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The Admissions Service’s Office will be closed tomorrow, Friday, May 11 for a day of service. Each year, Admissions Services sets aside a day to volunteer in the Baltimore community and give back to our city. This year, we will be volunteering at the Commodore John Rodgers Elementary/Middle School. The Baltimore public school is five blocks from the School of Public Health and has committed to seeing 100% of its students from “Commodore to College”.

Admissions Services will reopen on Monday, May 14 at 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Public health is a massive field filled with all types of professionals. However, public health efforts would be struggling without teachers and nurses. Teachers are in the field instructing the populations and spreading public health knowledge in classrooms every day. In addition to acting as providers, nurses help organize and implement research, policies and care.

To all the public health nurses and teachers, we salute you and thank you for your important work!

For much of the east coast, spring has been more of an extension of winter. However, the last week and a half has been a bit more encouraging. And those of us in the Baltimore area have decided that no matter the weather, we’re going to celebrate with our festivals!Live Band

Baltimore hosts many types of festivals throughout the year, but I think the neighborhood festivals are my favorite. Not only do you get to explore the vendors, you also get a sense of the hosting neighborhood. This week was the Towson Festival. Six blocks were shut down from traffic and filled with different vendors, community organizations and food trucks. I saw several chiropractors and community health organizations using the family friendly opportunity to spread health awareness and public health opportunities.

At the center of the festival was a large beer garden outside the Baltimore County Historic Court House that also had live music. At the point I took the picture to the right, the 80’s band was on stage and there were some 80’s enthusiast dancing right in front of the band. Not far from the beer garden was a second stage that had several different local performers, including the Ridgely Middle School Steel Drum ensembles

.Steel Drum Band

It’s been a great week of celebrations and advocacy for immunizations here at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. And in honor of WHO’s World Immunization Week, I’m celebrating our 10th Annual Vaccine Day with these fun factoids that UNICEF published earlier this week:

  1. The countries with the most significant increase in vaccine rates over the last ten years are India, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bangladesh, Philippines, Mexico, United Republic of Tanzania, Vietnam, Turkey and Sudan.
  2. In the last ten years India’s unvaccinated children reduced by 45%.
  3. The diphtheria immunization has helped make the disease rare. However, there has been an outbreak among Rohingya refugees. Several large vaccination campaigns in southern Bangladesh reached close to half a million children.
  4. 2017 saw a total of 22 cases of polio, in only 2 countries. Over 400 million children were vaccinated. Eradication of polio is closer than ever.
  5. Thanks to vaccines, maternal and neonatal tetanus has been eliminated in all but 15 countries. Ethiopia, Haiti and Philippines eliminated the disease in 2017.

Today the Johns Hopkins Vaccine Initiative is hosting Walter Orenstein, MD, DSc (Hon), Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, Global Health, and Pediatrics at Emory; and the  Associate Director of the Emory Vaccine Center and Director of Emory Vaccine Policy and Development. The keynote address and panel discussion from 12:15-2pm will be live streamed this afternoon and I encourage you to join the school electronically.

Many students at the School of Public Health value volunteering or working within the Baltimore community while earning their degree. Whether it’s through one-day volunteer opportunities, a volunteer partnership or through a service-learning class, SOURCE (the Student Outreach Recourse Center for the School of Public Health, School of Medicine, and School of Nursing) helps students find the right opportunity for them.

SOURCE’s annual National Volunteer Week offers popular events and culminates with the Spring Tri-School Day of Service. This year’s National Volunteer Week begins, Monday, April 23 and ends on Saturday, April 28.

The week really kicks off with the SOURCE Community Involvement Poster Competition. The event is a wonderful way to see how students, student groups and service-learning courses have partnered with Baltimore City non-profit organizations throughout the year. During the entire week, SOURCE will also be collecting toiletry items as part of their donation drive efforts.

For the Tri-School Day of Service, SOURCE has many different volunteer opportunities available to students. The projects for the Tri-School Day of Service, which are listed below, assist popular community partners that many students volunteer with throughout the year.

Tri-School Day of Service Activity List
BUGS Farmers Market – Volunteers will work with Living Classrooms’ BUGS (Baltimore Urban Gardens for Students) afterschool program to set-up and assist in running their annual farmer market.
YO! Baltimore Volunteers help clean and organize the clothing closet and food pantry at YO! Baltimore and help organize the commuter and file room.  
Blue Water Baltimore Volunteers will spend time in the community planting trees to support the diversification and expansion of the City’s tree canopy.
Civic Works Volunteers will assist in setting up and welcoming guests to an event commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and help a community beautification project.
Baltimore American Indian Center – Volunteers will learn about the indigenous people who call Baltimore home while assisting with exterior painting and beautification projects around the garden courtyard at the center.
Commodore John Rodgers Volunteers will help with a variety of projects at the school, including painting, to create a more welcoming environment for students and their families.
Amazing Grace – Volunteers will help this East Baltimore urban garden get ready for spring and summer while beautifying the landscape! Volunteers will help weed, mulch, trim bushes and pick up trash.
Franciscan Center Volunteers will assist with bagging and handing out fresh produce to individuals experiencing homelessness.