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Best for the Best

By Paul Seifert

We went to Bangladesh and India to see public health in action.

I arrived February 16 in Gaibandha with Dean Michael J. Klag, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn from Thailand, a group of Bloomberg School faculty and members of the School’s Health Advisory Board. (See related story.) What I saw of the JiVitA nutrition research project and the other projects we visited in South Asia was remarkable.

The love and care and dedication of everyone involved with JiVitA makes the project a success. Data are treated like precious jewels. From the close supervision of workers who gather the data to the triple-checking data entry, it is clear that they do everything possible to ensure the data will yield accurate results. Lives, after all, are in the balance.

For me, the JiVitA visit was a rare opportunity to see firsthand an international project that I’d only read about in our magazine. You may recall our Fall 2009 story on the project, “Discovering JiVitAland.” Now that I’ve been there, I can say that writer Cathy Shufro and photographer Saikat Mojumder truly captured the essence of the project—one of the largest nutrition trials of its kind, enrolling 100,000 pregnant women. I don’t think we could have represented the research any better than we did.

Everyone at Johns Hopkins Public Health feels the responsibility to produce a magazine worthy of the life-saving research performed by School faculty. It’s wonderful when peers at other universities recognize our efforts with awards. And it’s especially gratifying when our publication garners recognition from outside of that realm. This spring, we learned that we had been nominated for the 2010 Utne Independent Press Award for science/tech coverage. Each year, Utne Reader reviews 1,300 periodicals to find nominees in 10 categories. We were more than pleased to be nominated with some of the best publications in the field. It’s one more indication that we’re meeting our responsibility to craft the best possible magazine for the world’s best school of public health.

In that spirit of striving for excellence, I’m happy to welcome Stacey DiLorenzo as our new Senior Director for Communications. Stacey will oversee the day-to-day operations of our publications, media relations and Web teams. She brings great expertise in marketing and strategic communications. Stacey has extensive broadcast television experience as a former vice president of Marketing and executive creative director for Discovery Communications, and as a producer and writer of documentary programming. Most recently, she was managing director of Local Corporate Support and Marketing for Maryland Public Television.

Stacey will help us continue to deliver our best for the best school of public health.