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Inaugural Bloomberg American Health Summit To Convene Leaders, Innovators Tackling Nation’s Most Pressing Public Health Challenges

Summit on November 29-30 at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, a program of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Speakers include Michael R. Bloomberg; Drug policy expert Michael Botticelli; Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Walter Isaacson; former EPA head Gina McCarthy; Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen; Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf

BALTIMORE, MD — The inaugural Bloomberg American Health Summit in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 29-30, 2018, will bring together innovators and policymakers from around the country who are creatively working to address some of the toughest challenges facing public health in the United States, including the opioid epidemic and gun violence.

The Bloomberg American Health Summit will be hosted by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, created in 2016 with a $300 million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the world’s leading school of public health.

“The Summit comes at a critical time for public health in our nation,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Life expectancy in the United States has declined for two years in a row, a grim milestone last reached more than 50 years ago. I believe that the type of public health leadership and innovation we will see at the Summit can help the nation change this trajectory — and help Americans live longer, healthier lives.”

The 2018 Summit theme is “From Local Action to National Impact: Overcoming Challenges and Improving Health,” and the event will feature content related to the five areas where the Initiative focuses its work: Addiction and Overdose, Environmental Challenges, Risks to Adolescent Health, Violence, and Obesity and the Food System.

Attendees will include national leaders, policymakers, innovators and collaborators from a wide range of fields and disciplines.

“The diverse, innovative group we are gathering will show how public health approaches — utilizing rigorous science, nontraditional partnerships and a commitment to evidence, equity and policy — can overcome obstacles and lead to groundbreaking solutions,” said Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD, director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City (2002-2013), founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)
  • Michael Botticelli, former Director of National Drug Control Policy at the White House under President Obama, Executive Director of the Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center
  • Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education, Managing Partner at Emerson Collective
  • Gina McCarthy, former EPA administrator and Professor of the Practice of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Director of the Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment
  • Marion Nestle, author and Paulette Goddard Professor Emerita of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, New York University
  • Joshua M. Sharfstein, Director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative
  • Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood and former Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore
  • Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf
  • And more to be announced

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health faculty and Bloomberg Fellows will also speak at the Summit, including Ron Daniels, President of Johns Hopkins University; Ellen MacKenzie, Dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Daniel Webster, a Bloomberg Professor of American Health and Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research; Tom Burke, Jacob I and Irene B. Fabrikant Professor and Chair in Health Risk and Society at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management; and Haven Wheelock, a Bloomberg Fellow and coordinator of the syringe exchange program at Outside In in Portland, Ore. The Bloomberg Fellows Program is a groundbreaking initiative to provide world-class public health training to individuals engaged with organizations tackling critical challenges facing the United States.

For additional questions about the Bloomberg American Health Summit, please contact Dori Henry, 410-614-2564 or and Jean Weinberg, 212-205-0247 or

Additional details about the Summit will be announced in the coming weeks.

About the Bloomberg American Health Initiative
The Bloomberg American Health Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health works to tackle some of the most pressing challenges to public health in the United States: Addiction and Overdose, Environmental Challenges, Obesity and the Food System, Risks to Adolescent Health, and Violence. The Initiative has set out to train a new generation of professionals committed to improving public health nationwide, awarding 50 full-tuition scholarships for Master of Public Health degrees and 10 full-tuition scholarships for Doctor of Public Health degrees each year. For more information, visit

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramSnapchat, and Twitter.

Dori Henry, 410-614-2564 or
Barbara Benham, 410-614-6029 or