The best part of all? To ensure financial barriers never get in the way of creating impact, the school does what it can to keep these programmes accessible to all aspirants, no matter their background.
At the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the pursuit of excellence is not merely a mandate but a resounding call to ensure the world never runs short of visionary leaders dedicated to transforming public health outcomes on a global scale.
Through a blend of cutting-edge research, impactful modules, and an unyielding passion for the betterment of humanity, the school’s programmes equip students with the knowledge, skills, and compassion needed to navigate the complex challenges of a changing world.
Hence her decision to go back to her roots. For the past three years, Calhoun has been directing Saginaw’s Youth Protection Council's Innerlink Runaway and Homeless Youth Shelter — an organisation she volunteered for while in high school. Her role revolves around leading the shelter’s team, sheltering youths and supporting them in school, meals and life. The more she saw, the stronger her interest in public health became — further fueled by her deep concern for food insecurity and the plight of children and teenagers without parents or crucial support systems.
“I believe that, at its core, public health is a discipline about creating solutions for the risk factors that prevent people from ultimately becoming whole,” she says.
Jasmine Calhoun's journey from a compassionate volunteer in her teens to an accomplished Bloomberg Fellow is a testament to her unwavering dedication to giving back. Growing up, she added value to various community organisations before stepping beyond her hometown of Saginaw, Michigan, to study pre-medicine in college and earn a master’s degree in health administration and leadership. Upon graduating, she began working with physicians undergoing the credentialing process. While financially rewarding, the role left her yearning for something more. “The work wasn’t really meaningful to me or beneficial to people I thought needed the most help,” she says.
From passion to profession
“They will develop the critical skills necessary to improve the health of their communities. I look forward to seeing the lifesaving work they will go on to lead across the country,” says Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries.
The Bloomberg American Health Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health was established in 2016 to broaden the intellectual horizons of tomorrow's changemakers. Its fellowship programme provides full scholarships for full- or part-time study. All fellows are supported throughout the programme by their employers, whom they will have to work with for an additional year to apply their newfound knowledge.
This year, 60 fellows from 25 states follow in her footsteps by receiving the world-class training required to solve public health challenges across the US. Like Calhoun, they were selected from various organisations focused on improving one of five critical issues: addiction and overdose, adolescent health, environmental challenges, food systems for health, and violence.
Nurturing a new generation of changemakers
The latter, the DrPH, prepares early- to mid-career public health professionals for leadership roles in public health policy, practice positions and health services delivery settings. Classes revolve around leadership, analytical skills, communication, policy, management, and programme design and evaluation. It employs an innovative approach, utilising problem-based learning modules that directly engage with contemporary public health issues, closely simulating real-world scenarios. The programme is just as flexible as it is comprehensive, delivered part-time and online while giving students the option of taking courses onsite.
The first was designed to evolve professionals into public health leaders capable of solving global health problems with multidisciplinary, evidence-based approaches. It sees learners interacting with public health experts who double as faculty members renowned for their ongoing research. The MPH curriculum is flexible too, ensuring all aspirations are catered to — regardless of how specific. Hundreds of courses are available for them to choose from and explore before culminating their studies with a capstone project.
Making dynamic degrees accessible to all
Many of the fellows before her are currently doing just that. Leah Ford is a policy advisor at climate change-focused think tank E3G, acting as a liaison between civil society, government agencies, and policymakers to find ways to help accelerate a shift away from coal use. Charles Hawthorne is CA Bridge’s Equity and Harm Reduction Project Manager, advocating for higher quality emergency services for people of colour who use drugs. Susan E. Kornacki is co-chair of the Environmental Impact Working group for the Montgomery County Food Council. She leads a team of 20 professionals working on mitigating the environmental impact of the local food system.
Both programmes unlock the full Bloomberg School experience, which is excellent in every sense of the word as it is the oldest and largest public health institution in the world — hence its diverse student body, 35% of which are international. The School is also home to over 1,500 distinguished educators.
Where experts produce experts
The next application deadline is Dec. 1, 2023.
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