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Sommer Klag Advocacy Awards

Winners & Finalists

2023 Advocacy Impact Awards


Nadia Akseer, PhD, MSc

Assistant Scientist
Department of International Health


“Mission Afghanistan 2030 – An advocacy journey for the forgotten people of my homeland”

Akseer's presentation focused on Mission Afghanistan 2030 (MA2030), a working group at the Bloomberg School of Public Health that has been advocating for protecting the health and health system of Afghanistan. To secure a brighter future for the Afghan population, MA2030’s advocacy will center around aligning key donors and engaging the de-facto authorities on their gender policies.

Cass Crifasi, PhD ’14, MPH

Associate Professor
Department of Health, Policy and Management


“Advancing Firearm Purchaser Licensing Laws to Save Lives”

Crifasi's presentation focused on firearm purchaser licensing laws. Firearm purchaser licensing laws are an effective strategy to address multiple forms of gun violence. Currently, Washington and Delaware are primed to pass these laws in the next legislative session with the support of strategic advocacy efforts.

2023 Advocacy Impact Awards


Melissa Hopkins, JD

Assistant Scientist; Health Security Policy Advisor
Department of Environmental Health and Engineering; Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security


"Staff Delegation on AIxBio Risks"

Hopkins presented on a staff delegation on AIxBio risks, where they quickly outlined why Congress often has a hard time regulating emerging technology, and how a staff delegation on AIxBio risks could result in legislation to improve health security.


Harry Barbee, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Health, Behavior and Society


“Supporting Transgender People and Access to Gender-Affirming Health Care”

Barbee’s proposed advocacy work aimed to directly support transgender people's access to gender-affirming care in three ways: generate financial resources for transgender people seeking gender-affirming care; encourage state governments to adopt sanctuary policies that protect gender-affirming care patients; and establish a coalition of advocates who are dedicated to pursuing structural change that benefits transgender populations.

Gigi Kwik Gronvall, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Health and Engineering


“Virology Research is Critically Needed—How do we ensure safety, security, and progress?”

In their presentation on the critical need for the safety, security, and progress of virology research, Gigi proposed a proactive campaign to clarify how virology research should be governed and to educate stakeholders on the importance of better governance not only for future pandemic preparedness, but more broadly for the US bioeconomy.

2022-2023 Advocacy Achievement Awards


Shannon Frattaroli and Josh Horwitz

Shannon Frattaroli, PhD '99, MPH '94 & Joshua M. Horwitz, JD

Professor & Dana Feitler Professor of the Practice
Center for Gun Violence Solutions


"Reducing Gun Violence and Saving Lives Through Extreme Risk Protection Orders"

“Since 2013, Horwitz and Frattaroli have been advocating for ERPO [Extreme Risk Protection Orders], which is now law in 19 states and the District of Columbia, and leading research to inform those advocacy efforts.”

2022-2023 Advocacy Achievement Awards


Elizabeth Letourneau

Elizabeth Letourneau, PhD

Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse


"Child Sexual Abuse is Preventable, Not Inevitable"

“My advocacy has led national and international paradigm shifts in which CSA (child sexual abuse) is increasingly treated as a preventable public health problem. To achieve these shifts, we first had to counter the public’s belief that CSA is unpreventable, prove that prevention programs work, and convince policymakers to fund these programs.”

Leonard Rubenstein

Leonard Rubenstein, JD

Professor of the Practice, Department of Epidemiology
Interim Director, Center for Public Health and Human Rights
Core Faculty, Center for Humanitarian Health and Berman Institute of Bioethics


"Public Health Advocacy of Healthcare Workers in Conflict"

“Len’s seminal work helped put protection of health care and support for health workers in conflict on the global health agenda and secure binding commitments toward prevention of and accountability for attacks.”

Gerard Anderson

Gerard Anderson, PhD

Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management and Department of International Health
Professor, School of Medicine
Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Hospital Finance and Management


"Improving Access by Controlling Spending and Reforming the Delivery System"

“The general theme of all my advocacy work is increasing access for preventive and medical services, especially for low income and underrepresented minorities…I begin by conducting research; assembling coalitions to develop policy options; and finally engaging in advocacy, providing testimony, and talking with the media.”

Paul Locke

Paul Locke, DrPH '98, MPH, JD

Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering


"Public Health Lobbying for New Approach Methodologies: Better Science, Better Public Health"

“Our success [in advocating for new approach methodologies in biomedical research] shows how lobbying advocacy can be distilled to “asks” within a federal appropriations legislative framework and demonstrates that it is possible to collaborate with diverse groups to seek support and find common ground.”