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Bernard Guyer, MD, Lecture Series

Special Public Health Grand Rounds:
13th Annual Bernard Guyer Lecture

lectureThe 13th annual Dr. Bernard Guyer Lecture took place on Friday, April 19 as a hybrid event. Keynote speaker Michelle A. Williams, ScD, Joan and Julius professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and visiting professor of Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University School of Medicine, presented "Bold Steps American Health Care Systems Must Take to Ensure an Equitable and Healthier Future."

It’s time to take bold steps to prevent diseases caused by poverty, inequality, racism, and loneliness - those upstream drivers of poor health. Despite spending $4 trillion a year on health, American health outcomes lag far behind our peers on critical metrics including avoidable deaths, obesity, and infant mortality. The problem isn’t how much we’re spending - the issue is how we are spending our money. In 2021, only 4.5% of our health care dollars were spent on the preventative measures associated with public health. That lopsided ratio has contributed to America’s worsening life expectancy – not just for people of color, but for all people.

williams, guyer and williamsWe have the knowledge and resources to create a stronger, healthier, and more equitable America.

Bernard Guyer, MD, for whom the lecture is named, was in attendance and introduced Dr. Williams. In person attendees enjoyed lunch at Evarts Lounge in Helen Wood Hall after the event. 

Stay tuned for a recording of the lecture and Q&A.


About Dr. Williams

Michelle WilliamsMichelle A. Williams, SM ’88, ScD ’91, is a renowned epidemiologist, an award-winning educator, and a widely recognized academic leader. She recently stepped down as dean of the faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health after seven years, and is currently spending a sabbatical year as a visiting professor at Stanford University. Following her sabbatical, she will return to the Harvard Chan School as the Joan and Julius Jacobson Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health. Prior to becoming dean, she was professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard Chan School and program leader of the Population Health and Health Disparities Research Programs at Harvard’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Center.

Dr. Williams previously had a distinguished career at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Her research places special emphasis in the areas of reproductive, perinatal, pediatric, and molecular epidemiology. Dr. Williams has published more than 520 scientific articles and was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2016. In 2020, she was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and recognized by PR Week as one of the top 50 health influencers of the year. Dr. Williams has an undergraduate degree in biology and genetics from Princeton University, a master’s in civil engineering from Tufts University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in epidemiology from the Harvard Chan School.

Questions? Email or call (585) 602-0801.

Acknowledgement: This lecture is endowed by Brewster C. Doust, MD, and is presented in partnership with the Center for Community Health & Prevention, UR Clinical & Translational Science Institute and the Departments of Medicine, Public Health Sciences and Pediatrics.

ACCREDITATION - The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The University of Rochester Center for Nursing Professional Development is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. This offering provides 1.0 nursing contact hours. An evaluation must be completed within 30 days and attendance is required for at least 90% of the activity.

University of Rochester Medical Center, Center for Experiential Learning is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0005. This activity is approved for 1.0 Social Work continuing education hour(s). Attendance at the entire program is required (no partial credit can be awarded).

Past Lectures

Dr. Moreland-Capuia is the founder and director of the Institute for Trauma-Informed Systems Change at McLean/Harvard, assistant professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and affiliate clinical associate professor of Psychiatry at OHSU School of Medicine. She is an expert in trauma-informed systems change and has trained over 250 unique systems spanning not-for-profit organizations, education, criminal justice, healthcare, and government(s) (state, federal and international) in trauma-informed practices, approaches and systems change. 

Watch her presentation: "Building Trauma-Informed Organizations and People: Why Healing Must Be the Way Forward

Dr. Wintemute is a distinguished professor of Emergency Medicine and Baker–Teret Chair in Violence Prevention at the University of California, Davis, where he directs the Violence Prevention Research Program and the California Firearm Violence Research Center, the nation’s first publicly-funded center for research in this field. He practices and teaches emergency medicine at UC Davis Medical Center. Wintemute trained as a physician at UC Davis and studied epidemiology and injury prevention at Johns Hopkins University.

Watch his presentation: "Firearm Violence: Where We Stand, What We Can Do"

Dr. Zuger is an infectious disease expert and retired associate clinical professor of Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She was also a senior attending physician at Mount Sinai West and Mount Sinai Morningside Hospitals. Zuger has been a medical columnist and journalist for the New York Times and writer for the New England Journal of Medicine Journal Watch's Infectious Disease and General Medicine specialties.

Watch her presentation "Public Health at the Bathroom Sink: Home Testing for Contagious Disease."

Dr. Sawhill is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, working in the Center on Children and Families and on the Future of the Middle Class Initiative. Dr. Sawhill’s research spans a wide array of economic and social issues, including unplanned pregnancy, fiscal policy, economic growth, poverty, social mobility and inequality. Dr. Sawhill authored Generation Unbound: Drifting into Sex and Parenting without Marriage. Her latest book is The Forgotten Americans: An Economic Agenda for a Divided Nation, published by Yale University Press in 2018. A video recording of Dr. Sawhill's presentation "Unplanned Pregnancy and It's Impact on Poverty" is available.

Dr. LaForce served as the Physician-in-Chief at The Genesee Hospital in Rochester from 1987 to 1999. Following his time in Rochester, Dr. LaForce oversaw all aspects of the USAID-funded Child Survival Project. From 2001-2012, he directed the Meningitis Vaccine Project, a partnership between the World Health Organization and PATH that developed, tested, licensed, and in 2010, introduced a new and affordable Group A meningococcal conjugate vaccine in Sub-Saharan Africa. This vaccine has eliminated Group A meningococcal infections wherever it has been introduced and as of December 2017, over 280 million Africans have received the vaccine. A video recording of Dr. LeForce's lecture "A Vaccine Meets a Strategy: Eliminating Epidemic Meningitis from Sub-Saharan Africa" is available, as well as her 2018 slide presentation

Dr. Peipert is the Clarence E. Ehrlich Professor and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Indiana University School of Medicine. He was the Principal Investigator of a large prospective study, the Contraceptive CHOICE Project, which recruited 9,256 women and successfully followed them for 2-3 years for contraceptive effectiveness, satisfaction, and continuation rates. Other studies conducted by Dr. Peipert include: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development-funded randomized trial of a computer-based intervention to encourage dual method contraceptive use to prevent unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and a randomized trial of therapy for pelvic inflammatory disease (PEACH Study). Dr. Peipert’s research interests are family planning, sexually transmitted infection prevention, and public health. Watch the recording of Dr. Peipert's talk, "The Importance of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception."

Dr. Schuchat has been Principal Deputy Director for CDC since September 2015. Globally, Dr. Schuchat has worked in West Africa on meningitis, pneumonia, and Ebola vaccine trials, in South Africa on surveillance and prevention projects, and in China on Beijing’s SARS emergency response. She has authored or co-authored more than 230 scientific articles, book chapters, and reviews. In her talk, "Public Health Metamorphosis: On The Road To Butterfly" Dr. Schuchat looked backward to review how public health and CDC have grappled with issues ranging from pandemic threats to prevention policies. She then looked ahead to consider how to more fully realize our full potential. A video recording of Dr. Schuchat's talk is now available, as well as her 2016 slide presentation.

Dr. Iton is Senior Vice President of Healthy Communities at The California Endowment, the state’s largest, private health foundation.  His primary focus is on the foundation’s 10-year Building Healthy Communities: California Living 2.0 initiative; the goal of which is to create communities where children are healthy, safe and ready to learn. Published in numerous public health and medical publications, Iton is a regular public health lecturer and keynote speaker at conferences across the nation. He earned his B.S. in Neurophysiology, with honors, from McGill University, his J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. A video recording of this lecture is now available, as well as the 2015 slide presentation.

A social epidemiologist and researcher who has been working with inner city communities for over 20 years, conducting research on the social determinants of health. A video recording of the lecture is available to view: Tackling Worldwide Health Inequities: Is the Evidence Failing Us?


Dr. Bernard Guyer

Bernard Guyer, M.D., M.P.H.

Bernard Guyer, MD, MPH, now retired, was the Zanvyl Krieger Professor of Children’s Health Emeritus in the Department of Population, Reproductive and Family Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. A physician trained in both preventive medicine and pediatrics, Dr. Guyer served for seven years as director of the state Maternal and Child Health program in Massachusetts, and for five years as a CDC medical epidemiologist with national and international service. He has chaired or been a member of both state and national committees on childhood injury prevention, outreach for prenatal care, infant mortality, and Medicaid.

This lecture is endowed by Brewster C. Doust, M.D., a University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry graduate, in honor of Dr. Guyer’s significant contributions to research in understanding the early origins of disease processes and the life course consequences. It is presented in partnership with the URMC Center for Community Health & Prevention and the Departments of Medicine, Public Health Sciences, and Pediatrics.

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