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In the Field

We are at work addressing public health issues across the world.

Selected Projects


An Inside Look at a Potential Cancer Cluster:

Community Impacts and Challenges for Public Health Investigators

A Bloomberg School investigative team of faculty, staff, and students examined and documented the difficulties community members and public health officials face in dealing with a potential cancer cluster. Those challenges are captured through oral histories about decades of disease in the neighborhoods surrounding Fort Detrick, U.S. Army Base in Frederick, Maryland. In interviews, public health researchers discuss obstacles they confront around epidemiological issues in investigating the potential disease cluster in Fort Detrick and other local communities across the country. Resources and advice for communities and public health professionals looking to address similar issues are also available.

Protecting the Health of Local Communities:

Assessing Health and Public Health in Delaware County, Pennsylvania 

Delaware County, Pennsylvania, is the only county in the Philadelphia metropolitan area without a designated county health department. To determine how best to protect the health of its residents, the Delaware County Council hired a team of Bloomberg School faculty and students led by Paulani Mui, MPH, Beth Resnick, DrPH, MPH, and Aruna Chandran, MD, MPH, to assess the health of the county and determine how best to deliver health and public health services. 

The team provided an assessment of the health of Delaware County and presented recommendations to inform the establishment of a county health department to protect the health of all Delaware County residents and advance health equity.

Read the report here.

Making a Nationwide Impact: Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) 

Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws are helping to prevent gun deaths and protect communities. Their implementation—in 21 states and the District of Columbia—is part of a national effort to reduce the daily loss of life due to firearm violence, including gun suicide.Bloomberg School faculty members Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, and Josh Horwitz, JD, through their work with the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, are leading national efforts to advance ERPO implementation. They have designed an interactive, central website to access information about ERPO laws, research, training, and communications to help inform policy development and implementation in local jurisdictions across the nation.This ERPO effort is part of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, which supports a broad range of practice efforts at the School and with partner organizations to advance the nation’s health across the issues of addiction and overdose, adolescent health, environmental challenges, obesity and the food system, and violence.

Advocating for Reproductive Health in Low-Income Countries

The Advance Family Planning (AFP) advocacy initiative within the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health comprises more than 20 cross-sector organizations in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, expanding global access to quality contraceptive information, services, and supplies. Conceptualized and established by Bloomberg School faculty member Duff Gillespie, PhD, AFP has successfully helped to expand and enact family planning policies, increase allocation of funds for family planning, develop and implement effective monitoring and evaluation tools, and train over 300 individuals using the AFP SMART advocacy training framework. 

Gillespie’s efforts have created a new and powerful cohort of family planning champions to fight for the information, services, and supplies that promote the health and prosperity of women, men, and young people throughout the world.

Advancing Humanitarian Mental Health Initiatives in Uganda

Through his work with the Peter C. Alderman Foundation (PCAF), a nongovernmental organization providing mental health care to survivors of armed conflict in Burundi, Cambodia, Kenya, and Uganda, Bloomberg School faculty member Wietse Tol, PhD, MA, has been instrumental in the implementation of critical international humanitarian mental health programs. 

Tol led the adaptation and evaluation of a guided self-help intervention for South Sudanese refugees and spearheaded an innovative maternal mental health program in partnership with PCAF and the Ministry of Health for post-conflict areas of Uganda. Thanks to Tol’s leadership, PCAF has been able to strengthen and expand community-based and preventive approaches to mental health care in the communities they serve.

Leveraging the Power of Communications to Advance Healthy Behaviors

The Johns Hopkins Center for Communications Programs (CCP), established in 1988 at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is a recognized worldwide leader in the field of social and behavior change, knowledge management programs, and research and evaluation. CCP is committed to evidence-based advocacy, convening partnerships, and capacity strengthening. Across the globe, we partner with community and families, community-based organizations, other university departments, and many others, and maintain a commitment to racial equity. Explore three of CCP’s ongoing initiatives below.

Malaria Behavior Survey

Since 2018, CCP has conducted the Malaria Behavior Survey in 11 countries across Africa to assess data on the behavioral factors that influence people’s use of malaria prevention and treatment interventions – the whole why behind why some interventions do, and do not, work. National malaria programs and other partners can use displayed data to develop evidence-based malaria programs and strategies to increase insecticide-treated net use and care, prevention of malaria in pregnancy, prompt care seeking for fever, adherence to malaria test results, and where applicable, indoor residual spraying acceptance.

Tackling intractable challenges around the world through social and behavior change: Breakthrough ACTION

Breakthrough ACTION, CCP’s largest project, ignites collective action and encourages people to adopt healthier behaviors—from using modern contraceptive methods to sleeping under bed nets to getting a COVID-19 vaccine. The work harnesses the demonstrated power of communication and integrates innovative approaches from marketing science, behavioral economics and human-centered design in more than 40 countries. 

SBC Learning Central

CCP has developed 20 free online courses and counting for French- and English-speaking social and behavior change communication practitioners and stakeholders working across key public health topics (e.g., sexual and reproductive health, malaria, nutrition, and emergency outbreaks).The goal of this practical resource is to help institutionalize social and behavior change approaches and create a critical mass of skilled practitioners and supportive decision makers worldwide. Inspiring healthy behaviors can improve the lives of individuals and their families. Explore available resources.