To be held Sept. 5 at noon

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Chris Hamby, the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner for Investigative Reporting, will be among the panelists for the first in a series of Public Health Dialogues to be hosted monthly by the West Virginia University School of Public Health.

Hamby, Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H., and Ted Boettner will address “Black Lung and Chemical Spills: 100 Years of Poor Health in West Virginia” from noon to 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5 in Room 1905 of the WVU Health Sciences Center.

The event is free and open to the public.

Hamby is an investigative reporter at BuzzFeed, which he joined this year after four years at The Center for Public Integrity. His recent series Breathless and Burdened, describing how the coal industry beat back miners' claims for black lung health benefits, was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

Dr. Woolf is the director of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Center on Society and Health and professor of family medicine and population health at VCU. In recent years, his work has turned to social determinants of health. Woolf has conducted studies demonstrating that addressing poverty, education, and the causes of disparities could accomplish far more to improve the health of Americans than investing predominately in medical technological advances. In addition to scientific publications, he has tried to bring this message to policymakers and to the public through testimony in Congress, editorials in major newspapers, web-based tools, and speeches.  

Boettner, co-founding executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, brings a wealth of experience and understanding of state fiscal issues. In addition to running the Center, he is the author of numerous reports on state tax and budget issues, economic development, and family economic security, including the annual “State of Working West Virginia.” He frequently presents analyses of policy proposals to the West Virginia Legislature and testifies before committees.

Future topics for the Public Health Dialogues include “The State of Health in West Virginia” on Oct. 3; “The Social Determinants of Health: It’s Time to Consider the Causes of the Causes” on Nov. 7; and “A Comprehensive, Community-Based Opiod Overdose Program” on Dec. 5.

To register for any of the SPH Dialogues, please e-mail

For more information: Angela Jones-Knopf, News Service Coordinator, 304-293-7087
ajk: 09-02-14