Frenk to deliver keynote on global health goals after COVID-19

University of Miami President Julio Frenk.
By Janette Neuwahl Tannen

University of Miami President Julio Frenk.

Frenk to deliver keynote on global health goals after COVID-19

By Janette Neuwahl Tannen
At a large gathering of cancer experts this weekend, University of Miami President Julio Frenk will speak to health care providers about how the world can create a brighter future after the pandemic.

University of Miami President Julio Frenk, a physician and global public health expert, will deliver a keynote address at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) annual meeting this weekend.

To keep its thousands of participants safely distanced during the pandemic—namely, physicians and health care professionals who treat cancer patients—this year’s conference is being held virtually. Frenk, who will make his remarks Saturday, will be joined by several faculty members from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Miller School of Medicine who are presenting their research during the four-day conference—“Equity: Every patient. Every day. Everywhere.”

Frenk rose through the ranks of academia to become the minister of health in his native Mexico from 2000 to 2006, where he worked tirelessly to implement a comprehensive universal health care program called Seguro Popular. He was also a senior advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and worked at the World Health Organization (WHO) before becoming dean of Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2009, where he served before he joined the University.

During his remarks, Frenk will touch upon how crucial cancer care is today, underscored by his own experience with his wife’s breast cancer diagnosis in 2007. He will also explain how the COVID-19 pandemic has likely hindered cancer diagnosis and treatment across the world, resulting in spillover casualties from the gap in routine health care.

In addition, Frenk will also outline his hope for the future of health carethat health authorities from across the globe will collaborate frequently, so that they are better equipped for the next epidemic. Frenk also will voice his wishes for the creation of a global network of health care centers to collect and share data on novel diseases, as well as funding for new global technological platforms where scientists can rapidly produce diagnostic tests, medicines, and vaccines, if and when a new pathogen emerges. And the University’s president will also share the idea of creating a new social compact to govern global health care, such as the WHO’s proposal to craft an international treaty on pandemic preparedness.

Register for the ASCO conference.