Dr. Leana Wen—emergency physician, former Baltimore health commissioner, CNN medical analyst, and Washington Post contributing columnist—has lived on the front lines of public health, leading the fight against the opioid epidemic, outbreaks of infectious disease, maternal and infant mortality, and COVID-19 disinformation. In her new book, “Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health,” Dr. Wen lays bare the lifesaving work of public health and its innovative approach to well-being, treating gun violence as a contagious disease, for example, and racism as a threat to health.
On Tuesday, October 12, Amy Liu, Brookings vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, hosted a conversation with Dr. Leana Wen. The conversation examined how essential public health was to her and her family’s well-being and how ubiquitous public health is to our everyday lives. Wen also explored the local dimensions of public health, including the role of racism in shaping a person’s future.