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March 24, 2009

Bloomberg Student Named Luce Scholar

Britt Ehrhardt

Britt Ehrhardt, a Master of Health Science (MHS) student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the 2008 recipient of the Bloomberg School’s Dean’s Alumni Advisory Council Scholarship, has been named as one of 18 Luce Scholars by the Henry Luce Foundation.  Ehrhardt will travel to Asia to live and work as part of the Luce Scholarship Program, designed to increase cross-cultural awareness for young American leaders.

Ehrhardt hopes to travel to Thailand or the Philippines to intern with a nurses’ association or professional association of health workers. Internships are arranged for each scholar by the Henry Luce Foundation based on their specific interest, background, qualifications and experience.

Throughout her career, Ehrhardt has worked to address various public health issues such as disease prevention and limited access to health care in the U.S. and Africa. As an MHS student, Ehrhardt did her thesis research on a mobile health program that provides health services to nearly 10,000 South African students in rural secondary schools. Earlier, she served as a technical adviser in Namibia for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of HIV/AIDS where she advised a network of HIV counseling and testing centers on service promotion and marketing. Prior to her role at USAID, Ehrhardt worked for the Firelight Foundation addressing health issues in southern and eastern Africa. 

“My work in rural Africa has made it clear to me that the world faces extreme shortages and maldistributions of its health workforce,” said Ehrhardt. “Too few are trained, and most choose urban areas over rural and rich countries over poor ones, leaving many communities struggling to fill the gap left by health worker shortages. As a Luce Scholar, I hope to see how social and behavioral sciences are used to change work environments in Asia and decrease health workforce shortages.”

Launched in 1974, The Luce Scholars Program is aimed at young Americans in a variety of professional fields. It is unique among American-Asian exchanges in that it is intended for leaders who have had no prior experience in Asia and who may not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia or their Asian counterparts.

Media contact for Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Natalie Wood-Wright at 410-614-6029 or nwoodwri@jhsph.edu.