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Influence & Reach

Data Science Courses Edge School's MOOCs Enrollment Close to 2 Million

The Bloomberg School has long been a leader in online public health education. But 2014 was the year we showed just how far online learning has come—and why education will never be the same.

Less than two years after the School began offering free MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) through online education provider Coursera, one million people had enrolled in one of our 24 MOOC offerings. E-learners around the world explored global disease control, the U.S. food system, primary health care and more. 

Biostatistics Department courses are among the School's most popular MOOCs, attracting more than 800,000 enrollees since we launched our first MOOC offerings in July 2012. In fact, the popularity of the inaugural courses earned faculty Brian Caffo, Roger Peng and Jeff Leek rock star-status in the MOOC world.

The Department has scored another win with its latest offering, Data Science Specialization, a series of nine MOOCS focused on the rapidly emerging field of public health data science. Introduced in April 2014, the Data Science initiative saw close to 1 million enrollments in six months, putting our total MOOC enrollment at more than 1.9 million. Next up in big data public health MOOCs: statistical analysis of massive genomics and neuroimaging data.

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Department Chair Named to U.S. AIDS Panel

David Holtgrave, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, was appointed to the newly created position of Vice Chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Holtgrave’s research has focused on the effectiveness of HIV prevention interventions, providing him with the critical insight and knowledge to assume a key leadership role in advising the President and the HHS Secretary on improving the U.S. response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

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The World’s Surgeon

You’re operating under beyond-difficult circumstances in a country few dare to visit, when your infant patient develops a life-threatening complication that would be a challenge to treat in a fully equipped operating room.

What do you do? If you’re International Health associate and surgeon Adam Kushner, MD, MPH '99, on a medical mission to South Sudan with Medecins Sans Frontieres, you take 15 seconds, gather your thoughts, and push on to successfully complete the procedure. It’s all in a day’s work for Kushner, a passionate advocate for greater recognition of surgery’s importance on the global public health agenda.

On the faculty of the Bloomberg School’s Center for Refugee and Disaster Response, Kushner builds his case through researching the surgical needs in developing countries and putting in time on the surgical frontlines.

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The Dark Secrets of Dowry Violence

One of the most important parts of encouraging positive change in public health policies is to expand awareness of the problem. And that’s exactly what physician Varsha Ramakrishnan, MPH '13, is trying to do.

The inaugural recipient of the $5,000 Johns Hopkins-Pulitzer Center Global Health Reporting Fellowship, she recently traveled to India to report on dowry violence, a problem that leads to the violent deaths of over 8,000 women per year in the country, many who die after being burned alive by their husbands.

Her story, published in Johns Hopkins Public Health, garnered the Robert F. Kennedy Award for College Journalism and a first-place Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Summer Camp with a Vision

What do Bloomberg School experts, top athletes and actor Martin Sheen have in common? 

They all play integral roles in NativeVision, a summer camp in New Mexico for Native-American children. Founded in 1996 by the School’s Center for American-Indian Health and former professional athletes, the camp is all about fun and games—and an acting workshop taught by NativeVision supporter Martin Sheen—but camp activities do double duty as life skills lessons for the kids, who come from over a dozen tribal communities. 

As a group, Native-American young people have the highest rates of mortality, suicide, drug and alcohol use, and dropping out of school compared to their age group nationwide. 

Last year, Johns Hopkins Public Health sent a writer to NativeVision to get the story. 

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