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MacKenzie Named Dean of Public Health

August 4, 2017
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Susan Sperry, for the Bloomberg School of Public Health
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Ellen J. MacKenzie, an expert on improving trauma care systems and policy and a nationally renowned researcher, veteran academic leader, and Johns Hopkins faculty member since 1979, will be the 11th dean of the university’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dean-designate Ellen J. MacKenzie of the Bloomberg School of Public Health

Ellen J. MacKenzie

MacKenzie will assume her new role on Oct. 1. She was chair of the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management from 2005 until last year and was recently appointed the university’s 30th Bloomberg Distinguished Professor.

“I have been deeply impressed by Dr. MacKenzie’s appreciation for today’s global and local public health challenges, and by her visionary understanding of the Bloomberg School’s role as a leader in confronting these challenges,” said Ronald J. Daniels, president of the university. “Her renowned scholarship, proven academic leadership, and tireless commitment to the mission of Johns Hopkins make her ideally suited to serve as the next Bloomberg School dean.”

MacKenzie will lead the world’s first and largest school of public health, a global pioneer in addressing health problems at a community or population level rather than one patient at a time. She earned her Master of Science in biostatistics from the school in 1975 and completed her Ph.D. there in 1979. She then joined the faculty, rising to full professor in 1991.

“My love for the field of public health and the school started as a graduate student in biostatistics and I have never looked back,” MacKenzie said, noting that the school recently celebrated its centennial. “To think I am now in the position to help guide us into the next 100 years of our history is incredibly humbling, but energizing at the same time. I look forward to working closely with faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends of the school in staying true to our mission and meeting the evolving challenges of public health, both locally and globally.”

MacKenzie’s career spent researching the short- and long-term consequences of traumatic injuries has been critical to improving the organization and performance of trauma care systems and to achieving better patient outcomes. She now heads a national research consortium that pairs more than 50 major U.S. trauma centers with top military medical facilities. The relationships allow the centers to share information and best practices, benefiting both wounded combat veterans and civilian trauma patients.

The Bloomberg School, founded in 1916 by Johns Hopkins physician William H. Welch and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, comprises 10 departments and more than 60 focused centers and institutes. Its nearly 1,400 faculty members are experts in fields ranging from basic sciences like molecular microbiology, to public health tools like biostatistics and epidemiology, to issues like international health, mental health, health-related behavior and environmental health. The Bloomberg School conducts research in more than 130 countries, and offers master’s and doctoral degrees to more than 2,200 students from more than 75 nations.

MacKenzie says one of her top priorities will be to ensure success for the school’s Bloomberg American Health Initiative. It’s a broad $300 million effort – funded by Johns Hopkins alumnus, former New York mayor and philanthropist Michael R. Bloomberg – to mitigate five critical threats to U.S. health: drug addiction, obesity, gun violence, adolescent health problems, and environmental challenges.

“Michael Bloomberg has given the school and the university an unprecedented opportunity to tackle some of the major public health problems of the 21st century,” she says, “and transform the way we think about public health and engage in our communities.

“We need to succeed at this,” MacKenzie adds. “American lives depend on it.”

MacKenzie will succeed Michael J. Klag, dean of the Bloomberg School since 2005 and the longest-serving of the university’s current school leaders. Klag, a world expert on the epidemiology of major chronic diseases, announced last October that he would step down to resume research and teaching.



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