Johns Hopkins to host conversation with CDC Director Rochelle Walensky

Discussion with Walensky and Paul B. Rothman of JHM will cover COVID strategy and the powerful combination of medicine and public health

The Johns Hopkins Health Policy Forum welcomes Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for a virtual conversation with Paul B. Rothman, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine at 11 a.m., on Tuesday, May 4.

Rochelle Walensky

Image caption: Rochelle Walensky

Walensky is the second expert to participate in the Health Policy Forum series, which launched last fall to spotlight the university's engagement with key policy makers on matters of health policy. The October 2020 event, hosted by JHU and the Bloomberg School of Public Health, featured a discussion with Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The event with Walensky, who earned her Doctor of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will cover a range of topics including an update on the national strategy to respond to COVID-19, the power of combining medicine and public health, and a reflection on career pathways and progression. 

"Rochelle Walensky epitomizes the goals and ideals of Johns Hopkins Medicine—helping those in need of aid, an intense focus on scientific rigor; and a strong belief in the importance of spreading effective healthcare to as many people as possible," Rothman said. "We are so proud of her many accomplishments, and we are honored that she will be taking part in this event. I am very excited to hear her thoughts on the pandemic, her goals at the CDC, and many other topics."

Walensky is the 19th director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ninth Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She is an influential scholar whose pioneering research has helped advance the national and global response to HIV/AIDS. Walensky is also a well-respected expert on the value of testing and treatment of deadly viruses.

Walensky served as Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2017-2020 and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School from 2012-2020. She served on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and conducted research on vaccine delivery and strategies to reach underserved communities.

Originally from Maryland, Walensky received her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, her Doctor of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and her Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Jointly sponsored by Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Nursing, Public Health, and the Carey Business School, 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. Hosting duties rotate among the sponsoring schools, and 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.

Johns Hopkins staff members, faculty, students, alumni, and members of the general public are invited to attend. Pre-registration is required for the May 4 event.