Next week is National Public Health Week, and so much is happening at the School of Public Health!
We celebrate NPHW each year with our signature annual event, Public Health Research @ Maryland. This year’s event, happening Tuesday, April 3, is an all-day extravaganza of panel discussions, poster sessions, and great conversations with hundreds of public health students, researchers and working professionals from the University of Maryland, College Park and Baltimore campuses, together with partners and colleagues from all around the region. Dr. Richard Besser, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will kick off the day with a keynote talk, Changing How America Thinks About Health.
That’s not the only thing we’re doing this year to celebrate National Public Health Week! On Monday April 2, HLSA Associate Professor Jie Chen’s Hospital and Public Health Interdisciplinary Research (HAPPY) Lab presents an afternoon seminar on its System-level Multidisciplinary Integration for popuLation health and Equity (SMILE) project. The seminar will bring experts together to discuss integrated care coordination between hospitals, communities, and public health agencies among African American and Latino patients, and how these coordination practices impact racial and ethnic disparities in health. The seminar will be moderated by Dr. Stephen Thomas and feature presentations by Drs. David Marcozzi, Howard Goldman, Charles Reynolds, Luisa Franzini, and Jie Chen.
Also, every day this week our students will have opportunities to learn about careers in public health-related fields during Healthcare Career Week sponsored by the University Career Center & The President’s Promise. Many students will also have a great opportunity for some personal mentorship from our alumni at the Student and Alumni Night of Networking on April 5.
I am inspired by all the events happening here on campus, and also by the incredible, youthful energy and passion at the recent March for Our Lives, which I attended with a group of SPH faculty, staff and students. When we convened a Town Hall to discuss gun violence after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting, I proposed the formation of a group at SPH to use public health principles to respond to pressing societal issues—the first one being gun violence. The first meeting of that group happened last week, and we began discussing the group’s vision and next steps.
Two winners were announced this week for the first annual Gold Public Health Innovation Award, from the four superb finalists. This event kicked off what I'm confident will be a widely anticipated annual SPH event and has jump-started our thinking about how to further incorporate design thinking and entrepreneurship into our curricula. We are grateful to founding dean Dr. Bob Gold and his wife Barbara for the generous gift to endow this award and the vision for how it will advance our goals.
I’m happy to announce that Dr. Sandra Quinn is the new chair of the Department of Family Science as of March 1st, as Dr. Elaine Anderson hands off the role after almost a decade of service. A well-respected public health researcher and leader, Dr. Quinn has been a professor in the department for the past seven years and is the current director of their Maternal and Child Health doctoral program.
I hope to see many of you at one or more of our National Public Health Week events! Thank you, SPH community, for everything you do to make every week public health week!
Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH
Dean and Professor