The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences


Arvind Suresh '19 on Why Planetary Health Matters

Rockefeller Center Mini-Grant recipient, Arvind Suresh '19 was part of the planning committee for the 7th Annual Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) conference, which aims to look at the intersection of human rights with health issues each year. This year's theme was Planetary Health. The following is a recap of Arvind's experience at the conference.

In an era where humans are becoming increasingly interconnected to the environment, we must think more broadly about the implications of changes in the environment and how they impact our health and quality of life. This interdependence between humans, animals, and the environment has spurned a new field called Planetary Health, which was first defined by the Lancet in 2015 as “the achievement of the highest attainable standard of health, wellbeing, and equity worldwide through judicious attention to the human systems… that shape the future of humanity and the Earth’s natural systems.”

Notes From the Field: Brittany Cleary ’21

Brittany Cleary ’21 interned at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) during the 2018 Summer Term. The following if an excerpt from her internship report.


This summer, I interned at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE), an affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), is a nonprofit organization that provides vital reproductive health services to women (and men) regardless of their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, and background. Beyond providing healthcare to thousands of patients, PPSNE boasts the second most robust clinical research program among the PPFA affiliates. When companies pioneer new technology to improve medical diagnosis and treatment, they will commission PPSNE to recruit patients and collect samples for clinical research studies to prove to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) that their new innovations are valid and reliable.


Unhealthy Politics: The Battle over Evidence-Based Medicine

Eric Patashnik, the Julis-Rabinowitz Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Brown University, gave a riveting lecture on “Unhealthy Politics: The Battle over Evidence-Based Medicine,” on Thursday, April 19 at the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy.

Class of 1964 Policy Research Shop Goes International

Three veteran Policy Research Shop students—Morgan Sandhu ’17, Apoorva Dixit ’17, and Meghana Mishra ’17, along with Kristen Delwiche, a second year medical student at Geisel School of Medicine, participated in a five-month project that tested their policy research skills, project management skills, and teamwork skills in an international setting—Pristina, Kosovo.

In a joint effort between the Rockefeller Center and the Dickey Center for International Understanding, funded through the inaugural round of support provided by the Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) of the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL), the four students were engaged in an advanced policy research seminar offered through the Rockefeller Center’s Public Policy Minor during the spring term.

Leadership in Public Health

The Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Center, Sadhana Hall, sat down with a small group of students on Tuesday April 5, 2016 to share the lessons she has learned in her dynamic and multifaceted professional life. Starting off by asking students the definition of health as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), Sadhana explained how she got involved with public health as a career before joining the Rockefeller Center. The WHO definition of health since 1948 has been: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” [1]. Growing up in India, Sadhana had not contemplated a career in public health, which was not one of the three popular career choices – medicine (as in curative medicine), engineering, and computer science. However, it was Sadhana’s future husband Rick who inspired her to appreciate the value of preventative medicine, which addresses the full spectrum of health needs in accordance with the WHO definition of health. “My husband is adorable,” said Sadhana amiably as the students smiled back.

GlobeMed at Dartmouth's 4th Annual Benefit Dinner

Recently, the Rockefeller Center helped fund GlobeMed's 4th annual Benefit Dinner through one of its Mini-Grants. This was the most successful and well attended dinner yet, and it would not have been possible without the financial support of the Rockefeller Center. Hosting this dinner gave us to the opportunity to share our cause with the rest of our Dartmouth community. GlobeMed at Dartmouth is constantly working to understand the current political climate in Burma as well as to help our partner organization, Kachin Women’s Association Thailand, further their mission of improving health equity and access to basic health care for Kachin refugees during the ongoing Civil War. After developing such a close relationship with our partner, it meant the world to us to be able to share our passion with the rest of campus and raise awareness here in Hanover as well.

A Place for the Displaced: Finding Home & Health For Refugees

“A Place for the Displaced,” the fourth annual symposium put on by Geisel’s chapter of Physician for Human Rights, the Nathan Smith Society, and the Dartmouth Coalition for Global Health explored the issue of refugee health. The two-day event was a chance to foster discussion around the current Syrian refugee crisis and to shed light on the pockets of refugees living in communities near us such as Manchester, Concord and Burlington. The program followed the journey of migrants around the world; we began by examining of the global context of forced migration, then moved on to exploring refugee camps and refugees’ immediate health needs, and closed the day by looking at process of resettlement within the U.S.

Global Perspectives on HIV/AIDS

For the past several decades, HIV/AIDS has occupied a prominent space in our dialogues about public health. However, certain misconceptions have plagued these dialogues since the initial discovery of the disease, and continue to persist to these days. These misconceptions, including those regarding gender and sexuality, have significantly impacted public health policies attempting to respond to HIV/AIDS.

On January 19, 2016 the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center, along with the Hopkins Center Outreach and OPAL – Sexuality, Women and Gender Advising, welcomed Dada Masilo, a South African dancer and choreographer, and Dartmouth professors Lisa Adams, Abigail Neely, and Denise Anthony, to discuss the ways that gender and sexuality impact HIV/AIDS policy and healthcare delivery as part of Dartmouth’s annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.

CPD: Health Professions Opportunities, Needs & Diversity: A Conversation with Crystal Crawford '87

This is an opportunity from the Dartmouth Center for Professional Development.

Students Testify on POLST Forms Before New Hampshire House of Representatives Committee

On Thursday, April 10, 2014, three members of the Rockefeller Center’s Policy Research Shop traveled to Concord to testify before the New Hampshire House of Representatives Committee on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs. Joshua Schiefelbein ’14, Zach Markovich ’15 and Avery Feingold ’17 presented their policy brief, “POLST Registries: Supporting End of Life Decision Making,” in formal testimony before the committee. The PRS students followed the testimonies of nine other lobbyists and executive agency representatives. 


The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences