Johns Hopkins to host conversation with public health leader, surgeon, and writer Atul Gawande

Gawande, assistant administrator of the Bureau for Global Health at USAID, will discuss the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other topics during a virtual event on April 29

Atul Gawande, assistant administrator of the Bureau for Global Health at the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, will join Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Dean Ellen J. MacKenzie for a virtual conversation on Friday, April 29, as part of the Johns Hopkins Health Policy Forum.

Atul Gawande

Image caption: Atul Gawande

The discussion, which begins at 11 a.m., will cover a range of topics, including the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, global vaccination efforts, strengthening primary care and health systems around the world through public-private partnerships and other means, preparing for future public health threats, how young people can get involved in public health, the importance of trust in public health information, and how Gawande's career in global public health informs his work at USAID.

Johns Hopkins faculty, staff, students, alumni, and members of the general public are invited to attend the event; advance registration is required.

"Dr. Gawande has exceptional experience when it comes to public health and policy," MacKenzie said. "We are excited to hear his perspective on how to address our most pressing health challenges, nationally and globally, as well as his insight on how to regain the public's trust in science. This is a wonderful opportunity for a rich discussion, and I look forward to hearing the questions our Hopkins students, faculty, staff, and others have for him."

Gawande is the fifth expert to participate in the Health Policy Forum series, which launched in fall 2020 to highlight the university's engagement with key leaders on matters of health policy and health care. Previous events featured Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (October 2020); Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (May 2021); Robert M. Davis, CEO and president of Merck (October 2021); and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (January 2022).

Gawande is a renowned surgeon, writer, and public health leader. Prior to joining USAID, he was a practicing general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

He was founder and chair of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and of Lifebox, a nonprofit making surgery safer globally. He also co-founded CIC Health, a public benefit corporation supporting pandemic response operations nationally, and served as a member of President Joe Biden's transition COVID-19 advisory board.

From 2018-2020, Gawande was CEO of Haven, a health care venture formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase. Previously, he was a longtime staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and has written four New York Times best-selling books: Complications, Better, The Checklist Manifesto, and Being Mortal.

Gawande is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the winner of two National Magazine Awards, a MacArthur Fellowship, Academy Health's Impact Award for highest research impact on health care, and the Lewis Thomas Award for writing about science.

The Health Policy Forum series is jointly hosted by Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, Carey Business School, and School of Nursing along with Johns Hopkins Medicine.