The Delta Omega Dr. Timothy Baker Award for International Health Development
Established in 2014 by the Delta Omega Alpha Chapter, the Dr. Timothy Baker Award for International Health Development honors the life and legacy of this memorable professor of International Health and longtime Alpha Chapter Board member. Dr. Baker, a pioneer in disease and injury burden, was among the first to recognize the importance of injury as a cause of disability, especially in low income countries. He was the Co-founder of the Department of International Health and in 1993, he was recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the American Public Health Association. His career spanned 50 years and included work in more than 40 countries. This award recognizes a newly inducted member of the Delta Omega Alpha Chapter, who is a proponent of the poor and vulnerable, and who works for the cause of social justice and international health.
The 2016 awardee, Jessica Elf, PhD '16, MPH '09, is currently an Ellen R. Gritz Postdoctoral Fellow at the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Truth Initiative and a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Clinical Global Health Education and the Center for TB Research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate education in nutrition at the University of Florida prior to attending the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her previous experience includes work at the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at JHSPH, as a tobacco program specialist at a county health department in the State of Florida, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Timor-Leste.
Jessica's primary research focuses on exposure to air pollution and tobacco in the context of special populations that are burdened by leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, including tuberculosis (TB), HIV, and individuals living in low socioeconomic conditions in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Her work describes disease conditions that arise from exposure to air pollution and tobacco, and identifies specific alterations in host susceptibility that result in these disease conditions. In addition to risk characterization, she is interested in subsequent mitigation strategies that are effective, sustainable, and collaborative across different fields in public health. Through the integration of environmentally focused epidemiologic studies in targeted populations, Dr. Elf aims to facilitate and catalyze leaders from fields external to environmental health to champion exposure reduction through the lens of their own public health interests.
Jessica shared with us, "It is quite the honor to be recognized with an award established to pay respect to Dr. Timothy Baker and the enormous contributions he made to public health. Although I never had the privilege of working directly with Dr. Baker, as a student at Johns Hopkins, and importantly as a student in the Department of International Health, I have certainly benefited from the ideals and standards with which he conducted his work and the profound influence he had upon those around him. I am humbled to receive this award, and I hope that the work that I do honors his legacy. I am also energized to seek ways to focus on development and capacity building through the lens of my research. Most importantly, I hope that the award highlights the detrimental health effects of tobacco and air pollution among those who are in highly vulnerable situations and who are suffering from preventable disease due to these exposures."
There is no application process to be considered for this $500 award. The recipient will be chosen from each year's list of new inductees.