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The Lerner Center For Public Health Promotion

Our Work

The Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion is committed to the development, evaluation, and dissemination of innovative and effective health promotion interventions that address key health issues, as well as health promotion and advocacy training activities for faculty and students.

2018-2019 Research Pilot Grant Program recipients include:

2018-2019 Community Scholar Grant Program recipients include:

DeStress Monday at School Phase II

This project will replicate the initial findings from the DeStress Monday Phase I pilot using a randomized controlled study design to explore whether teacher-reported program impacts are maintained at 3-month follow up, and to evaluate whether teacher participation positive impacts student outcomes.  The DeStress Monday at School program seeks to improve teachers’ stress management and well-being through weekly mindfulness practices for self care and for use in the classroom.

Tamar MendelsonTamar Mendelson, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Mental Health and Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, JHSPH

Dr. Tamar Mendelson is an Associate Professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with joint appointments in the Departments of Mental Health and Population, Family and Reproductive Health.  She also has an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  She is Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health and co-leads the Risks to Adolescent Health workgroup of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative.  Her research focuses on the prevention of emotional and behavioral problems in underserved urban populations.  She is particularly interested in assessing school-based interventions that promote supportive school climates and positive outcomes for students.

Erica SibingaErica Sibinga, MD, MHS, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Erica Sibinga is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, with training as a general academic pediatrician and clinical investigator.  Her research has focused on improving the scientific evidence related to pediatric integrative medicine approaches, particularly related to mindfulness programming.  With funding from NIH and foundations, Dr. Sibinga has conducted randomized controlled trials of high-quality structured mindfulness programming in clinic and school settings, showing benefits for youth in psychological symptoms, coping, physiologic stress response (cortisol), post-trauma symptoms and medication adherence.  Her current research includes exploring the neural mechanisms of mindfulness and extending mindfulness practices to others important to children— teachers and parents.  Dr. Sibinga is the Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Bayview, Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Integrative Medicine and Associate Editor of the journal, Mindfulness.   

Examination of Alcohol Outlets as Epicenters of Neighborhood Violence

This pilot project examine alcohol outlets as epicenters of neighborhood violence. The project will analyze data related to violent activity stemming from licensed liquor establishments that are identified by the Police Department as the most violent locations in Baltimore. The outcome of the study will provide tools to increase accountability for the responsibility held by the Liquor Board and individual liquor licensees, for negative impacts on public health due to neighborhood violence. 

Janice BowieJanice Bowie, PhD, MPH, Professor, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, JHSPH

Dr. Janice Bowie is a Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society.  She is core faculty in the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions and the Center for Reducing Health Disparities in Cancer.  Dr. Bowie has designed, implemented and evaluated interventions in partnership with community-based organizations and within faith settings.  Dr. Bowie is highly sought out as a co-investigator and collaborator on studies that further advance solutions to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities and promote the value of community engaged research.  Her particular skill and expertise is in constructing relationships with community leaders and participants.

Kristine DunkertonKristine J. Dunkteron, Esq., Executive Director, Community Law Center

Kristine J. Dunkerton, Esq., is the Executive Director of Community Law Center, a legal services organization that provides representation to nonprofit organizations in Maryland.  Ms. Dunkerton’s legal work for the past twenty years has been firmly rooted in the desire to make all neighborhoods safe and healthy places to live and nonprofits effective, stable and sustainable.  Her work has sparked change in state and local laws, regulations and policies; has made government and administrative bodies more responsive to community concerns and receptive to community voices; and has helped community leaders better understand how to utilize the law to improve their circumstances.  She is a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and is a member of the Maryland Bar.

Simulating the Health and Economic Impact of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s Health Choices Program

The Girl Scouts of Central Maryland developed the Healthy Choices program to address inadequate nutrition and physical activity among elementary and middle school girls in Baltimore City Public Schools. This project will develop and test a computational simulation model to evaluate the health and economic impact of the Healthy Choices program. These findings will be instructive to the partnering organizations, as well as key stakeholders and policymakers who are interested in expanding the Healthy Choices program.

Bruce LeeBruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA, Associate Professor, Department of International Health, JHSPH

Dr. Bruce Y. Lee is an Associate Professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Executive Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center, as well as Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.  Dr. Lee has two decades of experience in industry and academia in systems science, digital health, and developing mathematical and computational methods, models, and tools to assist decision making in health.  Dr. Lee is a regular contributor to Forbes and the HuffPost and has also written for a range of other general media.

Immigrant and Refugee Youth Mental Health Needs Assessment at Baltimore City Public Schools: A Cross-sectional Observational Study with a Mixed Methods Approach

This project targets foreign-born minors who migrated to the United States and are currently enrolled in Baltimore City Schools.  The purpose of the project is to conduct a comprehensive health needs assessment to evaluate mental health, exposure to violence, perceptions of safety and barriers to access services among this vulnerable population.  The findings will be used to inform the Mayor’s office and school district of current needs to improve the health and wellness of Baltimore’s youth immigrant population.

Carlos CastilloCarlos Castillo-Salgado, MD, JD, MPH, DrPH, Professor, Department of Epidemiology, JHSPH

Dr. Carlos Castillo-Salgado is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology with joint appointments in the Departments of Population, Family & Reproductive Health, Health Policy and Management and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  He has pioneered the development of applied and field epidemiology training programs for public health professionals in the Americas.  Currently, Dr. Castillo-Salgado is the Director of the Global Public Health Observatory of the Bloomberg School of Public Health and Director of the Certificate Training Program in Epidemiology for Public Health Managers.

RodriguezCatalina Rodriguez Lima, Director, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs, Baltimore City

Catalina Rodriguez Lima is the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs (MIMA) in Baltimore City, where she is responsible for promoting community well-being, economic development and the inclusion of immigrant and refugee communities in the City of Baltimore.  Catalina is a member of the Community University Collaborative Council (CUCC) of Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute (UHI), Providers by the Maryland Office of Refugees and Asylees, Johns Hopkins Centro Sol, Maryland Immigrant Rights Coalition, The Open Society Baltimore Leadership Institute and The Baltimore City Hispanic Advisory Council for Public Safety.  

Using Photovoice to Explore the Back on My Feet Community and Impacts on Mental and Physical Health and Stigma

Back on My Feet is a national nonprofit organization that combats homelessness through the power of running, community support and essential employment and housing resources.  Marybeth Moran will be collaborating with Dr. Karin Tobin to implement a project that uses Photovoice to explore the context and psychosocial mechanisms (e.g., social connectedness, stress reduction) experience by Back on My Feet members to achieve improved mental and physical health, and how these improvements lead to employment and housing.

Marybeth MoranMarybeth Moran, MSW, LGSW, Program Director, Back on My Feet

Marybeth Moran started volunteering with Back on My Feet in September 2013, and has been the full time Back on My Feet Baltimore Program Director since March 2016.  As the Program Director, Marybeth oversees the program and drives it forward while supporting members achieve their employment, education and housing goals.  Marybeth whole-heartedly believes in the power of running to combat homelessness and recognizes that the unique mission and positive community of Back on My Feet hits at the social isolation piece of homelessness.  The joy of watching members come out and run or walk to get back to work or school and get reunited with their families is what keeps bringing her to the 5:30 a.m. Back on My Feet start.  Marybeth is excited and thankful to be a Community Scholar and knows this opportunity will not only help the program move forward but professionally grow her skillset as well.

Karin TobinKarin Tobin, PhD, MHS, Associate Professor, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, JHSPH

In addition to serving as the Associate Director at the Lighthouse Studies @ PeerPoint, a community-based research clinic, Dr. Karin Tobin is also a volunteer for Back on My Feet.  She is a behavioral scientist who aims to identify and understand multi-level factors that contribute to health disparities for various health outcomes including HIV, sexually transmitted infections, substance use and opiate overdose.  Her program of research includes development and evaluation of peer-based behavioral interventions, examinations of social network and place-based characteristics of risk and resilience in urban populations.  Dr. Tobin also collaborates with local and national community-based organizations by providing technical assistance and evaluation of programs. 

Pilot Trial to Test the Feasibility of Interventions to Improve Healthful Food Availability in Baltimore Food Pantries

The Maryland Food Bank is a nonprofit hunger-relief organization that operates three facilities with an extensive network of soup kitchens, pantries and schools, distributing food across 21 counties and Baltimore City.  Tim Regan will be collaborating with Dr. Joel Gittelsohn to conduct a three-phase pilot intervention aimed at improving healthful food availability in Baltimore food pantries by: improving food pantry staff capacity; utilizing educational and environmental strategies; and implementing policy change.

Tim ReganTim Regan, Vice President, Programs and Network Relations, Maryland Food Bank

Tim Regan is the Vice President of Programs and Network Relations at the Maryland Food Bank (MFB), which he joined in 2015.  Tim is responsible for directing all food distribution programs, youth programs, government programs and the FoodWorks culinary training program.  Tim also leads network relations at MFB, directing relationships with over 1,250 distribution partners across Maryland.  Prior to joining the Maryland Food Bank, Tim worked for Structural Group, Inc. as Chief People Officer.  His prior experience includes over 20 years in human resource leadership roles at Gannett Co., Inc. as well as senior human resource roles at companies in the biotech and telecommunications industries.  Tim is on the Board of Directors of Valley Bridge House.  He is a graduate of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Joel GittelsohnJoel Gittelsohn, PhD, Professor, Department of International Health, JHSPH

Dr. Joel Gittelsohn is a Professor in the Center for Human Nutrition and the Global Obesity Prevention Center.  Dr. Gittelsohn has conducted a series of intervention trials to improve the Baltimore City food environment, working with corner stores, supermarkets, carryouts, wholesalers, recreation centers, food pantries and churches.  With more than 250 publications, Dr. Gittelsohn has led multiple food source-centered intervention trials aimed at improving the food environment and providing education needed to support healthy food choices and reduce obesity and diabetes in Native communities, Baltimore City and Pacific Islander communities.  Dr. Gittelsohn developed a multi-institutional program for diabetes prevention in seven First Nations in schools and food stores, which has been extended to 11 American Indian communities and includes worksites, social media and policy components.  These programs have shown success in: increasing knowledge, healthy food purchasing and consumption; reducing obesity; and improving stocking and sales.

Resource Library

Access our Library of resources for health departments, community organizations and other public health professionals.