About the Initiative

The Bloomberg American Health Initiative Works to Improve Communities and Save Lives

The Bloomberg American Health Initiative is tackling five issues that deeply challenge the nation’s health: addiction and overdose, adolescent health, environmental challenges, obesity and the food system, and violence. The Initiative also has set out to train a new generation of leaders committed to improving health in America.

75,000+ Americans are now dying every year from overdose – an all-time high
1 in 9 young people are neither in school nor working
100,000+ Americans each year die of illnesses caused by air pollution
Nearly 1 in 4 Households are experiencing hunger in the pandemic – a new record
53% increase in homicide rates in 27 cities in summer 2020 compared to summer 2019
  • Addiction & Overdose
  • Adolescent Health
  • Environmental Challenges
  • Obesity & The Food System
  • Violence

Cross-Cutting Themes

Our Work is Rooted in Equity, Evidence, and Policy

Equity

Low-income communities and communities of color disproportionately experience illness and mortality from many different health challenges. Progress and justice require understanding and confronting these inequities directly.

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Equity

Evidence

Good intentions do not guarantee successful outcomes. It’s essential to study whether interventions, programs and policies work. Developing new tools to support more frequent and effective use of evidence is a critical goal for the Initiative.  

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Evidence

Policy

Moving the needle in the Initiative’s focus areas requires engaging a broad coalition of actors from the research, policy, practice and academic fields to design, implement, evaluate and advocate for evidence-based policy solutions.  

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Policy

Stay Connected to the Initiative

Receive all the latest news from the Initiative by following us on Twitter, signing up for the American Health Dispatch newsletter, subscribing to the American Health Podcast, and subscribing to our YouTube channel.

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Supporting Research and Projects with Impact

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sean-allen
Projects supported by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative

Rural Communities in Crisis

In Cabell County, West Virginia, researchers set out to help health officials determine the level of resources, services, and treatment they need to provide in order to save lives during the opioid epidemic.

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Susan G. Sherman, PhD
Projects supported by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative

Detecting Fentanyl. Saving Lives.

Fentanyl is a lethally potent drug that is driving the rapid rise in overdose deaths. Researchers at Johns Hopkins investigated three available technologies to provide people who use drugs with information that could save their lives.

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erpo feature
Shannon Frattaroli, PhD
Projects supported by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative

Extreme Risk Protection Orders: A Tool to Save Lives

ERPO laws help prevent gun deaths and protect communities. Their implementation is part of a national effort to reduce the daily loss of life due to firearm violence, including gun suicide.

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Supporting a New Generation of Public Health Leaders Across the Country

The Bloomberg Fellows Program provides world-class public health training for individuals engaged with organizations tackling critical challenges facing the United States.

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Leah Ford
Current Fellows Spotlight
Environmental Challenges

Leah Ford

As a researcher at Food & Water Watch, Leah is focused on issues of energy consumption, factory farming, and climate mitigation.

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Collaborating Organization

Food and Water Watch

Washington

Susan E. Kornacki
Alumni Spotlight
Obesity & The Food System

Susan E. Kornacki

Susan is co-chair of the Environmental Impact Working group for the Montgomery County Food Council where she leads a group of over 20 community members and professionals who work on mitigating the environmental impact of the local food system.

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Collaborating Organization

Montgomery County Food Council

Bethesda

Charles Hawthorne
Current Fellows Spotlight
Addiction & Overdose

Charles Hawthorne

Charles is the Capacity Building Coordinator at Harm Reduction Coalition, where he provides technical assistance to organizations that want to incorporate harm reduction into their service provision model.

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Collaborating Organization

Harm Reduction Coalition

Oakland

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Collaborating Organization Spotlight

Environmental Challenges

Helping Philadelphians Stay Healthy

Get Healthy Philly, part of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, is an innovative public-private coalition that works to tackle the underlying risk factors driving the epidemic of chronic disease and injuries in the city.

Collaborating Organization Spotlight

Environmental Challenges

Deep South Center for Environmental Justice

The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families harmed by pollution and vulnerable to climate change in the Gulf Coast Region through research, education, and community and student engagement.

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Collaborating Organization Spotlight

Adolescent Health

Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School

Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School is a non-profit educational organization and expedition school that serves Baltimore City middle- and high-school students through active learning expeditions that inspire character development, self-discovery, and service, both in and out of the classroom.

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Collaborating Organization Spotlight

Addiction & Overdose

National Harm Reduction Coalition

​​​​​For the past 25 years, National Harm Reduction Coalition, a national organization, has been consistently working to challenge and dismantle the stigma around people who use drugs, through training and capacity-building, policy and advocacy, and overdose prevention.

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Collaborating Organization Spotlight

Obesity & The Food System

Center for Science in the Public Interest

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is a consumer advocacy organization whose twin missions are to conduct innovative research and advocacy programs in health and nutrition, and to provide consumers with current, useful information about their health and well-being.

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Public Health Leaders Make Our Work Possible

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keshia-pollack-porter
Core Faculty Spotlight
Environmental Challenges

Keshia Pollack Porter, PhD

Keshia M. Pollack Porter, PhD, MPH, is a Professor of Health Policy and Management and Vice Dean for Faculty.

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Yeeli Mui, PhD
Core Faculty Spotlight
Obesity & The Food System

Yeeli Mui, PhD

Yeeli Mui, PhD, MPH, is a Bloomberg Assistant Professor of American Health in the Department of International Health.

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Tamar Mendelson, PhD
Core Faculty Spotlight
Adolescent Health

Tamar Mendelson, PhD

Tamar Mendelson, PhD, is a Bloomberg Professor of American Health and Director of the Center for Adolescent Health, with joint appointments in the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health.

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Brendan Saloner
Core Faculty Spotlight
Addiction & Overdose

Brendan Saloner, PhD

Brendan Saloner, PhD, is a Bloomberg Associate Professor of American Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management, with a joint appointment in Mental Health.

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Michele R. Decker, ScD_Headshot
Core Faculty Spotlight
Violence

Michele R. Decker, ScD

Michele R. Decker, ScD, MPH, is a Bloomberg Associate Professor of American Health in Violence in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, with a joint appointment in the School of Nursing.

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News from the Initiative

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American Health Dispatch

Get the latest news from the Bloomberg American Health Initiative delivered to your inbox, every Friday morning.