Today is Global Health Day at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), an annual event held to exchange global health knowledge and share experiences and expertise within the Johns Hopkins local and international community. In order to honor the day, JHU is hosting two featured speakers: Ambassador Deborah Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator & U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy and Olusoji Adeyi, Director of Global Practice for Health, Nutrition, and Population at the World Bank.

In a current political climate where attitudes towards public health are growing increasingly negative, it is important to celebrate past successes and reflect on what can be done to shape future health responses. In the face of looming health threats such as an increase in refugees, the opioid epidemic, climate change, and a growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), it is especially important to stress the positive impact public health has had worldwide.

Ambassador Deborah Birx is an acclaimed leader in the field of HIV/AIDS, with three decades of experience focusing on HIV/AIDS immunology, vaccine research and global health. She will provide her insight from years of experience ending preventable child and maternal deaths, working towards an aids-free generation, and responding to the burden of infectious disease threats.

Dr. Olusoji (Soji) Adeyi, an Alumnus of the Health Systems Program in the Department of International Health, will be giving a talk entitled, The Future of Global Health Systems: Shaping the 21st Century. He has extensive experience leading global public health policy and strategy initiatives and integrating health systems and health interventions. He has also served as the World Bank’s Sector Manager for Health, Nutrition and Population in Eastern and Southern Africa, and was founding Director of the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria (AMFm) at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Both sessions are open to the public and will address critical health issues and the best way to respond. “We hope to foster a positive public attitude towards the effectiveness of global public health interventions,” states Health Systems Program Professor, Dr. Adnan Hyder, “we need to promote the values of service, discovery and knowledge that public health has provided.” Global Health Day is a celebration of vital scientific research that has directly contributed to our capability to live healthy, productive lives. Join the festivities and see the full schedule of events here