Chris Palmedo, a communications director for both nonprofit and for-profit health organizations for more than 20 years, is leaving Portland to join the CUNY School of Public Health as associate professor of media, marketing and communications. He will have strategic communications responsibilities for the School and will teach courses on communications and public health.
“While uneasy about leaving idyllic Portland, I’m thrilled to join CUNY at a very exciting time,” he says, directing particular enthusiasm toward a new initiative called “Healthy CUNY,” (link ? http://www.cuny.edu/about/resources/healthycuny.html ) a massive campaign run by students, faculty and staff to make CUNY the healthiest urban university in the United States. Healthy CUNY seeks to create environments and policies that make healthy choices easier for students and looks for ways to reduce socioeconomic, racial and other inequalities for students and their families.
Palmedo says that, during the interview process, he discussed much of the work occurring in Portland to bring racial and ethnic disparities into focus and to frame health as a community issue affected by our social environments. “It’s become clear to me that many communities have yet to commit to addressing health in these terms,” he says.
Palmedo received his PhD in public policy from Portland State’s Urban and Public Affairs this year, and recently served as director of pubic affairs at Northwest Health Foundation, where he says he learned a great deal from the foundation’s various government and community partners. “The public health community in Portland is of a size, and of a culture, that dialogue ferments and grows – it doesn’t dissipate,” he observes.
“To me, Portland, and Oregon, both seem to benefit from a strong public health community among city, county and state governments, along with dynamic nonprofits that advocate for better health for everyone living here.”
“David Bragdon recently suggested that New York seeks to make the city ‘greater,’ while Portland is more concerned with maintaining quality of life,” Palmedo says. “I look forward to infusing both perspectives into my new role. The CUNY School of Public Health has a close relationship with the City of New York and is interested in helping New York become safer and healthier for everyone who lives there.”
“Progress and prosperity are values held by all those new Americans who entered this country through New York and elsewhere,” he says, “and I can’t imagine a better time and place for me to participate in the current movement to help fulfill the American promise of health, equity, and prosperity for all.”