The Flint water crisis began in April 2014 after Flint, Michigan, changed its water source from Lake Huron and Detroit River water to Flint River water. Because the Flint River water pipes lacked the needed corrosion inhibitors, lead contaminated the city's drinking water and created a serious public health danger. More than 10,000 children may have been exposed to lead poisoning.
Dr. Nicole Lurie, a RAND alumna and former Pardee RAND professor, will discuss the Flint water crisis in her keynote speech for the 2016 Faculty Leaders Program in Policy Research and Analysis. Her talk will examine the underlying policy decisions that led to the water crisis, and a novel U.S. government policy approach to the response that emphasized a social determinants–oriented approach to addressing the problem. Her discussion will focus on challenges and opportunities to translate policy into actions that affect everyday citizens. Finally, she will discuss ways to prevent similar crises from occurring elsewhere.
Dr. Lurie is the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The ASPR serves as the Secretary's principal advisor on matters related to public health emergencies.