Improving population health, well-being, and equity in the United States requires evidence-based action that is informed by rigorous research conducted by scientists from multiple disciplines. Connecting interdisciplinary population health scientists, practitioners, policy makers and other population health stakeholders in the public and private sector is necessary to improve population health. Providing a shared professional space for these groups to exchange knowledge about population health problems, the multiple determinants of health and health disparities is imperative. These connections can advance population health research and generate innovations that foster a culture health in the United States.

In December of 2014, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provided funding to the Pennsylvania State University’s Population Research Institute and the University of Kansas’ Institute for Social and Policy Research so that Dr. Michelle Frisco and Dr. Dorothy Daley could develop three annual interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral population health conferences in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Dr. Daley and Dr. Frisco worked with talented members of three conference planning committees to shape these conferences so that they would become a unique professional space for interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral knowledge exchange and collaboration. This goal was aligned with the goals of a new scientific professional association, the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS). Frisco and Daley were two of the founding board members of this organization and Daley served as the first President of IAPHS. Thus, the meetings were also designed to be a catalyst for the development and growth of IAPHS into a membership organization that provided many benefits including annual conferences for interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral population health knowledge exchange. See the IAPHS website for more information about the organization and future conferences.

The first conference was convened in September 2015 at the National Academy of Sciences. The second meeting was convened in September 2016 at Pennsylvania State University. The third meeting was convened in October 2017 at the University of Texas. Each meeting was a tremendous success, attracting researchers from public health, epidemiology, sociology, demography, geography, economics, ecology, medicine, public policy, and many other areas of inquiry. Meeting participants also included a wide range of professionals whose knowledge and expertise is critical for solving population health problems such as local, state, and national policy makers, authors and journalists, and practitioners charged with implementing policies that influence population health in the U.S. The links below provide more information about each year’s meeting, including the meeting theme, the agenda, and speaker information.


Improving Population Health:
Now, Across People’s Lives,
and Across Generations to Come


Persistent and Emerging Issues in Population Health Science


Building Bridges to Improve
Population Health