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May 4, 2009

Brown Community Health Scholars Named

Scholarship to Address Health Disparities in Baltimore

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has named two doctoral candidates as recipients of the C. Sylvia and Eddie C. Brown Community Health Scholarships. The award provides tuition, a living stipend for up to five years of study and a research grant of $10,000. This year’s recipients plan to focus their work on public health issues associated with obesity.

The Brown Community Health Scholarship was established in 2007 by philanthropists C. Sylvia and Eddie C. Brown to train leaders committed to eliminating health disparities in Baltimore. Sylvia Brown has served on the Bloomberg School’s Health Advisory Board since 2004. Eddie Brown is the founder of Brown Capital Management.

“Sylvia and Eddie Brown are helping the School make a significant contribution to the Baltimore community,” said Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH, dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “If we want to improve the health of the people living in East Baltimore and similar communities nationwide, we need leaders who are trained in the most effective public health approaches—designed and proven to eliminate health disparities. The Brown Scholars Program is doing just that.”

2009 Brown Scholars

Michelle Taylor comes to the Bloomberg School from the Memphis Children’s Clinic where she has served as a pediatrician and community leader. As a doctor, she loves helping children and families stay healthy. Taylor says she began seeing an increase in the numbers of patients who at a remarkably young age were at risk of developing deadly diseases associated with obesity. Now Taylor believes she can best improve the health of urban children and their families with the skills she will gain in her PhD program in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Desmond Flagg has worked as a case manager in a welfare-to-work program in New York City since graduating from Columbia University in 2003. His passion to change public policy to improve community health comes from his personal experience. Born in the South to a single mother, Desmond learned first-hand that “being overweight is not merely a result of one’s eating behavior, it is rather the product of an intricate equation involving a variety of variables including education, income, stress, availability of healthful foods and exercise opportunities.” As a Brown Scholar in Community Health, Desmond is determined to improve the policies that affect these variables.

The Bloomberg School’s Health Advisory Board members have generously contributed to the growth of the Brown Scholars program, in recognizing its importance in improving urban public health, and in expanding the opportunities available to students. Their contributions are matched by the School and will augment the School’s effort to support nearly 20 Brown Scholars in Community Health by 2020.

Public Affairs media contact for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Natalie Wood-Wright at 410-614-6029 or