “Willy” Prado, Ph.D., dean of the University of Miami Graduate School, Leonard M. Miller Professor of Public Health Sciences, and director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health at the Miller School of Medicine.

Guillermo “Willy” Prado, Ph.D., fourth from left, discussing prevention strategies.

“We need to build community partnerships for intervention programs in order to get buy-in from different stakeholders,” said Dr. Prado, who was a featured panelist at the 2018 National Health Research Forum, “Straight Talk: New Thinking on Persistent Challenges.” He added, “It’s important to have the champions in the community — otherwise, we’re not going to be able to implement programs successfully.”

Dr. Prado was invited to speak at the forum, which was held in conjunction with Research!America’s annual Thought Leaders Assembly on September 6 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Other panelists included directors of the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“My panel focused on public health challenges, such as the opioid crisis and the growing incidence of sexually transmitted diseases,” said Dr. Prado. “While other speakers focused on treatment strategies, I talked about the importance of funding evidence-based prevention programs. The Food and Drug Administration does a great job of evaluating pharmaceuticals and medical devices, but some prevention programs are implemented in schools or community settings without evidence to support their effectiveness.”

About 200 health care professionals attended the National Health Research Forum, which was live-streamed around the country.