Jay D. Kravitz
During his 22-year professorial tenure as a practitioner and advocate for global health education, Dr. Kravitz sought to teach about the interdependence of public health and medical practice in more austere global settings. He also served as a county Public Health Officer for 11 years in the state of Oregon, USA.
His overriding philosophy emphasizes major influences that affect health – and the origins of many diseases: integrating the multiple “environments” in which we live. In stressed or impoverished settings the means to sustain health may be severely limited. Solutions may not have a medical model; but rather based on social determinants of health, including equitable access to culturally responsive health care and quality education.
He earned degrees in economics and medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans and then attended The London School of Economics and Political Science. Early in his career, as an emergency physician, he worked in refugee camps along the Thai-Cambodian border in 1979-80 during the Khmer Rouge period; in displaced persons centers during the 1985 Ethiopian famine; and conducted a needs assessment in the aftermath of the catastrophic 1985 Mexico City earthquake.
These experiences inspired Dr. Kravitz to change careers because while he understood the challenges of acute care medicine, he desired to comprehend and integrate the bigger picture, clinical medicine being only part of the story. With Public Health his calling, he earned a Masters of Public Health (MPH) at the University of Washington, while conducting health services research in Zimbabwe. He was also co-investigator of a comprehensive, environmental and health research project in Lesotho in the early 1990s.
His curiosity regarding self-sufficiency mechanisms led him to design and build homes, both on and off the grid, gaining insight about environmental systems that might be beneficial overseas.
And he believes that everyone should ride a bicycle! 🙂