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The Public Policy Implications of Reducing Childhood Obesity
Meet our forum speakers:

Adele Kirk is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at UMBC. Dr. Kirk’s fields of interest include health economics, labor economics, and quantitative methods. Her areas of research include private health insurance markets, the relationship between socioeconomic status and health, and work disability.

Prof. Kirk has a Ph.D. in Health Services from UCLA and a Masters in Health Administration from the University of Ottawa, Ontario. Before coming to UMBC, she was an AcademyHealth/NCHS Health Policy Fellow at the National Center for Health Statistics. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked in the Office of Health Policy, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at HHS, and as a research associate at the Alpha Center, a health policy and research center.

David E. Frisvold is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Iowa. Overall, Professor Frisvold’s research agenda explores the role for government policies to enhance education and health outcomes, with an emphasis on policies targeted toward low-income children. More specifically, his research examines three interrelated themes: (1) understanding whether and how public investments in disadvantaged children improve health and education outcomes, (2) examining the influence of public policies on obesity, and (3) understanding the relationship between education and health. Within these areas, his current projects include examining the influence of the School Breakfast Program on nutrition, student achievement, and childhood obesity; examining the influence of changes in the federal reimbursement rate on the nutritional content of school meals; understanding the influence of soft drink taxes; and determining the impact of physical education and physical education policies on childhood obesity.

Prior to joining Iowa in 2013, Dr. Frisvold was a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Emory University. He received his B.S. in Mathematical Economics from Wake Forest University and his Ph.D. in Economics from Vanderbilt University.

Laura Herrera, MD, MPH, was appointed Deputy Secretary for Public Health for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on December 17, 2012. The Deputy Secretary for Public Health oversees Local Public Health, the Prevention and Health Promotion, Health Systems and Infrastructure, Vital Statistics, and Laboratories Administrations, along with the Department’s Offices of Preparedness and Response and the Chief Medical Examiner. Prior to her appointment as Deputy Secretary, Dr. Herrera was Chief Medical Officer. In this role, she assisted the Secretary of Health on the implementation of innovative health delivery reform structures in the MD health care system. She advised the Deputy Secretary for Health Care Financing on policies and strategies to monitor and improve the quality of care, preventive services, and health promotion activities at the Medicaid participating managed care organizations.

Dr. Herrera received her MD from SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn and her MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed her internship and residency in family medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center.  

Oxiris Barbot, MD, was appointed Commissioner of Health for Baltimore City on July 7, 2010. She leads an agency of 1,200 employees with a budget of $138 million. The Health Department is responsible for numerous areas of health policy and programs including control of infectious diseases, school health, emergency preparedness, maternal-child health, restaurant inspections, animal control, and chronic disease prevention. Dr. Barbot received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and holds a medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Dr. Barbot comes to the Health Department from the Office of School Health at the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Department of Education, having served as medical director there since 2003. During her tenure she implemented an electronic health record for the City’s 1.1 million public school students. In 2010, Dr. Barbot received the Hispanic Health Leadership Award from the National Hispanic Medical Association.

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