Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has appointed Keshia M. Pollack Porter, PhD, MPH, as a Bloomberg Centennial Professor. This is an endowed position supported by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative through a gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Pollack Porter is a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is the vice dean for Faculty at the School. With a background in injury epidemiology and policy research, she is a proven leader in advancing health equity and policy change that promote safe and healthy environments.
“Dr. Pollack Porter’s vision of using health and social policy to build a more equitable world is an inspiration to our field,” says Dean Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD, ScM. “We are delighted to congratulate her on this recognition.”
Pollack Porter regularly engages with policymakers to promote evidence-informed policy and advance a Health-in-All Policies approach at the local, state, and federal levels. Health in All Policies involves integrating health considerations into policymaking across all sectors, such as urban planning and criminal justice. She serves as director of the School’s Institute for Health and Social Policy and co-director of the Institute’s European partner in Barcelona, the Johns Hopkins University-University Pompeu Fabra Public Policy Center. She is also the director of Health Policy Research Scholars, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation leadership program, and co-director of the School’s Center for Health Disparities Solutions Investigator Development Core.
“Public policy has always been one of the most powerful tools for improving health, and now more than ever we need to use it to ensure better outcomes for all people,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Dr. Pollack Porter has been leading this work for years, pushing policymakers to put health front and center in everything they do. I look forward to seeing her continue to drive progress in this new position.”
Pollack Porter graduated with a BA in Sociology from Tufts University in 2000, later earning her MPH in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from the Yale School of Public Health in 2002, followed by a PhD in Health and Public Policy from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2005. She completed a postdoc in evaluation that was jointly sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation before joining the School’s faculty in August 2006.
“Dr. Pollack Porter was an expert in health and social policy long before it became common to recognize the connection between the two,” says Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD, director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. “She has guided the Bloomberg American Health Initiative to think broadly about the uses of policy to create the conditions for health and equity.”
As part of her work in safety and the built environment, Pollack Porter previously served as director of the national Physical Activity Policy Research Network Plus, which advances policy research to increase the number of Americans who achieve adequate physical activity to promote and sustain health.
Pollack Porter has dedicated much of her work advocating to decision-makers from diverse sectors that policy changes incorporate health and health equity. She has led health impact assessments—a tool to advance Health in All Policies—to elevate health considerations for decisions regarding federal education and housing policies and local transportation policies. She also developed one of the country’s first graduate courses on health impact assessments, which she launched at the Bloomberg School over a decade ago.
This professorship endowment is part of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, which is supporting 25 new endowed positions. The Initiative focuses on addressing major health challenges facing the nation, including obesity and the food system, environmental challenges, addiction and overdose, violence, and adolescent health.