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National Public Health Week at the Bloomberg School


Public Health Is ...

How would you complete that sentence?

In an open letter about National Public Health Week 2019, APHA executive director Georges Benjamin shares five illuminating possibilities:

  • The grassroots organizer at city hall, demanding clean water for area schoolchildren
  • The health providers and patients who show up at Capitol Hill to advocate for commonsense gun laws, response to climate change and health coverage for all
  • The students holding their schools accountable for responding to threats of violence on campus
  • The neighbors who build community gardens on abandoned plots of land
  • Individuals who volunteer to share their health information with researchers, ensuring our knowledge of health is inclusive and responds to everyone’s needs

Jump to events schedule

Benjamin’s letter encourages all “public health advocates”—not only those practicing professionally, but anyone with interest—to make public health visible.

This is a challenge that now-president of Planned Parenthood Leana Wen, MD, MSc, FAAEM, described in her 2018 Bloomberg School commencement address: “It has been said that when public health works best, we are invisible.”

When public health research and practice is working, for example, automobiles are automatically outfitted with seatbelts and airbags, and indoor public spaces are smoke-free. When massive global public health efforts are successful, we get to live in a world without fear of a naturally-occurring outbreak of smallpox. These advances, which help create a healthier world, become commonplace and can be taken for granted.

But there is danger in losing sight of the rigorous research behind safety mandates and disease control. In an era of “fake news,” and the virulent spread of misinformation, for example, there is a baffling rise in erroneous questioning of the safety of vaccines that has led to resurgences of once-controlled diseases.

Decades of research and discovery have helped create a safer, healthier world and will continue to contribute to better global health outcomes. But continued successes require advocates to make public health’s work visible, advocate for its importance, and help expand its definition.

National Public Health Week logoThis year’s NPHW theme—For science. For action. For health.—illustrates some of the broad contexts in which public health works. The week presents opportunities for acknowledgement and education, and for surfacing examples of public health in everything from AIDS to Zika. (Need more examples? See “100 Objects that Shaped Public Health.”)

We invite all public health advocates to join us in taking up the charge to make public health a household name—this week and every week!

Opportunity—We’re asking for your public health stories! What inspired you to embark on a career in public health? Telling your story is one of the best ways to share the power of public health.

What was your “public health moment?” 

Make Public Health Visible

The Bloomberg School is offering a wealth of opportunities to get involved with National Public Health Week.

Monday, April 1

  • Public Health Practice Awards—Student Finalist Presentations
    12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
    Feinstone Hall, E2030
    Open to students, faculty and staff (RSVP here)

    Join the Office of Public Health Practice and Training for a lightning round competition of students nominated for Public Health Practice Awards. Students will share about their public health contributions in Baltimore, the U.S., and around the world and how their work shapes their future career goals. 
  • Monday Mile Walk
    1:00 p.m.
    Start: Jesus Statue in the Hospital Administration Building

    The Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion invites you to kick off National Public Health Week with a healthy dose of physical activity! Every Monday, Johns Hopkins faculty, students and staff come together to walk one mile as a way to show their commitment to physical activity. The Monday Mile is a component of Move-It Monday, a public health campaign created by The Monday Campaigns which encourages people to kick off their exercise routines on Monday.

Tuesday, April 2

  • “Public Health and the Media” with Pam Belluck
    Talk: 12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
    Sheldon Hall
    Private luncheon: 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (Students may apply, see below)

    New York Times writer and Pulitzer prize winner for Ebola coverage. Application required for private luncheon, up to 10 students will be admitted.

Wednesday, April 3

  • Spring Symposium: Technology, Health and Human Rights
    12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

    Presented by The Center for Public Health and Human Rights. Introduction by Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH ’91 who will speak about the weaponization of social media using the Rohingya and Facebook as an example of how technology in the human rights context can be used for harm.

    The moderated panel will feature questions and commentary surrounding the challenges and ethics of using technology in research. For the full list of panelists and more event information, please visit the Center’s event page. Please contact Kristin Hunt with questions.
  • Returned Peace Corp Volunteer Stoop Stories and Reception
    5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    RSVP required 

    Partnering with the popular Baltimore-based cultural event “The Stoop Storytelling Series,” student and alumni Returned Place Corps Volunteers will present an evening of true, personal tales about the event and experiences “in country” that shaped their passion for public health. Networking reception to follow in the Gallery.

Thursday, April 4

  • Featurette: Hero with a Thousand Faces 
    12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    Sheldon Hall

    Film screening cosponsored by the Anna Baetjer Society and the Film Society. Food will be provided. 

Friday, April 5

Saturday, April 6

  • Clade X Pandemic Simulation
    9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Feinstone Hall

The Anna Baetjer Society and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security present a Clade X Pandemic Simulation. Participants and volunteers welcome! Event information and RSVP/application (required)