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Our Strategic Priorities

Strategic Plan Development

Strategic Plan compilation image

Details on the background and launch of the School’s 5-year plan.

Ellen Mackenzie speaking at Strategic Plan event


Strategic Plan Launched!

The School community came together with Dean MacKenzie for the official launch of The Power of Public Health: A Strategic Plan for the Future. In addition to outlining the plan’s five overarching goals and related objectives, Dean MacKenzie emphasized that the plan is a living document, one that will continue to rely on faculty, staff, students, alumni and the broader community to implement and refine. We are now looking forward to next steps, which include forming implementation teams around each goal.


Over the summer, enormous progress was made on the Strategic Plan. We have benefited greatly from the engagement and input we have received throughout this process and are looking forward to releasing the final version of the plan in October.

  • Based on feedback received throughout development of the Plan, the structure of the document was updated to provide context and a rationale for developing the Plan, five strategic goals, motivating preambles for each of the goals, and then objectives and tactics associated with each of these goals. It is important to note that the goals and objectives are the backbone of the Strategic Plan, and will guide our measures of success in the years to come. The specific tactics for each objective are the current suggested tactics to achieve the overall strategic goals. The Plan is intended to be a living document, and these tactics may change, be added to, or removed over time. They will evolve as we move toward achieving our strategic goals and objectives.
  • A draft version of the plan was posted to the strategic planning website on August 2, with a request sent to students, staff, and faculty as well as several other key stakeholders to provide feedback on the proposed document. All were invited to provide a rating on a 1-5 scale of (1) their satisfaction with the draft plan; (2) the degree to which they felt it was responsive to stakeholder input; and (3) their confidence that it would drive priorities of the School for the next 5 years. Additionally, respondents were able to provide qualitative feedback on the plan overall and on each of the individual goals, where they were asked about their thoughts on the goal, objectives and tactics, whether there were any tactics that should not be pursued, or any tactics that were missing but they had hoped would be included.
  • Comments were open for 3 weeks. Overall, across all domains, over 150 responses were received. The average score on overall satisfaction with the Strategic Plan was 4.1; on satisfaction that input had been incorporated was 4.0, and on confidence that the Plan would guide activities over the next 5 years was 4.0. We also received very rich qualitative feedback and excellent suggestions on potential modifications to the objectives and tactics.
  • The Strategic Plan Writing Group, together with the Dean, digested the feedback received and is working to develop the final version of the Strategic Plan. Working with Subject Matter we are developing a timeline for releasing the Plan more broadly and publicizing the activities that will enable us to achieve the goals outlined in the Plan. Sharing this document with our Hopkins community will only represent the beginning of work on the Strategic Plan. Critical to the success of the Plan will be the development of a companion implementation plan that will guide development of specific deliverables and a timeline for enacting the exciting ideas proposed in our Plan. We will require ongoing engagement and participation by each of you as we move into the implementation phase, so stay tuned for ongoing opportunities to engage with the plan and make a contribution to the future of the Bloomberg School.


Although organizing groups of people and complicated projects is notoriously difficult during the summer months, progress continues on the development of the Strategic Plan. Since the last update, the following activities have occurred:

  • The writing group presented a summary of feedback received and a proposed set of themes and objectives to the School’s leadership team at the annual retreat (June 6-8), where the majority of activities centered on deep discussion of theme selection, choosing the right number and combination of themes, and how to frame objectives and tactics within the overall plan.
  • The results of this work were presented to the JHSPH Health Advisory Board at their June 16 meeting. The Board enthusiastically engaged with the material, and offered multiple concrete suggestions for sharpening the focus and framing the presentation of the ideas.
  • Major thematic areas and objectives were reviewed with the Faculty Senate on June 21, providing an opportunity for feedback from faculty representatives across the School.
  • We continue to collaborate with our partners at Subject Matter on presentation of the plan and a communication strategy for the Plan.
  • The writing group is working closely with Dean MacKenzie and Subject Matter to develop a draft document that incorporates the input that has been received over the past month, laying out objectives and strategies in the following five thematic areas: (1) communicating the value of public health; (2) leadership and excellence in scientific research; (3) leadership and excellence in education; (4) inclusion and diversity; and (5) making impact through community partnerships, in Baltimore, across America, and around the world.
  • Next steps, to be launched in the coming weeks, will include opportunities for public feedback via the website and theme-specific focus groups.

Thank you for your continued engagement around this important process. We look forward to your ongoing participation.


Work continues around the development of a cohesive set of themes and objectives for the strategic plan.

Writing group activities:

  • Hired Subject Matter, Washington DC-based creative advocacy firm, to help with framing language around strategic plan. The firm has previously collaborated with JHSPH on coordination of efforts around the Centennial Celebration, including development of a 12 month op-ed campaign and the development of the “100 Objects That Changed Public Health” website. They are also working on website design and promotion of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative.
  • Writing group members formed smaller groups to address key thematic areas, conduct expert interviews, and develop a list of objectives and goals for five key strategic areas.
  • Using feedback from surveys and focus groups and interviews with key informants, writing group members developed, for each focus area, a strategic goal, objectives and tactics for achieving these objectives.
  • Results of this work will be discussed at the School’s leadership retreat June 6-7. A full day of retreat will be focused on developing goals, objectives and strategies that will be ready for public comment and presentation to Health Advisory Board on 6/16.
  • Revised timeline for circulating goals/objectives/strategies for public input will follow the leadership retreat.

Next steps:

  • Share next round of goals/objectives/strategies with School community following leadership input.
  • Present proposed goals/objectives/strategies with the Health Advisory Board 6/16.
  • Update based on feedback, write plan over summer, final version to be completed in October.


Surveys and focus groups have provided information on relative importance of themes, potential for consolidation of themes and qualitative feedback on content of themes, objectives and especially specific strategies respondents would like to see implemented.

Writing group activities:

  • Based on this feedback, have chosen five areas of focus and assigned members of the writing group to each of the areas 
  • Using feedback from surveys and focus groups and interviews with key informants, writing group members are working to develop, for each focus area, a strategic goal, objectives and actionable items 
  • Team met earlier this week to exchange feedback, currently working on version 2.0 of objectives 
  • Will review results at leadership retreat June 6-7—up to one day of retreat will be focused on developing goals, objectives and strategies that will be ready for public comment and presentation to Health Advisory Board on 6/16 
  • Revised timeline for circulating goals/objectives/strategies to follow leadership retreat

Next steps:

  • Review at leadership retreat
  • Share next round of goals/objectives/strategies with School community following leadership input
  • Present proposed goals/objectives/strategies with HAB 6/16
  • Update based on feedback, write plan over summer, final version to be completed in October


The SPWG met on 4/27/18 to review feedback received to date and begin to make decisions around consolidation of themes. Individual group members were assigned specific focus areas and are reaching out to experts in the School, community and other partner organizations for input on developing objectives and specific strategies related to these areas. The group will convene again on May 15 to finalize the core areas of focus, review strategic goals, and map objectives to these goals. Results of this work will be released for public comment 5/31/18.

As of 5/4/18, 18 focus groups conducted with 164 representatives from all 10 departments and 284 individuals have responded to the survey.

Two more meetings are scheduled for the week of 5/7: one with administrative staff and one with members of SOURCE. We are also scheduling a meeting with local community leaders.​


Feedback As of May 4, 2018


Respondants to the online survey


Participants in focus groups

Input has been received from:












Meeting of the SPWG to review procedures for integrating feedback, developing objectives, and iteratively obtaining the next round of feedback from stakeholders.

As of 4/23/18, 13 focus groups conducted with 124 representatives from all 10 departments: 

  • all levels of faculty rank (70)
  • students (22)
  • research staff (23)
  • alumni (9)

Five more scheduled: doctoral students, SOURCE staff, committee on equity, diversity and civility, MPH students, alumni.

Three more to be scheduled: community members, committee chairs, admin staff.


Focus group with five non-MPH Masters students (three from Health Policy and Management, two from Health Behavior and Society) conducted by Michael Matunis, Katherine Frey and Lorraine Dean.


Invitation to take survey sent to HAB members by Dani Fallin.

Focus group with nine research staff conducted by Joanna Cohen and Katherine Frey:

  • Biology and Molecular Biology (1)
  • Epidemiology (1)
  • Health Policy and Management (2)
  • Health Behavior and Society (2)
  • International Health (2)
  • Population, Family and Reproductive Health (1)


Focus group with 11 tenured professors conducted by David Peters, Lorraine Dean and Katherine Frey:

  • Environmental Health and Engineering (1) 
  • Epidemiology (3)
  • Health Policy and Management (1)
  • International Health (1)
  • Molecular Microbiology and Immunology (3) 
  • Population, Family and Reproductive Health (1)


Focus group with four non-MPH Masters students (three Epidemiology, one Health Policy and Management) conducted by Michael Matunis and Katherine Frey.

As of 4/17/18, 18 focus groups have been scheduled. Still working to set up focus groups with administrative staff, community members, and chairs of the standing committees.

169 survey responses have been received to date:

  • 71 from alumni (42%)
  • 40 from faculty (24%)
  • 31 from staff (18%)
  • 27 from students (16%)

The most important theme selected so far: Elevate the role of public health (28% of respondents).

The least popular theme is a tie between: Extend boundaries of public health (14% of respondents) and build institutional resilience (13.5% of respondents).


Focus group with 9 Washington DC alumni conducted by Katherine Frey (1 MHS, 6 MPH, 1 MPH/JD, 1 MPH/MBA).

Survey sent to Maryland Association of County Health Officers.


Focus group with six research staff conducted by Joanna Cohen and Katherine Frey: 

  • Center for a Livable Future (1)
  • Health Policy and Management (1)
  • Health Behavior and Society (4)

Focus group with five doctoral students conducted by Dani Fallin:

  • Mental Health (1)
  • Health Behavior and Society (1)
  • Health Policy and Management (3)


Invitation to take survey sent to alumni by Dani Fallin.

Focus Group conducted with the Faculty Senate by Joanna Cohen and Katherine Frey. 27 faculty were present, including:

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2)
  • Biostatistics (2)
  • Environmental Health and Engineering (3)
  • Epidemiology (3)
  • Health, Behavior and Society (3)
  • Health Policy and Management (4)
  • International Health (3)
  • Mental Health (1)
  • Molecular and Microbiology (2)
  • Population, Family and Reproductive Health (4)

Focus Group with seven non-tenured faculty from Mental Health, International Health, Environmental Health and Engineering, and Epidemiology conducted by Michael Matunis and Katherine Frey:

  • Research Associates (2)
  • Assistant Scientist (1)
  • Assistant Professors (3)
  • Associate Professor (1)

Invited three new members to writing group: Lorraine Dean, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology; Lisa Walborn, Administrator, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, and Justin Jacob, PhD Candidate and President of Student Government.


Initial announcement of SP process from Dean MacKenzie sent to members of the Health Advisory Board.

As of 4/11/18, 17 focus groups have been organized (Tenured faculty; non-tenured faculty; Faculty Senate; IH Steering Committee; research staff; doctoral students; MPH students; other Masters students; alumni [DC and NYC]; Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Civility).

Working on setting up meetings with SOURCE staff, community members identified by SOURCE and departmental administrators.

Dean MacKenzie has held several informal feedback sessions, including with the staff from the Student Affairs office and with Maryland local health department health officers, who have agreed to respond to the themes via the survey. Early feedback highlighted homogeneity of the SPWG, both in terms of racial diversity and representation from different stakeholders in the School, particularly students and faculty ranks beyond professor. Based on this feedback, additional members are being invited to join the writing group, and enhanced emphasis will be placed on seeking multi-level feedback across all stakeholders at all stages of the planning process.


Initial announcement of SP process from Dean MacKenzie sent to alumni.


Invitation to take survey sent to faculty, student and staff by Dani Fallin.

Doctoral student focus group (two Epidemiology, two Health Policy and Management, two Mental Health, and one student from the Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation) conducted by Dani Fallin and Katherine Frey.


Focus group with International Health Steering Committee to review proposed themes conducted by David Peters and Katherine Frey. 17 from the department participated: 10 faculty, five staff, two students.


Initial announcement of SP process from Dean MacKenzie sent to faculty, students and staff.


Meeting of SPWG: The members of the SPWG met to discuss final presentation of themes, communication surrounding release of themes and survey, review procedures for conducting focus groups


Presentation of proposed themes at School Management Meeting. The candidate themes were discussed and feedback was given to the SPWG by members of the School’s management team. These discussions informed the development of the final document listing themes and descriptions of each theme.


Presentation of proposed themes at joint Faculty Senate/Committee of the Whole meeting. Feedback incorporated into working document.


First meeting of Strategic Plan Writing Group (SPWG): We reviewed the committee mandate, set ground rules for moving the project forward, and agreed upon a broad timeline for SP activities. A final version of the SP will be presented to the Board of Trustees in October of 2018. By the end of March, a first draft of the proposed themes and objectives will be presented to the School’s Management Team.

Throughout the spring, the next iteration of the themes and objectives will be posted on an internal website for public review and comment, and a series of focus groups will be held with stakeholders to solicit feedback. Specifically, the SPWG will seek reactions to the proposed themes and objectives in addition to feedback on areas that may not be covered but are critical to the development of the School’s SP. Additionally, members of the SPWG will meet individually with opinion leaders and stakeholders to receive external input on potential areas of growth or strategic importance that can be addressed in the planning process.