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Our Great City of Baltimore


Dear Colleagues,

With our hometown of Baltimore very much in the news these days, I would like to share a few thoughts.

First, Baltimore is a source of pride for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. A beautiful and diverse city, Baltimore is where we live, work, study, care about our neighbors, and enjoy life. I encourage you to read this op-ed by Johns Hopkins President Ron Daniels and other local leaders. They write eloquently about Baltimore’s history, vibrancy, and opportunities.

Second, Baltimore is a site of progress in public health. Baltimore has been home to major innovations that have reduced the incidence of tuberculosis, the impact of unsafe drinking water, the toll of drug overdose, the incidence of lead poisoning, and the burden of infant mortality. Many of these successful efforts have spread around the nation and the world, saving countless lives.

Third, Baltimore is a special focus for our School. In our strategic plan, we emphasize the “power of partnerships” with our goal to “protect the population’s health and advance equity and social justice worldwide, with a special commitment to Baltimore.” This commitment is reflected in the collective efforts of hundreds of students, staff, and faculty together with more than 100 local community organizations and partners. The Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health recently recognized this work with the 2019 Harrison C. Spencer Award.

I would also like to say a few words about Representative Elijah E. Cummings. In events at the School and across the city, and through his work in every neighborhood, Rep. Cummings calls on us to push harder, to do more, and to achieve results for Baltimore. He understands and advocates for the health of our city and nation every day. We deeply respect his leadership.

The antidote to misunderstanding and disrespect of our city is sharing real stories of challenge, opportunity, and progress in Baltimore. We are proud to be a part of this community, and we are working every day to improve lives here, as well as around the world.


Ellen MacKenzie Signature

Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD ’79, ScM ’75

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor
Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Johns Hopkins University