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A Life-Changing Summer

Pedro Martinez

Alum Pedro Martinez charts his post-Summer Institute career path.


The field of injury prevention felt like a perfect fit for research epidemiologist Pedro Martinez, MPH. One niggling issue, however, was that he had neither the formal training nor a clear plan that could help him refocus his career in that direction. That is, until he spent a bit of his summer at the Bloomberg School.

His employer, the Wyoming Department of Health, initially instigated his progress by involving him in projects related to injury prevention. To help Martinez gain the skills and knowledge necessary to excel at work, the department sent him to the School’s one-week Summer Institute for “Principles and Practices of Injury Prevention,” held in Baltimore by the Center for Injury Research and Policy.

“Reading materials online only goes so far,” says Martinez, who welcomed a chance to collaborate personally with professors and other students. “I really needed an interactive, classroom approach to learning about the field.

“Meeting new colleagues from all over the U.S. and learning from their experiences made me feel like I was joining a family, that I’m not alone in this.”

Two of the faculty members who taught the course—Carolyn Fowler, PhD, and Keisha Pollack, PhD—inspired him with their passion and energy for the subject. Hearing about the impact their policy work has been making on both the local and federal levels motivated Martinez to pursue studies in injury prevention.

“It really makes a difference when the person teaching you lives the material,” he says. “When they live it, they help you live it as well. They are examples of who I want to become professionally.”

Prior to his time at the Bloomberg School, Martinez had been searching for at least a year for a doctoral program that marries injury prevention with epidemiology. During the Summer Institute, he took advantage of the opportunity to speak in person with Fowler about possible routes he might take here at the School. That’s how he discovered the PhD in Health Policy and Management with a specialization in Injury Prevention and Control.

“Attending the Summer Institute solidified the path I want to take,” Martinez says, “and not just anywhere, but with Johns Hopkins.”

—Salma Warshanna-Sparklin


Upcoming Courses:

Registration is still open for other Summer Institutes. Courses end July 31, 2015. Learn more.

Introduction to American Indian Health Research Ethics // July 13-17

Health Emergencies in Large Populations // July 13-31

Chronic Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries // July 20-24