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Congratulations to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Class of 2019! This year’s graduates come from 44 U.S. states and territories, and the District of Columbia. Including the U.S., 50 countries are represented in the class.

Today, Admissions Services will close at 12 noon to assist with the Bloomberg School’s Convocation Ceremony. The office will reopen on Wednesday, May 22 at 8 a.m.

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Office Staff at Our Daily Bread

Last week, Admissions Services was closed for a day. Each year, as an office, we set aside the day to volunteer in the Baltimore community. We always try to work with a different organization to help connect each of us to organizations if we want to continue volunteering at that location. For example, I currently volunteer at Commodore John Rogers Elementary, which is where we did our day of service last year (I blogged about it too).

This year, we spent the day at Our Daily Bread preparing and serving lunch. The Our Daily Bread Hot Meal program is restaurant style. The guests come in and are given an option between meals and are served by volunteers.

As an office, we helped prepare the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the vegetarian option, wash and cut fresh strawberries and peel and cut hard boiled eggs. Once the guests arrived for the main meal of the day, we worked with other volunteers to plate, serve and wash dishes. Overall, we had a great time together and I look forward to volunteering there in the future.

Lyme disease’s history is riddled with mysteries, but new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health might have uncovered a new treatment to prevent lifelong symptoms of the disease.

Researchers found a variant of Lyme disease that is slow growing and may be the cause of the 10-20 percent of patients that experience lifelong symptoms from the disease. This variant is resistant to the standard single antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease. However, in test tubes and mice, the researchers found a three-antibiotic cocktail eradicated the Lyme bacteria.

“There is a lot of excitement in the field, because we now have not only a plausible explanation but also a potential solution for patients who suffer from persistent Lyme disease symptoms despite standard single-antibiotic treatment,” says study senior author Ying Zhang, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Bloomberg School.

“A lot of physicians have been wanting to do clinical trials of antibiotic combinations in post- treatment Lyme disease syndrome patients, and now we have results in animals that support the idea of such trials,” Zhang says.

Zhang and his colleagues are making plans for their own trials and hope that some of their results will help not just Lyme patients, but other patients with persistent diseases.

The research was published in the March 28 issue of Discovery Medicine. More information can also be found in the Bloomberg School’s press release.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a city person. In graduate school, I lived in a city. I tried to like it. I desperately tried to embrace and thrive in the city. But the truth is, I like trees. I love the mountains. The color green in nature brings me joy and a sense of safety. So, when I took my job as the Communication Associate, I did hesitate because it meant moving from a small mountain town in Pennsylvania to Baltimore. Not just any city, but Baltimore, where the reputation made a country girl like me scared. But here I am, three and a half years later, and I love Baltimore.

Baltimore has its problems, but every community has problems and struggles. What national media fails to share is what we see in local news and by being involved in the local community. In the City of Neighborhoods (no really, that’s one of our nicknames and there are a lot of neighborhoods) community organizations thrive. The Enoch Pratt Free Library was voted as a top 10 finalist in the Reader’s Digest’s 2018 Nicest Places in America (I wrote a blog about it). Our marathon may not be famous like New York City, Boston or Chicago, but the Baltimore Running Festival aims to get everyone involved with a 5K for all ages, team relay (14 and up), a half marathon, the marathon and for those crazy runners that want to embrace their bit of crazy the BaltiMORON-a-thon that is the 5k and the half-Marathon. Whether in Little Italy with multi-colored strung lights across the street or Butcher’s Hill with easy access to Patterson Park, every community has a defining vibe and community characteristics.

Weekend mornings in Baltimore can be a variety of things, from the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar and smaller neighborhood famers’ markets to street festivals like Hon Fest. Every fall the Baltimore Book Festival takes over Federal Hill and this year will be partnering with Light City for the first time. Community gardens are becoming more and more popular throughout the city and offer more opportunities for the people to come together.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not a city girl, but Baltimore has become a home for me because of the people. Despite what national media coverage on Baltimore would imply, it is a city made up of hardworking, committed individuals who work together to improve city conditions in their communities. It’s a wonderful place to call home.

In the last year, American youth have taken action on gun violence. Following the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on February 14, 2018, students across the country came together to advocate against gun violence. However, with limited funding for gun research, finding accurate data and facts to support their cause is a problem for these students. Cassandra Crifasi, PhD’14, MPH, assistant professor with the Center for Gun Policy and Research, along with other center faculty, are removing the barrier preventing these young advocates from finding data and evidence to support their work.

As a part of Coursera, ­­­­an online system offering free and low-cost courses from universities across the country, Crifasi and her colleges will launch the course Reducing Gun Violence in America: Evidence for Change on May 1. The course is tailored specifically for high school and college students. The six-week course will cover mental health, school safety, police-involved shootings and public health interventions and will include moderated discussion forums. Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the class for the young advocates is gaining access to other students and Center for Gun Policy and Research faculty.