Public Health Leaders Address Global Challenges at Milken Institute Summit; Zika Virus Emergency Among Many Issues at Two-Day Event

WASHINGTON, LOS ANGELES (February 17, 2016) — The sudden appearance of the Zika virus—and the need for effective action to halt its spread—underlines the fact that public health issues often represent the most important threats to the welfare of the world. On March 1-2, in Washington, D.C., the Milken Institute will hold its first-ever Public Health Summit, convening leaders from a broad range of disciplines to work toward solutions to some of the most pressing global challenges. The overarching goal of the two-day event is to advance public health efforts worldwide by fostering greater consensus among public and private institutions so they can deploy their resources more effectively.

“Our Public Health Summit continues work that the Milken Institute has done for decades on the impact of advances in medical research and public health, both to improve lives and foster prosperity,” says Institute CEO Michael Klowden. “Our focus on public health is driven by the fact that the U.S. spends roughly 90 cents of every health dollar on treatment, and only a dime on prevention and research. While discovering cures is a major scientific achievement, it’s even more effective to prevent disease in the first place.”

Joining the Summit will be senior leaders from industry, government, NGOs, foundations, schools of public health, research centers, and philanthropy. Among others, they include:

  • Richard Besser, Chief Health & Medical Editor, ABC News
  • Muriel Bowser, Mayor, Washington, D.C.
  • Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association
  • Barbara Bush, CEO and co-founder, Global Health Corps
  • Atul Butte, Director, Institute of Computational Health Sciences, and Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco
  • Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health
  • Thomas Frieden, Director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Lynn Goldman, Dean, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University
  • Joseph Jimenez, CEO, Novartis
  • Freda Lewis-Hall, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer Inc.
  • Michael Milken, Chairman, Milken Institute
  • Kyu Rhee, Chief Health Officer, IBM Corp.

More than 20 panels will explore such topics as prevention and wellness, the economic implications of public health, infectious disease, technology and innovation in public health, chronic diseases, and hypertension. CDC Director Tom Frieden will provide an update on the Zika virus emergency during the lunch session on March 2nd.

At the Summit, panel sessions will cover topics illuminated in these Milken Institute research reports, to be issued in conjunction with the Summit:

  • Health and the Gender Gap
  • Weighing Solutions to Obesity
  • The Price Women Pay for Dementia
  • Lessons of the Millennium Development Goals

The Milken Institute Public Health Summit is open to media on March 2; press must register in advance to attend. To request media credentials to cover the Public Health Summit, contact Jeff Monford, Milken Institute Associate Director of Communications, at

For information about the Summit, including speakers and panels, go to

All panels will be tweeted live. Follow the conversation at #MIPHS.

About the Milken Institute
The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health. It conducts data-driven research, convenes action-oriented meetings and promotes meaningful policy initiatives.

About Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University:
Established in July 1997 as the School of Public Health and Health Services, Milken Institute School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the nation’s capital. Today, more than 1,900 students from 54 U.S. states and territories and more than 50 countries pursue undergraduate, graduate and doctoral-level degrees in public health. The school also offers an online Master of Public Health, MPH@GW, and an online Executive Master of Health Administration, MHA@GW, which allow students to pursue their degree from anywhere in the world.