The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has announced a $300 million gift from alumnus Michael R. Bloomberg ('64) and Bloomberg Philanthropies to create an initiative aimed at transforming approaches to major public health challenges.
The Bloomberg American Health Initiative will focus on five health issues affecting American communities — drug addiction, obesity, gun violence, risks to adolescent health, and environmental threats. The gift includes $100 million for an endowment that will fund fifty public health fellows each year who obtain Master of Public Health degrees at the school and commit to working in their communities for at least a year. In addition, a $125 million endowment will fund twenty-five faculty members and their research in the five focus areas, with joint appointments across departments within the school and in other schools at Johns Hopkins, while the remaining $75 million will be used to establish scholarships for a new Doctor of Public Health program and support a biennial public health summit that brings together Bloomberg fellows, faculty, and partners to share findings from their research and practice.
Announced on the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the school, the commitment by Bloomberg to the initiative "is testament to his vision that, as our nation's public health challenges have evolved, so too must our model of public health," said Johns Hopkins University president Ronald J. Daniels. The latest gift from the former New York City mayor brings to $1.5 billion his total support for the university since he made his first gift of $5 in 1965, the year after he graduated from the school with an engineering degree.
"By spreading smart public health strategies that save lives and bringing people together to try new approaches, we can make the same strides in the twenty-first century against health threats like air pollution, gun violence, and obesity that we did in the twentieth century against polio and other infectious diseases," said Bloomberg. "There's no institution better equipped to lead the charge than Johns Hopkins, and it's an honor to be able to help launch the school's next hundred years with this gift."