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On Saturday, April 7, 2018, the Lawrence History Center hosted a one-day symposium, "The History & Future of Public Health in Lawrence, Massachusetts and Beyond," at the Everett Mill, 15 Union Street, Lawrence. The symposium was designed for exploration and dialogue, thinking broadly about public health issues through the perspectives of the humanities. The day-long effort looked back at one of the most significant health crises in the history of the United States - the 1918 Influenza Pandemic - and opening the door to considering contemporary health crises in the country and most particularly in greater Lawrence. The Lawrence History Center extends heartfelt thanks to all who played a role in developing our public health symposium -- from developing the CFP, to reviewing proposals, inviting speakers, to putting together the final program -- it was absolutely a collective effort. 

With 170 in attendance and engaging presentations throughout the day, we have much to be proud of! 

Thanks also to our keynote speaker, Dr. Howard K. Koh, our lunchtime presenters (students and the Mayor's Health Task Force of Lawrence and Lawrence Youth Council), to all of the presenters across 3 sessions and 9 presentations, to our gracious hosts -- the Everett Mills and the Point After Club, and to our generous supporters. Well done! 

Please click to view the Symposium Program Guide in PDF. 

Please click to view photographs (Photos by Yadira Betances Muldoon.). 

Please Click to view videos of the presentations (thanks to Lawrence Community Access TV). 

From our Keynote Speaker: 

My family and I had a wonderful time and we were so impressed by the planning and turnout for your great event. It was really wonderful and you should be very proud. Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH

Feedback from our post-event survey: 

"Dr. Koh, a polished speaker, surprised me with his wit, with his connections to Lawrence, and with his outstanding expertise and background in public health." 

"I thought it was an amazing community and intellectual event, bringing so many diverse presentations together so thoughtfully and with such care." 

"Having lived in Lawrence for 73 years it was just great to finally to hear positive things happening in the city. So much information was told in the various seminars, it was fantastic. I loved both the old and new happenings in Lawrence were expressed." 

"Superb job on the program guide. The events were easy to find, with the help of the map and student guides. Your cogent write-up of each session made it easy to decide which to attend; I wish I could have attended more." 

"The Symposium was well-organized; it covered many important topics; it was a collaborative effort; it, bringing attendees and presenters together from a wide range of disciplines." 

"The sessions offered were very informative and knowledgeable. I became aware of the resources, work to understand the landscape of Lawrence Community." 

"In particular, Dr. Koh's keynote was excellent and so was the presentation on midwifery. I also enjoyed listening to the children's poetry readings. It was also interesting talking to people sitting at my table during lunch." 

"A wonderful gathering of many organizations doing amazing work. 

Greatest take-aways from the day: 

"This was a wonderful coming together of the city. I thought it was fantastic to address public health issues in such a forum. We should do this every year!" 

"Dr. Koh's reading of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s quote that we are lucky to have grown up in the light of opportunity really stuck with me. I left wishing I could help bend that light back to those who haven't or aren't so lucky." 

"1. The extent of Lawrence's contributions to public health. 2. The horrifying size of the opiate epidemic. 3. I appreciate the efforts of the organizers to balance data with personal stories. 4. This symposium was of the highest caliber." 

"How exciting and rewarding that learning in a diverse group is; How collaborations such as the Lawrence Mayor's Health Task Force open my eyes to much of what the Merrimack Valley Valley has accomplished." 

"My greatest take away is that there are so many resources to study the local history." "Creating community connections, meeting new people from across a variety of fields." 

"I really enjoyed learning about how a variety of public health issues are being addressed from many disciplines and perspectives. I was so impressed with what each group is doing to address the issues, especially how the Mayor's Health Task Force is involved in each issue, working with various organizations in the community. I know Lawrence is often looked down upon by other communities, but I am proud to be involved in the innovative work going on here and even more impressed with what each key player in the community is doing to ensure every public health issue is being addressed."