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Pages of History

By Sylvia Eggleston Wehr

“What’s past is prologue” and the health of the world’s populations is the present and future at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. On April 23, the School community reflected on its past and rededicated itself to protecting health and saving lives… millions at a time.

While we are accustomed to greeting government ministers and other prominent guests in the School’s hallways, April 23 was without parallel. Michael R. Bloomberg , New York City Mayor and the School’s devoted advocate, and William H. Gates Sr., co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, joined Dean Alfred Sommer, students, faculty, alumni, staff, friends, University Trustees, and the School’s Health Advisory Board to focus on the formidable tasks ahead.

A symposium and an evening dinner (see our coverage on page 8) included remarks from an illustrious group of people committed to public health, including Sen. Paul S. SarbanesSen. Barbara A. MikulskiHarvey Fineberg, president of the Institute of MedicineThomas Frieden, New York City health commissioner; R. Palmer Beasley, chair of the Association of Schools of Public Health; University President William R. Brody; and Johns Hopkins Professor Donald S. Coffey.

The events also marked the formal opening of the final phase of the School’s decade-long expansion of its Wolfe Street home, which now fills an entire city block. Appropriately enough, Michael Bloomberg, for whom the School is named, commemorated the day by unveiling a cornerstone in the School’s atrium.

But this was much more than a daylong celebration. To codify the importance, reach, and challenges of public health, we have published a book that details the School’s rich history and the promise of today’s breathtaking research. Saving Lives Millions at a Time attempts to explain public health’s global enterprise—from the cellular secrets of life to the broadest societal trends and environmental concerns.

In this issue of Johns Hopkins Public Health, we share the flavor and substance of the book. We hope you will read it with relish and cherish the part you have played and will continue to play in our efforts to protect health and save lives.