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Joshua M. Sharfstein

Vice Dean/Director
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Bloomberg American Health Initiative

Joshua Sharfstein wears many hats at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

As the school’s vice dean, Sharfstein helps students and staff achieve success as they work to advance public health initiatives and research at the local, state, national and global level. As a faculty member, he teaches courses on touching on topics such as health care payment, HIV and the United States’ public health system.

Sharfstein is also the director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, which is currently working to address five of the biggest public health crises facing the country today: addiction and overdose, adolescent health, environmental challenges, obesity and the food system and violence.

Sharfstein has previously served as the health commissioner of Baltimore and the health secretary for Maryland.

What’s the most important life lesson you learned?

Here are four, in no particular order: Get back to people quickly. When people are angry, always be the last person to get up from the table. Say good morning (or good afternoon) before asking a question. Write well and often.

What do you do for fun and why?

I enjoy going for long walks near my house in Baltimore, playing tennis, reading books and taking pictures of the beauty of the natural environment. A good day is at least one out of four. Some days I can hit for the cycle.