Four questions for Tom Lewis, vice president for government and community affairs
1. What's at the top of your to-do list?
I'm working with city government and other large education and health care nonprofits in Baltimore to improve the coordination of the innumerable community benefit programs that the large nonprofits provide. We help strengthen public schools and rec programs, stimulate redevelopment of nearby neighborhoods, and provide free health care, tutoring, and mentoring, just to name a few initiatives. We're working on plans to leverage those activities to get a more positive and lasting impact.
2. What keeps you up at night?
We rely on, and make tremendous use of, federal research dollars and student aid; state operating and capital support; and patient care dollars, much of which come from treating the poor and the elderly. As federal budget deficits have constrained spending through sequestration and slow growth, state deficits in Maryland and elsewhere in the region lead to cuts in education and health care spending, and city revenues get tight, how do we continue to get and keep the attention of policymakers for Johns Hopkins contributions and priorities?
3. What's in store 10 years from now?
Johns Hopkins will continue to be relied upon by policymakers and community leaders to provide the ideas and energy of its faculty, students, and staff to help solve problems in the communities around our campuses, throughout the city, state, and world.
4. Tell me something I don't know about Johns Hopkins.
Once every four years, we prepare an Economic Impact Report to provide a framework for talking about the impact the people of Johns Hopkins have on the community, state, and country. It also helps us have a common reference point for questions such as, How many employees does JHU really have? That number can go up or down slightly on any given day. It can also answer a question like, How much do we spend on local- and minority- and women-owned businesses in the various work we do in research, new construction, and facility operations? The report will tell you how many companies were spun out from Johns Hopkins research last year and how many patents were issued. And so on. The most recent EIR will be available later this spring.