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August 15, 2018

Tamar Mendelson Named Bloomberg Professor of American Health

Associate Professor Tamar Mendelson, PhD, an expert in adolescent mental health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has been appointed as a Bloomberg Professor of American Health. She will also serve, beginning in October, as the director of the School’s Center for Adolescent Health, which works with community partners to improve the health and well-being of urban youth.

Tamara MendelsonMendelson holds the Dr. Ali & Rose Kawi Professorship in Mental Health in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Mental Health, and has a joint appointment in the School’s Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health. She also holds an appointment in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins Medicine. She works to develop strategies to enhance mental health in underserved populations, with a focus on urban youth.

A key focus of her research is promoting positive development and preventing disconnection from school and work in urban youth and adolescents. She has a particular interest in the potential of mindfulness-based interventions for benefitting young people. Mendelson has studied the potential of school-based mindfulness interventions to improve emotion regulation in urban youth who are at high risk for exposure to community violence and other forms of stress and trauma, many of which have been linked to poverty, that can lead to difficulty with cognitive and emotion regulation.

Mendelson’s endowed position is supported by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative. Launched in 2016 with a gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Initiative aims to tackle five complex and urgent threats to public health in the United States: drug addiction and overdose, environmental challenges, obesity and the food system, risks to adolescent health and violence. As part of the Initiative, Mendelson will lead new educational, research and practice efforts to address youth disconnection in the United States.

“Adolescence is a critical period of development, but so many adolescents face profound challenges on the path to adulthood,” says Dean Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD, MSc, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor and Bloomberg School dean. “At the Bloomberg School, we recognize the critical role public health can play in preventing and addressing youth disconnection, and Dr. Mendelson is well equipped to help lead our efforts to advance evidence-based solutions in this area.”

Mendelson received her PhD in clinical psychology from Duke University, completed an American Psychological Association-approved internship at the University of California, San Francisco, with specialization in Public Service and Minority Mental Health, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The Bloomberg American Health Initiative will support 25 endowed positions over the next five years, deepening the School’s expertise and impact in the Initiative’s five focus areas, each vital to American health. Mendelson is the second to be named a Bloomberg Professor of American Health. The first was Daniel Webster, ScD, who was appointed in January 2018.

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Media contacts: Dori Henry at 410-504-3667 or and Barbara Benham at 410-614-6029 or