Sample Press Releases
Sample 1. Announcing a speaker on a hierarchy and poor health topic
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Health Sciences and Medical
News and Community Relations
Media contact: Walter Neary,
UW Health Sciences and Medical Affairs firstname.lastname@example.org
Date XXXX, 2003
REPORTERS: Richard Wilkinson is available for interviews Nov.
13-16. Call Michele Dulin of the UW Health Policy and Analysis
Program at 543-3675.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Expert on disparities in international health to speak Nov.
Richard Wilkinson, an expert on the differences in health
status from country to country, will speak about "Unhealthy
Societies: The Politics of Human Social Needs" at 6 p.m.
on Nov. 14, 2002, at the University of Washington's Kane
Hall. Admission is
free and open
Wilkinson, a professor of social epidemiology at the University
of Nottingham Medical School, England, has spent more than
25 years researching the link between social inequities
and health in countries
throughout the world. His books, including Mind the Gap:
Hierarchies, Health and Human Evolution (2000), Unhealthy
and Social Determinants of Health (1999), have been published
in Japan, Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany, and Saudi Arabia.
He, together with Michael Marmot, edited a primer on the
social determinants of
health, Solid Facts, for the World Health Organization in
The United States spends more on health care than any
other nation - in fact nearly half the world's total health
budget. Yet, the
United States ranks 25th in the world for life expectancy,
behind most other rich nations and a few poor ones. Why?
According to research in social epidemiology, people die
is a large gap between the rich and poor, as exists in the
United States. In countries with smaller gaps in income,
and Sweden, the
population enjoys longer life expectancies and better health.
Relative poverty, or income inequalities within a population,
is closely related to health in developed societies. Research
by Wilkinson and his colleagues has shown that the relationship
between social inequalities
and a population's health is dynamic. As the gap between
the rich and poor within a country shrinks, life expectancy
health improve. Conversely, as the gap widens, as has been
the case in the United States over the past 30 years, the
health of a population
declines relative to other countries.
Wilkinson asserts that wider income differences are associated
with a more hostile and less hospitable social environment.
He says less egalitarian societies tend to develop a "culture of inequality" which
is more violent, less trusting, less socially cohesive, and more "macho." There
are strong inverse relationships between measures of socioeconomic
inequality and measures of quality of life. A society can achieve
material success at the expense of social failure, Wilkinson says.
Wilkinson says his analysis has fundamental implications
for social policy. Rather than relying on more doctors
and medical care to improve
health, Wilkinson concludes we must tackle the corrosive
effect of hierarchy and large income differences.
Wilkinson is coming to the UW as a Walker-Ames Professor
in the Graduate School. He was nominated by the School
of Public Health and
Community Medicine and the Evans School of Public Affairs.