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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

Crafting a Strategy for the Future of Our School

Candidate Strategic Themes

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The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is shaping a strategic plan to guide activities in the next 5 years.

The core of this plan will be a limited number of strategic themes. We are seeking input broadly on the following draft themes, presented in no particular order. Specifically, we are interested in comments for each theme on these questions:

  1. Whether the theme makes sense or should be dropped
  2. Whether the theme should be adjusted or altered in some way
  3. Suggestions for how the theme (or the adjusted theme) could be put into action
  4. Other thoughts that you may have.

1. Improve health and advance health equity

To protect health and save lives – millions at a time – it is essential to continuously strive to have a measurable impact on health outcomes and to reduce health inequities. We must build opportunities for impact into our research, education, and practice activities. This includes cross-fertilization of people and ideas from the earliest discovery points through to full implementation and dissemination. It also includes integrating and adapting lessons learned globally to local challenges, and vice versa. We must ensure that students are trained in essential skills to make a difference on health and that our practice efforts support large-scale dissemination of best practices. Finally, we must develop metrics and set goals to measure impact on health and health equity.

2. Elevate the role of public health in society

In the US and around the world the central public health values of social justice, health equity, diversity and inclusiveness play a fundamental role in serving humanity through science. This theme is about demonstrating and communicating the value of public health. We will focus not only on understanding how people are disaffected by public institutions that do not provide them the benefits they need, but use public health tools to redress injustices, and use communication tools to emphasize the valuable role of public health in this process. We will invest in not only generating knowledge for the world and educating the public, but also in building and using capacity in the science and art of advocacy, activism, and policy influence to promote people’s health, stable and inclusive societies, and a sustainable planet.

3. Extend the boundaries of public health

Public health is a natural bridge across multiple sectors of society that affect health from medicine to social justice and across education, employment, and social services. Our School prides itself on bringing individuals and groups together to address complex health problems and we must strengthen our existing collaborations while building new ones across the University and in sectors beyond health. These could include individuals and organizations representing housing, criminal justice, civil society, consumer protection and non-health related non-profits and foundations. Our efforts must use science to bridge the interests of policy-makers, practitioners, academics, civil society, vulnerable populations, around a common goal of improving health and wellbeing for all.

4. Contribute to the health of Baltimore

We intend to broaden and deepen our engagement with local organizations and neighborhoods to address longstanding inequities and improve health in Baltimore, our home community. Through active listening and meaningful collaborations with public, community-based, and private sector agencies and businesses, and in partnership with the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and others at the University, we aim to bring public health knowledge, resources, and advocacy to help achieve vital and shared goals of the Baltimore community. This commitment should involve students, staff, and faculty, and every school Department/Office.

5. Transform public health education

This theme highlights the School’s commitment to training the next generation of scientists and public health practitioners and making changes to address the educational challenges and opportunities of the future. We are designing an educational approach that predicts where we will be 10 years from today. Transformation includes increased accessibility to our educational offerings, both to new groups of learners and to delve into barriers related to affordability. We can accomplish this by innovating delivery of courses to reach people where they live and how they learn, both domestically and internationally, and expanding our audience - the types of learners participating in our courses and programs. Transformation also means the promotion/development of new paradigms and content to address the increasing complexity of the public health landscape. This transformation cannot come at the expense of quality, which must be continuously monitored and improved. Our programs must aim to be among the very best in the country, with robust and predictable enrollments from year to year.

6. Incubate and accelerate strategic school-wide research

The School will harness our full range of scientific creativity across disciplines to strategically focus on critical public health issues. We will invest in developing a research ecosystem that includes the entire University and our partners around the world. We will target a few focus areas that reach across departments and centers and have the potential for transformational impact. While the school’s leadership can and should nominate priority areas, the most innovative ideas will likely come from the collective group of students, staff, and faculty. For this reason, the School will build our capabilities to effectively source ideas, share them with each other to develop them into proposals that have the potential to address major public health challenges, and even provide a way to prioritize candidate ideas for more focused support. We will develop incubator systems and provide funding to foster multiple-disciplinary research teams to design and test ideas, or to accelerate their development and application at scale. This involves linking researchers across disciplines and Schools, developing communities of practice and focused research teams, and involve those working across basic sciences and the computational, clinical, social, population and policy sciences, while also reaching out to those in the arts and humanities.

7. Become a leader for diverse, inclusive, empowering and supportive environments

This theme recognizes the importance of a welcoming, open and respectful environment for faculty, staff and students in the school. We aim to enhance representation of the full range of forms of diversity across all levels of opportunity and power. This theme also recognizes the importance of building a stronger and more supportive environment that enhances the school’s ability to recruit and retain diverse faculty, students and staff. To become a leader of diversity and inclusion, we will develop new opportunities for respectful discussions and debates at departmental and school levels and identify new approaches for strengthening civic engagement and inclusive dialogue. To enhance our ability to recruit diverse faculty, students and staff, we will strengthen ties with local colleges and universities and develop focused scholarship opportunities. To create a more supportive environment for students, faculty and staff, we will improve mentoring, training and development opportunities, financial support mechanisms, and mental and behavioral health and wellness programs.

8. Build institutional strength and reinforce resilience

To expand and sustain our impact on health for the next century, the School must reinforce financial sustainability. This includes engaging in innovative strategies for revenue generation in teaching, practice, and research, as well as enhanced and intentional donor partnerships. For education, we must continue excellence in program offerings, enhance efforts for student recruitment, and address tuition costs. Importantly, the School should also develop new audiences, new modes of teaching, and new mechanisms for delivery that can serve our mission while also garnering financial stability. For research, we must continue to diversify funders, support faculty in their ability to successfully garner federal funds, and strategically pursue school-level themes that are efficient, impactful, and particularly suited to our diverse expertise. In addition, the School should pursue stronger practice partnerships or consulting arrangements that use the strengths of our faculty and staff for new revenue models. Finally, the School should set donor-based fund raising goals including prioritization for types of funds (e.g., current use versus endowment, scholarship versus research) and topical areas of focus.