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The Office of Public Health Practice & Training

June 28, 2011

New Podcast Series Shines Spotlight on Public Health Practice

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has a new podcast series exploring the world of public health practice. Each month, Public Health: On the Inside takes listeners to the frontlines and explores how public health impacts our daily lives.

“A top question I hear from students all the time is ‘What am I going to with a public health degree?’” says Thomas Burke, PhD, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Training at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “I want folks to know that there is more to public health besides teaching and research. The practice of public health touches nearly every aspect of our lives, from what we eat, to what we do, to the air we breathe. With Public Health: On the Inside, I want to give listeners a feel for what’s really going on out there.”

Burke spent much of his career in public health practice. Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins, he was deputy commissioner of health for the State of New Jersey, as well as assistant commissioner for occupational and environmental health at the New Jersey Department of Health, and as director of the Office of Science and Research in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. From the beaches of the Jersey Shore to the nation’s most challenging hazardous waste sites, he has been on the frontlines of public health. His research interests include environmental epidemiology, the evaluation of community exposures to environmental pollutants, the assessment and communication of environmental risks, and the application of epidemiology and risk assessment to public policy. Today, as dean for practice and training, he continues to work closely with frontline practitioners here in Maryland and around the globe.

The first episode of Public Health: On the Inside, released in June, introduces listeners to Tala Fakhourir, a recent MPH graduate now with the U.S. Epidemic Intelligence Service. Fakhourir discusses what motivated her to make the leap from “bench scientist” to “disease detective.” You can hear Tala’s story here.

New episodes of Public Health: On the Inside will be available each month at