A virtual fireside chat with Dr. Anthony Fauci at 11 a.m., on Friday, Oct. 16, will launch the Johns Hopkins University's Health Policy Forum, a new quarterly series of discussions designed to support the university's engagement with key policy makers on matters of public health.
JHU President Ronald J. Daniels and Ellen MacKenzie, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, will moderate the discussion with Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who will discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and reflect on his nearly 40-year career as a leader in public health policy.
The series is jointly sponsored by the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health, and the Carey Business School. The first installment of the Health Policy Forum will be hosted by the School of Public Health, with hosting of subsequent events rotating among the sponsoring schools. The forum is designed to bring together Johns Hopkins faculty, students and operational experts with policymakers to explore the development and implementation of health policy interventions.
The Health Policy Forum is the collaborative brainchild of Cybele Bjorklund, vice president for federal strategy for Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, and Lainie Rutkow, senior adviser to the president for national capital academic strategy and a professor of health policy and management at the Bloomberg School.
"We have tremendous strength in health care and health policy across the various Hopkins schools and health system," Bjorklund says. "President Daniels tasked us with thinking about new ways to connect our Baltimore-based experts with Washington policymakers and for Washington leaders to engage with our JHU community, it seemed a natural opportunity to develop this health policy series."
Added Rutkow: "Having these four schools as the rotating hosts lets us bring a truly interdisciplinary perspective to health policy. It's wonderful because there's no health policy challenge that can be solved without bringing folks together who have varied perspectives and expertise."
While the series will initially focus on the federal government—a reflection of current affairs—Bjorklund and Rutkow say they envision over the long term that forum guests will be health policy figures from all levels of government who are actively involved in the policy-making process.
"The overall goal of the series is to bring in leaders who have practical experience in developing or implementing health policy at any level of government—be it local, regional, national, or global—who can speak to today's most pressing health policy challenges," Rutkow said.
Johns Hopkins staff members, faculty, students, alumni, and members of the general public are invited to attend. Pre-registration is required for the Oct. 16 event.
The next event is in the initial planning stages for January and will be hosted by the School of Medicine. While the forums will be held virtually for the foreseeable future, in-person events will eventually be held on the university's Baltimore and Washington, D.C., campuses—including 555 Pennsylvania Ave. once it opens.
"We think of it as a unique opportunity for our Hopkins community to have important bilateral conversations with outside policymakers," Bjorklund says. "Our focus with this series really is to build knowledge and shared experience in our own community."