Gallagher Lecture & Plenaries

General Session Schedule and Descriptions:

The 2015 Gallagher Lecture

Wednesday, March 18          12:45 - 2:00 p.m.

Becoming Adult: Lessons on Transitions, Difference, and Inequality

Description: The task of “embracing transitions” is perhaps nowhere more important or more challenging than in the period from adolescence to early adulthood. The process of becoming adult has seen rapid and dramatic change in recent years. How can health promotion efforts be better informed by what science tells us about successful transitions into adulthood today? Dr. Settersten will highlight what the adolescent health community needs to know about (1) how transitions to adulthood have changed, (2) how young people build identities as “adults,” (3) what skills and resources youth need if they are to make successful transitions, and (4) the sources and consequences of inequality in early adulthood.

Educational Objectives:
  1. Learn how and why transitions and well-being in early adulthood have changed in recent decades
  2. Discover how the process of becoming “adult” is personally experienced
  3. Discuss primary sources and consequences of difference and inequality among young people
  4. Learn key skills and resources associated with successful transitions
Richard Settersten, PhD, is Hallie Ford Endowed Chair and professor of Human Development and Family Sciences, and director of the Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families, at Oregon State University. He is also a member of the MacArthur Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood. He is author or editor of many scientific articles and several books, including Not Quite Adults: Why 20-Somethings Are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood and Why It's Good for Everyone; Handbook of Sociology of Aging; and On the Frontier of Adulthood. Besides MacArthur, his research has been supported by divisions of the National Institutes of Health.

His research interests include the life course, youth and the transition to adulthood, aging, fatherhood, and social policy.

The 2015 Gallagher Lecture is supported by

Thursday, March 19          10:30 - 11:30 a.m.


Plenary Session I: Adolescents and the Global Health Transition
George Patton, MD; Russell Viner, MD, PhD, Susan Sawyer, MD, FSAHM, John Santelli, MD, MPH, FSAHM

Description: After decades of neglect, adolescent health has emerged as a more pressing agenda in international development. Sexual and reproductive health has until recently been the major focus in a global context, with both HIV and maternal mortality the main targets.  Yet increasingly there is recognition that adolescents are central to every major challenge in global health. Most mental disorders begin before 25 years of age. Risks for cancer and cardiovascular disease in later life commonly start in adolescence (eg tobacco and alcohol use), or intensify during these years (eg, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, and poor diet). Injuries rise sharply during the teenage years and account for a higher proportion of deaths in adolescents than in any other age group.

Despite major technical advances and improvements in supply chains in areas like family planning and treatment of HIV, adolescents have failed to see the gains we might have expected from a narrow focus on these areas. One reason lies in a need to tackle the rapidly shifting social determinants of adolescent health.  Another is a recognition that areas of current focus such as sexual and reproductive health, are intimately linked to other health problems including mental health, violence, and substance abuse.  In moving to effective action there is a need for more integrated approaches.

For this reason, The Lancet has partnered with a range of academic institutions (University of Melbourne, University College London, London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Washington and Columbia University) to establish a Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing. The Commission consists of 27 members from 14 countries, spanning Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America, the Middle East, and South America. It brings together disciplines including public health, education, medicine, economics, political and social science, behavioral science, and neuroscience together with young people to consider strategies to advance adolescent health.  This session draws on some of the Commission’s work with presentations from three of the Commissioners who are leading specific areas.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe current global patterns of health and disease and how they differ across the global sub-regions.
  2. Appreciate the role of sound health data for policy and programming in global adolescent health including the currently available sources of information on adolescent health.
  3. Relate the role of protective systems, to the promotion of adolescent health across the world.
  4. Identify opportunities for the development of more coordinated health responses that are matched to the needs of adolescents in a country or region.

Friday, March 20          3:00-4:00 p.m.


Plenary Session II: The Health, Well-Being and Safety of Young Adults: Highlights from the Institute of Medicine's 2014 Report Including the Perspectives of Young Adults
Charles E. Irwin, Jr., MD, FSAHM; Leslie R. Walker, MD, FSAHM; Mary Ann Davis, PhD

Description: Young adults are at a significant and pivotal time of life. They may seek higher education, launch their work lives, develop personal relationships and healthy habits, and pursue other endeavors that help set them on healthy and productive pathways. However, the transition to adulthood also can be a time of increased vulnerability and risk. Young adults may be unemployed and homeless, lack access to health care, suffer from behavioral health issues or other chronic health conditions, or engage in binge drinking, illicit drug use, or driving under the influence. Young adults are moving out of the services and systems that supported them as children and adolescents, but adult services and systems—for example, the adult health care system, the labor market, and the justice system—may not be well suited to supporting their needs.

This plenary focuses on the October 2014 Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council report on the health and well-being of young adults. The report reviews and summarizes what is known about the health, safety, and well-being of young adults and offers recommendations for policy and research. It was prepared by a multidisciplinary committee with expertise in public health, health care, behavioral health, social services, human development, psychology, neuroscience, demography, justice and law, sociology, economics, the private sector, family studies, and media and communication.

Three of the  committee’s  members will provide an overview of the report’s key findings and recommendations and a deeper look in the areas of public health and medical and behavioral health care for young adults. The presentation will also feature a small group of young adults to give their perspective on the report’s recommendations.  

Educational Objectives:

  • Describe the key findings and recommendations of the October 2014 Institute of Medicine/National Research Council report on the health and well-being of young adults.
  • Discuss potential ways to address barriers that might arise in implementing the recommendations.
  • Determine young adult perspective on the recommendations and engagement of young adults in implementation
Plenary Session II is presented in memory of Joseph “Jerry” Rauh, MD, FSAHM, through a generous gift from the Board of Trustees, Division of Adolescent & Transition Medicine, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

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