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National Public Health Week at the Bloomberg School

Public Health Is ...

How would you complete that sentence?

In an open letter about National Public Health Week 2019, APHA executive director Georges Benjamin shares five illuminating possibilities:

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Benjamin’s letter encourages all “public health advocates”—not only those practicing professionally, but anyone with interest—to make public health visible.

This is a challenge that now-president of Planned Parenthood Leana Wen, MD, MSc, FAAEM, described in her 2018 Bloomberg School commencement address: “It has been said that when public health works best, we are invisible.”

When public health research and practice is working, for example, automobiles are automatically outfitted with seatbelts and airbags, and indoor public spaces are smoke-free. When massive global public health efforts are successful, we get to live in a world without fear of a naturally-occurring outbreak of smallpox. These advances, which help create a healthier world, become commonplace and can be taken for granted.

But there is danger in losing sight of the rigorous research behind safety mandates and disease control. In an era of “fake news,” and the virulent spread of misinformation, for example, there is a baffling rise in erroneous questioning of the safety of vaccines that has led to resurgences of once-controlled diseases.

Decades of research and discovery have helped create a safer, healthier world and will continue to contribute to better global health outcomes. But continued successes require advocates to make public health’s work visible, advocate for its importance, and help expand its definition.

National Public Health Week logoThis year’s NPHW theme—For science. For action. For health.—illustrates some of the broad contexts in which public health works. The week presents opportunities for acknowledgement and education, and for surfacing examples of public health in everything from AIDS to Zika. (Need more examples? See “100 Objects that Shaped Public Health.”)

We invite all public health advocates to join us in taking up the charge to make public health a household name—this week and every week!

Opportunity—We’re asking for your public health stories! What inspired you to embark on a career in public health? Telling your story is one of the best ways to share the power of public health.

What was your “public health moment?” 


Make Public Health Visible

The Bloomberg School is offering a wealth of opportunities to get involved with National Public Health Week.

Monday, April 1

Tuesday, April 2

Wednesday, April 3

Thursday, April 4

Friday, April 5

Saturday, April 6

The Anna Baetjer Society and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security present a Clade X Pandemic Simulation. Participants and volunteers welcome! Event information and RSVP/application (required)