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Bloomberg American Health Initiative


Joshua M. Sharfstein, MDJoshua M. Sharfstein, MD, is the Inaugural Director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. He is also the Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Training and faculty in Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Sharfstein has previously held top public health positions at the local, state and national levels. From 2011 to 2014, he served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In this position, he led efforts to align Maryland’s health care system with improved health outcomes, culminating in the adoption of a revised payment model for all hospital care for Maryland residents. He also oversaw the development of a statewide health improvement process with local public-private coalitions and the reshaping of state’s approach to health information exchange, long-term care, and behavioral health.

From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Sharfstein served as Principal Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where he oversaw the agency’s successful performance management and transparency initiatives. As Commissioner of Health for Baltimore City, from 2005 to 2009, he led innovative efforts that contributed to major declines in both overdose deaths and infant mortality rates. 

Dr. Sharfstein is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Public Administration. He serves on the Board of Population Health and Public Health Practice of the Institute of Medicine and on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Michelle Spencer, MSMichelle Spencer, MS, is the Associate Director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative.

She previously directed the Health Enterprise Zone Initiative and the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).

With the Health Enterprise Zone Initiative, Ms. Spencer focused on reducing health disparities among racial and ethnic populations, reducing health care costs and hospital admissions and readmissions, and improving health care access for disadvantaged communities.

As director of the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration, she oversaw the Administration’s bureaus of Environmental Health, Maternal and Child Health, Cancer and Chronic Disease, and Infectious Disease, as well as the offices of Budget and Finance, and Policy and Planning.. Ms. Spencer established the Office of Data, Systems Integration and New Initiatives to facilitate data access and integration across the Administration, enhance quality improvement, performance management, and evaluation of public health programs.

Previously, Ms. Spencer served as Chief of Staff at the Baltimore City Health Department from 2005 to 2012, advising the Health Commissioner on the Department’s programmatic, administrative and operational direction, and managing special projects. She also directed the Department’s operational offices, established performance measures, developed its Workplace Health and Wellness Program and served as the Incident Commander during public health emergencies.