Glynis Board Published

"100 Years of Poor Health" Kicks Off W.Va. Public Health Dialogue

Black lung is a deadly disease caused by exposure to dust underground.

West Virginia University’s School of Public Health is kicking off a series of monthly Public Health Dialogues this week. The first in the series is titled “Black Lung and Chemical Spills: 100 years of Poor Health in West Virginia.”

Award-winning journalist Chris Hamby, policy think-tank director Ted Boettner, and public health researcher Dr. Stephen Woolf will be panelists discussing recent insights into West Virginia’s health disparities and economic challenges. The talk is free and open to the public. It begins at noon on Friday, 9/5, at the WVU Health Sciences Center in Morgantown.


  • Chris Hamby is an investigative reporter for the website Buzzfeed. His series “Breathless and Burdened”–about Black Lung– won him the 2014 Pulitzer Prize.
  • Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H. is the director of the  Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health. His studies focus on how addressing poverty can have a larger impact on the overall health of Americans than investiments in medical technology.
  • Ted Boettner is the director of policy think tank The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy which studies state budget and tax issues, economic development, and family economic security.

Future topics for the Public Health Dialogues hosted by WVU include “The State of Health in West Virginia” on Oct. 3; “The Social Determinants of Health” on Nov. 7; and “A Comprehensive, Community-Based Opiod Overdose Program” on Dec. 5.