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Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit

A World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Injuries, Violence and Accident Prevention

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Keyword: international health

The most recent issue of the Lancet features a tribute to International Health co-founder, professor Timothy Baker, who passed away on December 17, 2013.

In 1942, Dr. Baker entered Johns Hopkins University to study chemical engineering, but a stint at the US Air Force Base hospital during World War II changed his mind, and once the war was over, completed his biology degree at Hopkins. He then went on to earn his medical degree at the University of Maryland in 1952, then a master’s degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public health two years later.  

From there, Dr. Baker pursued advanced medical training at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London and at what is now the University of Maryland Medical Center, completed his residency at the New York Department of Public Health, worked as a district health officer in New York's Syracuse district, fought malaria in India and Ceylon, was an assistant chief of the Health Division for the U.S. Technical Cooperation Mission (which became the U.S. Agency for International Development) and played a key role in persuading Indian government officials to increase spending on the malaria eradication campaign.

In 1959, Baker was appointed assistant dean of what is now the Bloomberg School of Public Health and associate professor of public health administration. In 1961, he co-founded the Department of International Health with Dean Ernest L. Stebbins and continued to build the first-of-its kind academic department with chair Carl E. Taylor and professor William Reinke.

A pioneer in disease and injury burden, Dr. Baker was among the first to recognize the importance of injury as a cause of disability, especially in low income countries. Dr. Baker was the founding director of the JHSPH Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, which trained senior foreign health professionals and in 1993, he was recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the American Public Health Association.

His career spanned 50 years and included work in more than 40 countries. Said JH-IIRU director, Adnan Hyder, [Dr. Baker’s death is] “an incredible loss for our program, the department, and the school to start; but really the entire global health community.”

Access the full tribute here.

Read the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health tribute here.

Access Dr. Baker’s obituary in the Baltimore Sun here.

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that I email you to announce that our beloved Dr. Tim Baker passed away yesterday. This is an incredible loss for our program, the department, and the school to start; but really the entire global health community. As the founder of our department, he was a powerhouse of knowledge, inquiry, and persistence; as a teacher and mentor he was a giant in the field; and as a proponent of the poor and vulnerable, he hid a warm and glowing heart under his witty exterior. So many of us were fortunate to be his students, colleaugues and friends; and how lucky we were to receive his wisdom, insight and sharp advice. Not a man to appreciate praise, he always cut it short; not one to stand pomp and ceremony he often avoided it; and not one to accept failure he believed in the power of humanity to succeed. We will dearly miss him, his humor, his flowers (for ladies only) and his raisin bread - and always remember that he asked us to work harder, and better than anyone else in the world for the cause of social justice and international health.

Let us make sure we never forget his legacy.

Adnan Hyder

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