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April 29, 2011

Kawi Mental Health Professorship and Scholarship Endowed

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Mental Health has received gifts from members of the Kawi family to permanently endow the Dr. Ali and Rose Kawi Professorship in Mental Health and the Dr. Ali Kawi Doctor of Public Health Scholarship in Mental Health. The gifts are named in honor of Ali A. Kawi, MD, DrPH, a Bloomberg School graduate and professor emeritus of psychiatry at the State University of New York. The funds will be used to support individuals whose work and studies will advance public mental health research and practice in keeping with Kawi’s lifelong work in treatment, research and education.

Kawi is an expert in neuropsychiatric disorders, psychosomatic research and medical education. He obtained his Doctor of Medical Science degree from the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center. He is also a graduate of New York University College of Medicine’s Psychoanalytic Institute’s adult and child divisions. He earned his DrPH in 1956 and his MPH in 1954 from Johns Hopkins.

Kawi has a special interest in child development and pathology, and the prevention of mental health disorders. In addition to his role at the State University of New York, he has held positions as a consultant at the University Hospital of Brooklyn, North Shore University Hospital and St. Francis Hospital.  He maintains a private practice in Manhasset, N.Y.

The Dr. Ali and Rose Kawi Professorship in Mental Health will be used to support the research of a faculty member in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Mental Health. Faculty members named to the position will hold the professorship for a three-year term. The Dr. Ali Kawi Doctor of Public Health Scholarship in Mental Health will support outstanding students pursuing a doctorate of public health degree (DrPH) in the department.

“Dr. Kawi conducted one of the earliest evaluations of the hypothesis of the continuum of reproductive casualty in an elegant case-control study of the effects of prenatal complications on impairments in learning and reading,” said William Eaton, PhD, chair of the Bloomberg School’s Department of Mental Health. “The endowments in honor of Dr. Kawi are critical to facilitate the support of young faculty who lack sufficient grant awards at the beginning of their careers, ultimately allowing the department to expand its programs as well as facilitate the new DrPH program.”

The Department of Mental Health at the Bloomberg School is the first and the only department-level unit in a school of public health dedicated to mental health. The mission of the department is to advance understanding of mental and behavioral disorders, to develop, implement and evaluate methods to prevent and control these disorders and to promote mental health in the general population.

Public Affairs media contact: Natalie Wood-Wright at 410-614-6029 or nwoodwri@jhsph.edu.