a view of the Baltimore skyline

From Tragedy, A Renewed Commitment

Engaging Baltimore brings the tools and actions of public health to help the city.

By Jackie Powder • Photo by Ruchita Pillai

The death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray last spring cast a harsh light on Baltimore’s staggering inequities.

The aftermath has been a time of soul-searching for those who call the city home—including the Bloomberg School.

Dean Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH ’87, immediately challenged the School to do more. To that end, students, staff, faculty and community members gathered in May to discuss challenges and opportunities for public health in Baltimore.

Students resurrected the group SPARC, or Students for a Positive Academic Partnership with the East Baltimore Community, dedicated, in part, to addressing injustices in health. And the School partnered with the School of Nursing on a major expansion of the Student Outreach Resource Center (SOURCE) to involve more student, staff and faculty volunteers in community partnerships. In addition, the School launched Engaging Baltimore, an institution-wide effort to improve the city’s health and well-being.

“Every part of the School is stepping up to strengthen its commitment to the city,” says Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD, associate dean for Public Health Practice and Training. “There is a real sense of mission when it comes to Baltimore.”