Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) and Portland State University (PSU) School of Public Health

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Young black man in glasses sits looking at the camera.
3
Nov

Dr. Ryan Petteway featured in new documentary “Power & Health”

This year two simultaneous public health crises – COVID-19 and racism – have highlighted the need to view every aspect of public health through an equity lens. Our health isn’t solely determined by medicine, doctors, and genetics. Instead, sociological, economic, and racial conditions have a greater impact on our wellbeing. What inevitably shapes these conditions is Power.

A riveting new public television documentary, “Power & Health”, examines the role of power in our society and how it can be reshaped through community, belonging, and inclusion in order to reshape our health.

Produced by KCET and The Public Media Group of Southern California (PMGSC), the one-hour documentary brings together some of today’s most innovative thinkers, economists, sociologists, epidemiologists, and community members, including SPH’s own Dr. Ryan Petteway, as well as Dr. Camara Jones, Eric Liu, and Dr. Manuel Pastor, to dive into the power structures throughout history and today that have shaped our health.

“Power and Health” examines the underlying sociological and economic forces that determine our health and how those forces are shaped by power. Our health goes beyond eating well, exercising, doctors, and good genes. Research has shown that where you live, where you work, your economic status, and the race the world around you has assigned to you have the greatest impact on your wellbeing.

At the heart of these conditions is power. Power is understood as the ability to achieve a purpose and create change. Power may come in a variety of forms, but ultimately it shapes how society functions and who gets to shape the world around us.

The documentary is available to view online at KCET.org.