Advancing Oral, Planetary Health Policy through School’s Center for Integrative Global Oral Health, Penn Climate Week
Philadelphia – Penn Dental Medicine’s Center for Integrative Global Oral Health (CIGOH) has established a new initiative to help advance oral and planetary health, appointing Dr. Julian Fisher as the inaugural Director of Oral and Planetary Health Policies. In this new role, a key aspect of his work is to support oral health in all policies approaches.
“Population oral health is not merely a product of health sector programs, but largely determined by policies that guide actions beyond the health sector,” notes Dr. Fisher.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Fisher share his wealth of experience in global oral health by leading this work within CIGOH,” says Dr. Michael Glick, Executive Director of CIGOH.
Dr. Fisher has been an Adjunct Professor for CIGOH since its launch in 2021 and he formerly served as a Researcher at the Planetary Health and Global Oral Health in the Department of Oral Diagnostics, Digital Health and Health Services Research at Charité-Universitätsmediz in Berlin, Germany. For the past several years, he has also been working with the World Health Organization (WHO) on a starter guide on integrating the social determinants of health into health workforce education, including oral health.
“One of the exciting things I saw about Penn Dental Medicine was the focus on caring for individuals with disabilities,” says Dr. Fisher. “Since for me that is very close to the social determinants and an ideal way to start implementing some of the theory and putting it into practice.”
One of the first projects Dr. Fisher is helping to organize in his new post with CIGOH is Penn Dental Medicine’s participation in Climate Week at Penn, taking place September 18-22. Dr. Fisher is part of the organizing team for a climate and health event featuring a discussion with leaders from Penn’s five health schools – Dental, Medicine, Vet, Nursing and Social Policy & Practice.
This event is designed to illustrate and inspire collaborative efforts by the health schools to address the critical challenges arising from the impact of climate change and the planetary crisis on health and health education. It will be held Tuesday, September 19 from noon to 1:30 p.m. on College Green and will be open to the Penn community.
“We hope this event can serve to initiate a process by which Penn’s health schools can collaborate on a charter that details their commitment to addressing the climate crisis,” says Dr. Fisher. “There is a robust connection between planetary health, oral health, and human health. With a transdisciplinary approach, there is lot of new territory to explore and a lot of new partnerships in which to engage.”