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Population, Family and Reproductive Health

E-NEWS Winter 2021

Welcome to the winter 2021 edition of PFRH E-NEWS!

Now nearly two years into the global pandemic, I continue to be in awe and inspired by the vision, hard work, and dedication of our amazing PFRH students, staff, faculty, and alumni.  We launched a Summer Institute, have resumed in-person classes with 50 or fewer students and with adherence to COVID safety practices, restarted many research and practice projects previously on pause, and initiated more than two dozen exciting new efforts.  We are thrilled to announce the expansion of The Challenge Initiative, (TCI), a global platform that supports the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls living in poor urban communities in Africa and Asia. 

Once again our E-NEWS is filled with exciting accolades including awards received by the first two MHS graduates (then a 2-year program) in our department— Nancy Kelly, MHS and Donna Petersen, ScD, MHS—as well as national service recognition awarded to Reem Ghandour, DrPH, MPA.  We also celebrate the well deserved faculty promotions of Lori Burrell, MA, LSW, Michele Decker, ScD, MPH, and Maheen Malik, MBBS, and staff promotion of Kristen McCormick, MS, MA.  And a warm welcome to Eliana Perrin, MD, MPH, who newly holds a joint appointment in PFRH and is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor.

E-NEWS also highlights the work of the department in advancing life courses and population health.  Check out the innovative work of Michele Decker, ScD, MPH, and Charvonne Holiday, PhD, MPH, who examine the critical role of supportive housing as a tool to improve health and safety for women escaping partner violence.  You also may be interested to learn about the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health’s celebration of World Contraception Day.  Are young people your population of interest?  If so check out Voices on Vax, an initiative of The JHSPH Center for Adolescent Health’s (CAH) to bring Baltimore’s youth voices to the conversation about the COVID vaccine. 

Our departmental commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-Racism and Equity (IDARE) continues.  Among our recent activities have been an assessment of related content and skills building activities in PFRH courses.  Also, we newly ask candidates to include an IDARE statement as part of all faculty search applications.  Many of our projects embed IDARE principle as a core value.  For example, the Building Better Beginnings Initiative, which includes members of the Early Childhood Services Research Team, recently published the first Prenatal to Three (PN-3) Equity Report for the state of Maryland.  The report characterizes the extent to which Maryland has achieved an equitable PN-3 system of care, identifies strengths and gaps in available data to measure equity, and makes recommendations to advance equity for Maryland’s PN-3 population.

Finally, with expanding educational offerings, we are excited to launch a search for a new Director of Graduate Studies, a non-tenure-track faculty position.  Know someone with leadership and supervisory skills, graduate level education experience, and a passion for training the next generation of public health leaders?  Please share the job announcement.

With the holiday season upon us, I remain incredibly grateful for our wonderful PFRH community.  During this time of unprecedented challenges, students, staff, faculty, and alumni remain steadfast in their commitment to public health and their support and compassion for each other. 

As always, I welcome your input and am most appreciative of your ongoing support of our department.

Best wishes and good health.

Cynthia Minkovitz




Cynthia Minkovitz, MD, MPP
William H. Gates, Sr. Professor and Chair
Population, Family and Reproductive Health