Do Hard Things!

Arthur Kleinman wrote, “We tend to think of dangers and uncertainties as anomalies in the continuum of life, or irruptions of unpredictable forces into a largely predictable world. I suggest the contrary: that dangers and uncertainties are an inescapable dimension of life… they make life matter. They define what it means to be human.”  

Today’s constant onslaught of bad news, fake news, and misinformation can leave us feeling frustrated on the best of days, and utterly demoralized on our worst days. It is entirely too easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless, and we must choose to look beyond ourselves.    

Comic book great, Stan Lee, famously wrote the lines in Spiderman: “With great gifts come great responsibility”.  During this talk, Dr. Gaines will address both the unique tools we have, as well as the unique responsibilities we have, to better the world for ourselves and others.

Joanna Gaines (PhD, MPH) completed her undergraduate training at Princeton University where she studied anthropology, before receiving her MA and PhD in Developmental Psychology and MPH in Health Behaviors from The University of Alabama at Birmingham.  She currently serves as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Liaison to the Department of Defense.  Her areas of interest include health behaviors, infectious disease, medical tourism, water, sanitation and hygiene, mass gatherings medicine, and military medicine.  Dr. Gaines has experience working in multiple emergency response settings, including the Haiti cholera outbreak, Dadaab refugee camp, HHS’s 2014 unaccompanied children response, the 2014 West Africa Ebola response, the 2017 Zika outbreak, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as working multiple nationwide disease outbreaks in the US.

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