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November 14, 2014

New Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion Launched By Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is announcing the launch of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, which will develop and disseminate programs that encourage healthy behavioral change and train faculty and students in health promotion and advocacy. The center will be established in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society with a gift from Sid and Helaine Lerner, long-time friends of the school.

“Faculty and students from across the school will undoubtedly benefit from the chance to learn new and better ways to increase the impact of the vitally important research conducted here at the Bloomberg School,” says Dean Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH. “We are thrilled about the opportunities the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion will bring to the school.”

The goal of the center is to equip current and future public health leaders with the skills to use marketing and communications tools in the fight against preventable diseases brought on by unhealthy behaviors. In addition to leading training programs for students and faculty, the center will develop, evaluate and promote public education initiatives through traditional, new and social media as well as entertainment education programs.

“Health promotion is not only an exciting area of research, it’s also a critical area of public health action,” says David Holtgrave, PhD, chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Bloomberg School, who will serve as the center’s interim director until a permanent director is named. “Persuading people to change behaviors to improve their health is not an easy task, and the Lerner Center will allow us to explore innovative ways to share new knowledge with broader audiences and more efficiently connect the dots between public health research and practice.”

The center will expand on current health promotion work at the Bloomberg School, which includes collaborating with The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit public health initiative founded by Sid Lerner that dedicates the first day of each week to health and offers weekly prompts to support healthy behavioral changes. Meatless Monday, the first Monday campaign, started in 2003 and has become a global movement promoted in a range of settings, including schools, restaurants, media and entire communities in over 36 countries. Faculty members serve as scientific advisors to the campaign and help develop and test effective, evidence-based messaging and public education campaigns.

Johns Hopkins recognizes the gift from Sidney and Helaine Lerner as a contribution to Rising to the Challenge: The Campaign for Johns Hopkins, an effort to raise $4.5 billion to support students, faculty, advances in research and clinical care, and interdisciplinary solutions to some of humanity's most important problems. The campaign, supporting both Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine, was publicly launched in May 2013 and is targeted for completion in 2017. More than $2.7 billion has been committed so far.

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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 
media contacts:
 Andrea Maruniak at 
410-502-3373 or amaruniak@jhu.edu
 and Stephanie Desmon
 at 410-955-7619 or sdesmon1@jhu.edu.