Great Decisions lecture to highlight ‘Pandemic Preparedness’


Friday’s Great Decisions lecture will explore “Pandemic Preparedness” with a presentation from Gillian Ice, Ph.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., interim associate provost of global affairs and professor of social medicine at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented global, national, and local challenges that touched on all aspects of our lives in addition to the obvious and tragic loss of far too many lives. Looking back now on the pandemic, there are many lessons to take away in terms of domestic and international policies. Although this pandemic seems to have waned, how can we apply these lessons to future pandemics? Will countries cooperate, and will a consensus emerge on how to manage global health challenges?

For the United States and our individual state and local governments, the pandemic aftermath also has set in motion a series of future decisions that we must take to best prepare for the inevitable “next pandemic.” How will we best balance the need for global coordination and our national sovereignty? To what extent should our national, state, and local government dedicate financial and material resources to proactive research and future pandemic mitigation strategies? The answers to these and many other questions will have a significant effect on how ready we are to deal with the next pandemic whether it be next year or far into the future.

Ice is a globally recognized scholar researching the impact of the HIV epidemic on older adults in Africa. Her scholarship has bridged the divide between biology and sociology with studies into how senior members of communities in Kenya and Botswana have taken on caregiver roles to children whose parents have died from HIV to better understand these senior caregivers’ stress levels, mental and physical health, diet, and nutrition.

Ice currently is collaborating with the Baylor Botswana Center for Excellence, the National AIDS Coordinating Agency, and the Botswana Ministry of Health on research training and nurse training programs. At Ohio University, she also unites researchers, educators, practitioners, and students in projects to improve the quality of life for older adults through the Ohio University Collaborative on Aging.

The lecture will take place from noon to 1 p.m. at the William Street United Methodist Church at 28 W. William St., Delaware. Those attending are welcome to bring a brown bag lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided.

The presentation will also be broadcast over Zoom at

For more information, visit

The Great Decisions program is a series of free, public lectures from central Ohio foreign policy experts who explore pressing international topics of the day. Sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association, Great Decisions provides a series of eight published essays around which our local presenters base their discussions each week. The presentations include audience question-and-answer periods to engage in thoughtful discussion.

Submitted by Erinn Nicley.

No posts to display