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Program Director

Clarence Lam

Clarence Lam, MD, MPH serves on faculty and as the program director of the preventive medicine residency program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Lam is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Case Western Reserve University where he completed his Bachelor of Arts in political science and biology. He earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland and his Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. He completed his residency training at Johns Hopkins, where he also served as chief resident, and is board-certified in preventive medicine.

In November 2014, Clarence Lam was elected to serve as a state delegate representing District 12, which includes both Howard and Baltimore Counties, in the Maryland General Assembly, where he currently serves on the House Environment and Transportation Committee. He is one of only four physician-legislators currently in the Maryland General Assembly.

While in medical school, Lam was elected as the student-body president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and he interned on the health affairs staff of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives where he assisted oversight investigations on drug safety policy. He also served as a biodefense analyst at the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and authored several publications on public health preparedness. From 2009-2014, he served on the legislative staff of Delegate Dan Morhaim, MD in the Maryland General Assembly.

Clarence Lam is involved in many community organizations and serves on several non-profit boards of directors, including Healthy Howard, Unified Community Connections (formerly the United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland), and as board chair of the Community Action Council of Howard County, which manages the county’s food bank, Head Start program, and provides for energy and housing assistance to residents in need. He was a past appointee to the Governor’s Commission for Asian Pacific American Affairs and to Howard County’s Spending Affordability Advisory Committee.


Associate Program Director


Elham Hatef, MD, MPH, FACPM is an Associate Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine in the Department of Medicine in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She also serves as a core faculty at the Center for Population Health IT (CPHIT) in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) and as the academic director of the Johns Hopkins General Preventive Medicine Residency Program. As the associate director of the General Preventive Medicine Residency Program, she provides training and mentorship to the residents throughout their residency. In collaboration with the program director and other program faculty she designs and evaluates new residency training modules and educational material.  

 Dr. Hatef earned her medical degree from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, in Tehran, Iran, and her Master in Public Health from JHSPH. She completed a preliminary year in Internal Medicine at Yale-affiliated Griffin Hospital in Connecticut and Preventive Medicine Residency and Chief Residency at JHSPH. She then completed Clinical Informatics Practice Pathway at JHSPH.  Dr. Hatef is board certified in Preventive Medicine-Public Health and Clinical Informatics. 

Her main field of interest is population health, social determinants of health, and health information technology. She studies the impact of social determinants of health on health-related outcomes using health IT and Big Data. She is involved in several projects in this area. At CPHIT she has served as the project leader on the development of population health framework and measurements for Maryland, a collaboration with CRISP (Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients) supported through the Maryland State Improvement Model and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She also led the project to incorporate relevant available community/population-level data sources into the Veterans Health Administration's electronic health records. This project aimed to evaluate the health outcomes such as hospitalization rate at the primary care level while addressing social determinants of health. In addition, in collaboration with other faculty at CPHIT, she works on new methods of data mining and natural language processing to address social determinants of health using structured and non-structured electronic health records data and publicly available population-level data such as U.S. Census. 

Clinical Director


Selvi Rajagopal, MD MPH is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Preventive Medicine and is a diplomat of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. She specializes in medical weight management to prevent and treat chronic disease beginning in late adolescence through adulthood. In her clinical practice at the Johns Hopkins Healthful Eating, Activity and Weight Program, she works with individuals to implement a holistic approach to achieve their health goals through sustainable weight loss and weight maintenance, incorporating key elements of nutrition, exercise, mental health, and medication management. Dr. Rajagopal has a specialized interest in women’s health and prevention of chronic disease among young women starting in adolescence in her practice.

Beyond her clinical role, Dr. Rajagopal is engaged in medical student, resident, and fellow education in Obesity Medicine. Her research and public health interests include the improvement of health and nutrition literacy and food environment policy reform as strategies to reduce chronic disease burden among low-income populations across the age spectrum.

Dr. Rajagopal received her Doctor of Medicine degree from George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. She completed a combined training in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Following residency, she worked as a Medicine-Pediatrics hospitalist prior to joining the combined General Preventive Medicine Residency-Masters in Public Health Program at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2018 to pursue her interests in population health and chronic disease prevention. She pursued additional clinical training in weight management at the Johns Hopkins Digestive Weight Loss Center during her Preventive Medicine residency and has since joined clinical faculty within the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


Chief Resident

Julie Whitis, MD, MPH, is the Chief Resident of the General Preventive Medicine Residency Program for the 2023-2024 academic year. She is also a Research Assistant in the Department of International Health and Editor-in-Chief of the Center for Humanitarian Health's weekly newsletter. Her degrees include a BA in International Affairs with minors in Global Health and Spanish from George Washington University; an MPH with a concentration in Humanitarian Assistance from BSPH; and an MD from Wright State University. 

Her interests include civil-military cooperation, aerospace medicine, humanitarian assistance, health security, disaster preparedness, and resiliency studies. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, flying, sailing, and exploring the waterfront with her miniature wiener dog, Willie.