Suzanne Bohan | An Island Press Author

Suzanne Bohan

Suzanne Bohan covered health and science for 12 years with the Bay Area News Group, a 650,000-circulation newspaper chain that includes the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, and Oakland Tribune. She previously worked for the Sacramento Bee, and her writing has also been published in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, and other newspapers nationwide.

Bohan has won nearly 20 journalism awards, including the 2010 White House Correspondents' Association Edgar A. Poe Award for the series "Shortened Lives: Where You Live Matters" on why life expectancies vary so dramatically between nearby neighborhoods, and initiatives to shrink this unjust gap. Her earlier book, 50 Simple Ways to Live a Longer Life: Everyday Techniques From the Forefront of Science, won a National Health Information Award for health promotion/disease prevention.

Bohan has a master's degree in journalism from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree in biology from San Francisco State University. She interned at CNN and worked in radio but decided to focus her career on print media. She lives in Northern California with her husband.

Suzanne Bohan at Book Passage (Sausalito)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 6:00pm PDT
Book Passage Sausalito
100 Bay Street
Sausalito, CA 94965
United States

In Twenty Years of LifeSuzanne Bohan exposes the disturbing flip side of the American dream: your health is largely determined by your zip code. The...

In Twenty Years of LifeSuzanne Bohan exposes the disturbing flip side of the American dream: your health is largely determined by your zip code. The strain of living in a poor neighborhood, with sub-par schools, lack of parks, fear of violence, few to no healthy food options, and the stress of unpaid bills is literally taking years off people’s lives. The difference in life expectancy between wealthy and distressed neighborhoods can be as much as twenty years.

Bohan chronicles a bold experiment to challenge this inequity. The California Endowment, one of the nation’s largest health foundations, is upending the old-school, top-down charity model and investing $1 billion over ten years to help distressed communities advocate for their own interests. This new approach to community change draws on the latent political power of residents and is driving reform both locally and in the state’s legislative chambers. If it can work in fourteen of California’s most challenging and diverse communities, it has the potential to work anywhere in the country.

Bohan introduces us to former street shooters with official government jobs; kids who convinced their city council members to build skate parks; students and parents who demanded fairer school discipline policies to keep kids in the classroom; urban farmers who pushed for permits to produce and sell their food; and a Native American tribe that revived its traditional forest management practices. Told with compassion and insight, their stories will fundamentally change how we think about the root causes of disease and the prospects for healing.

Suzanne Bohan spent twelve years as a reporter for the Bay Area New Group, which includes the San Jose Mercury NewsContra Costa Times, and Oakland Tribune. She won a prestigious White House Correspondents’ Association award in 2010 for her reporting on health disparities. Bohan is co-author of 50 Simple Ways to Live a Longer Life: Everyday Techniques From the Forefront of Science.

Suzanne Bohan with the Aspen Institute

Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 12:00pm EDT
Aspen Institute
Smith Conference Room
2300 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States
Twenty Years of Life: Challenging Health Disparities and Inequities by Investing in Communities

April 19, 2018 Noon-1:30

Lunch Available Starting at 11:30

Aspen Institute Smith Conference Room 2300 N Street, NW Washington, DC...

Twenty Years of Life: Challenging Health Disparities and Inequities by Investing in Communities

April 19, 2018
Noon-1:30

Lunch Available Starting at 11:30

Aspen Institute
Smith Conference Room
2300 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037

 In the book, Twenty Years of Life, author Suzanne Bohan explores the disturbing flip side of the “American dream”: your health is largely determined by your zip code. The strain of living in a neighborhood with sub-par schools, lack of parks, fear of violence, few to no healthy food options, and the stress of unpaid bills is literally taking years off people’s lives. The difference in life expectancy between wealthy and distressed neighborhoods can be as much as twenty years.

In response to this inequity, The California Endowment, one of the nation’s largest health foundations is upending the old-school, top-down charity model and investing $1 billion over ten years to help communities advocate for their own interests. This new approach to community change draws on the latent political power of residents and is driving reform both locally and in the state’s legislative chambers. If it can work in fourteen of California’s most challenging and diverse communities, it has the potential to work anywhere in the country.

Please join the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions program for a discussion of how these communities are creating change and tackling the root causes of health inequities. There are lessons for all stakeholders from policymakers, philanthropy, and community leaders to learn how investing in the power of communities can create smart solutions and positive change.

Opening Remarks: Steve Patrick, Executive Director, Forum for community Solutions and Vice President, Aspen Institute

Panelists:
Suzanne Bohan, Author Twenty Years of Life
Anthony Iton, Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities, The California Endowment
Sandra Celedon, Manager, Fresno Building Healthy Communities
Sam Vaughn, Program Manager, Richmond Office of Neighborhood Safety and the Peacemaker Fellowship
John Auerbach, President and CEO, Trust for America’s Health, Moderator

Event will be taped and available for viewing.
If you have any questions about the event, please contact Sheri Brady at sheri.brady@aspeninst.org