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Where in health is disability? Public health practices to include people with disabilities

Syringe and solution This session of Grand Rounds explored opportunities for optimal quality of life for individuals with disabilities. One in 6 adult Americans lives with a disability when defined by a limitation in function. Many are at higher risk for multiple chronic conditions, injuries, and increased vulnerability during disasters. Comparatively, people with disabilities are 4 times more likely to report their health to be fair/poor and 2.5 times more likely to have unmet health care needs than non–disabled peers. $400 billion is spent annually on disability-related health expenditures. Public health can help change this by promoting wellness and preventing disease in people with disabilities. CDC′s approach for a population who experiences diverse functional limitations is to assure that mainstream public health surveys, programs, and policies include people with disabilities across the lifespan, a method that can be modeled by state and federal programs.

This powerful session of Grand Rounds explored public health opportunities for disease prevention, intervention and improvement to enable people to live well with functional limitations. We also highlighted accomplishments of partners and public health agencies in creating and modifying health programs to accommodate people with disabilities.


Presented By

Gloria Krahn, PhD, MPH
Director, Division of Human Development and Disability
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC
“Who are People with Disabilities?”

Monika Mitra, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Massachusetts Medical School
“Disparities in Health among People with Disabilities in Massachusetts”

Jennifer Hootman, PhD, ATC, FACSM, FNATA
Epidemiologist, Arthritis Program- Division of Population Health
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC
“Expanding Reach of Evidence-based Health Promotion Programs”

Catherine Leigh Graham, MEBME
Rehabilitation Engineer, School of Medicine Interagency Office of Disability & Health
University South Carolina School of Medicine
“Health and Wellness in People with Disabilities: Progress in South Carolina”

Georges Benjamin, MD, FACP, FNAPA, FACEP (E), Hon FRSPH
Executive Director
American Public Health Association
“Strengthening Accessibility in Public Health”

Facilitated By

Tanja Popovic, MD, PhD, Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds
John Iskander, MD, MPH, Deputy Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds
Susan Laird, MSN, RN, Communications Manager, Public Health Grand Rounds

Additional Resources

  • Page last reviewed: December 19, 2012
  • Page last updated: December 19, 2012
  • Content source:
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