Good health often starts with healthy behaviors. In
December, Alfred Sommer, dean of the Johns Hopkins
Bloomberg School of Public
Health, and the Behavior and Health Planning Committee
challenged faculty, staff and students to come up with the
most practical ways to change the behavior of the school
community. The winners of the Behavior and Health Challenge
were announced last week.
Vicki Hong-Smith, an English instructor in the Career
Services Office, won in the "Most de Rigueur: Essential
Environmental Enhancement" category for her suggestion of
providing more nourishing vending machine selections. For
the "Most Happening: Making Hopkins Hip" category, Mary Ann
Dunevant, a program coordinator in the
of Health Policy and Management, proposed that the
ambiance of the stairwells be improved by adding current
movie and restaurant reviews.
With her idea of an online health management program
that would assess users' personal risk and provide tailored
feedback, Pauline Lapin, a graduate student in the
Department of Health Policy and Management, won in the
"Most Hopkins-Like: High-Tech, With a Potential for Grant
Funding and Good Sound Bites."
In the final category, "Most Participatory: Appoint a
Committee to Deal With It," Hanan Jaber Aboumatar, a
graduate student in the
Population and Family Health Sciences, won for her
suggestion to establish a health council to develop a
multilevel plan for creating a culture of health at the
Each category winner received a gift certificate to a
local restaurant. Honorable mentions were also awarded to
nine other participants. The judges were Jane Trowbridge
Bertrand, director of the
Center for Communication Programs; and Margaret
Ensminger and Andrea Gielen, both with the Department of
Health Policy and Management.
In May 2003, the school established the Department of
Behavior and Health to develop new ways to prevent
unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, sedentary lifestyle
and diet-caused obesity; avoidable injuries; and substance
abuse. These behaviors are associated with the leading
causes of illness and premature death in the United States
and other parts of the world.
The Behavior and Health Challenge is one of many
events and activities being held at the School of Public
Health. The next Behavior and Health Seminar, scheduled for
April 12, is "Downsizing America: The Obesity Epidemic." It
is the fifth of six planned symposia.