The Johns Hopkins Gazette: June 22, 1998
June 22, 1998
VOL. 27, NO. 38


Public Health Establishes Department of Population and Family Health Sciences

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Effective July 1, the School of Public Health will create a Department of Population and Family Health Sciences by merging two existing departments, Population Dynamics and Maternal and Child Health. Bernard Guyer, chairman of Maternal and Child Health, will head up the new department, while Henry Mosley, current chairman of Population Dynamics, will devote full effort to his longstanding passion, the school's distance education programs.

Alfred Sommer, dean of the School of Public Health, said, "The two departments were split apart 28 years ago as the most effective way to meet the challenges of the time. Careful evaluation now suggests that this merger will strengthen the research and the educational programs of both departments. The synergy that will be generated by recombining the faculties, while augmenting their considerable strengths with judicious recruitments to the new department, will create a team that will lead the field."

Each of the two departments had been studied by separate faculty committees, both of which came to the same decision: that combining the two closely related departments would enhance the flexibility and increase the research opportunities of all concerned.

Over the next year, Guyer and the combined faculties will be working to integrate the academic, administrative and research programs of the former departments. Existing educational programs will remain the same for the coming year, as will those doctoral advisers and thesis committees already appointed.

The merger comes at a historic time for both departments. Population Dynamics celebrated its 25th anniversary not long ago, and Maternal and Child Health has been commemorating its 50th anniversary all year. The culminating event in its yearlong celebration will be a Sept. 24 dinner gala, which will be capped by a performance by Anna Deavere Smith.