Public Deliberation: A Model for Engaging Communities in Decision Making

Maya Scherer and Alexandra Kamler describe the value of using public deliberation to set priorities for COVID-19 vaccine distribution for essential workers in New York City.

During 2020, in anticipation of a limited supply of vaccine in New York City (NYC), the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene sought guidance from members of the public about the fairest approach to early-stage vaccine distribution.

As described in a new article in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, public deliberation is one approach that allows community members to provide input on decisions related to the allocation of health resources.

In the following podcast, I spoke with two of the authors of the paper, Maya Scherer and Alexandra Kamler, about their experience implementing a public deliberation process.

Listen to the Podcast:

About the Authors:

Maya Scherer is Associate Director of the Center for Evaluation and Applied Research (CEAR) at the New York Academy of Medicine. She has expertise in qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as public deliberation, and her work focuses on a range of health-related topics including healthcare access and disease prevention. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MPH from Columbia University.

Alexandra Kamler is a Senior Program Officer at the Center for Evaluation and Applied Research (CEAR) where she conducts quantitative and qualitative research, including public deliberations. She holds a BA from New York University, an MPH from Columbia University, and is a doctoral student at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Author Profile

Justin B. Moore
Justin B. Moore, PhD, MS, FACSM, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Implementation Science in the Division of Public Health Sciences in the Wake Forest School of Medicine at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, USA. He conducts community-engaged research focused on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based strategies for the promotion of healthy eating and physical activity. He is the Associate Editor for the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice and the Associate Editor-in-Chief of the Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. Dr. Moore is an active member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Public Health Association (APHA). He was named a fellow in the ACSM in 2010 and was a founding member of the Physical Activity Section of the APHA. He later served as the chair of the Physical Activity Section and as the Section’s representative on the APHA Governing Council. In addition to his leadership at the national, state, and local levels, he has published more than 170 peer-reviewed articles and has received funding for his research from the National Institutes of Health, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the de Beaumont Foundation, among others.

Dr. Moore is a graduate of Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (BS), the University of Mississippi (MS), and the University of Texas at Austin (PhD). He also holds a certificate of competencies in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Follow him at Twitter and Instagram.