Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Robert Black, William Eaton, Margaret Ensminger, Diane Griffin, Bernard Guyer, Jonathan Links, Roger McMacken, Noel Rose, Jonathan Samet, Alfred Sommer, Donald Steinwachs, James Yager and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Miriam Alexander, John Groopman, Robert Lawrence, and Edward Miller.
Guest: Drs. Claude Earl Fox and Sharon Krag; Mr. Herbert Hansen; and Ms Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Dean Sommer convened the meeting at 3:00 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 854th meeting on November 29, 2001 were approved.
Remarks by the Dean
Dr. Sommer welcomed the Advisory Board members to the final meeting of 2001. He noted that a course on "The Public Health Response to Terrorism" will be held on January 14, 2002. He then remarked on the availability of the anthrax vaccine for persons with known recent exposure to anthrax, and on the controversy surrounding this issue. This and several other decisions affecting health and public policy have been made without adequate data, for reasons that may be as much political as they are based on science.
Dr. Sommer asked the Advisory Board to consider inviting the dean of the School of Nursing to join and serve on the Advisory Board, and commented that Dr. Miller's role on the Advisory Board has been very positive. The Advisory Board then voted to invite the dean of the School of Nursing to join the Advisory Board.
Report of the Faculty Senate
Dr. Rose reported that the Faculty Senate has held 2 meetings to consider portions of the Strategic Plan related to the educational mission of the School. The Senate's findings and recommendations have been summarized in a "white paper" that will be distributed at the joint Faculty Senate/Committee of the Whole meeting on January 10, 2002 to be used as a point of departure for discussion.
Johns Hopkins University Urban Health Institute
Dr. Claude Earl Fox joined the Advisory Board, where he was congratulated on his appointment as Public Health Professor. Dr. Fox reviewed the origins and purpose of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, which is now 18 months old. He commented on the dismal health status of many residents of East Baltimore, and noted that a primary purpose of the Institute is to positively impact their health. Another primary purpose of the Institute is to provide a home for education and community-based practice in East Baltimore. Improving economic development and decreasing substance abuse, which have been identified by many community members as the major issues facing East Baltimore, are inseparably linked to improvements in health status.
The Institute has developed a comprehensive strategic plan that interfaces community needs and expectations with those of Hopkins. The Institute will initially act locally, but Dr. Fox also would like it to serve as a national model for best practices in an urban environment. The community focus in research and education, now in early stages, will also involve provision of technical assistance. Accountability and responsibility of the researchers/educators, as well as open communications, will be important factors in establishing successful relationships. Dr. Fox then reviewed and commented on the diverse array of ongoing activities in which the Institute is engaged. Many of the activities build upon, but strengthen and expand, activities and resources already available in East Baltimore. Presently, the Institute has 3 full-time and 4 part- time staff.
Dr. Fox remarked that the East Baltimore community is very diverse and cannot be represented by one leader. Some of the leaders are from churches or religious organizations while others are political. Needs assessments must be conducted with subunits of the community as the needs are diverse as well, presenting a challenge due to a lack of infrastructure among community groups. After further discussion, the members of the Advisory Board thanked Dr. Fox and expressed much support and optimism for the goals of the Institute.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
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