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Faculty and Staff

Our team of faculty and staff are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the community by facilitating understanding and information sharing between Johns Hopkins institutions and the Baltimore community.

Robert Wm. Blum, MD, MPH, PhD, Director

Rebkha Atnafou, MPH, Director for Bunting Neighborhood Leadership Program

Amy L. Gawad, MPH,  Program Director

Philip J. Leaf, PhD, Senior Associate Director

Pamala Martin, MBA, Institute Administrator

Terri Powell, PhD, Assistant Professor

Eric Rice, PhD,  Associate Director

Natalie V. Wiggins, Program Coordinator
 


Robert Wm. Blum, MD, MPH, PhD, Director

Robert Wm. Blum is the director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute and a Professor and immediate past chair in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has edited two books, and has written over 300 journal articles, book chapters and special reports. Dr. Blum is a Past-President of the Society for Adolescent Medicine; has served on the American Board of Pediatrics; was a charter member of the Sub-Board of Adolescent Medicine is a past chair of the Guttmacher Institute Board of Directors and served as chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Adolescent Health and Development. In 2006, The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine elected Dr. Blum into membership. He is a consultant to The World Bank, UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) where recently he authored the guidance on adolescent pregnancy, as well as the World Health Organization where he has served on the Technical Advisory Group of the Child and Adolescent Health Department as well as the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group of the Human Reproductive Program. Faculty Bio
Email: rblum@jhu.edu

Rebkha Atnafou, MPH, Director, Bunting Neighborhood Leadership Program
Rebkha Atnafou is an accomplished program manager and education advocate who has devoted much of her professional life to enriching the lives of young people. She is executive director of The After-School Institute (TASI), a Baltimore-based nonprofit focused on building the capacity of after-school programs. As the UHI’s associate director for community engagement, Atnafou works to cultivate new and existing relationships within the community. 
Email: ratnafo1@jhu.edu

Amy L. Gawad, MPH, Program Director
Amy Gawad works on developing new initiatives and oversees ongoing activities at UHI. Prior to joining our team, she was a research associate at the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Academy of Sciences, where she oversaw the William T. Grant Foundation Youth Development Prize Committee. In addition, she served as the research associate on a number of reports, including Ethical Considerations for Research on Housing-Related Health Hazards Involving Children; Working Families and Growing Kids: Caring for Children and Adolescents; and Community Programs to Promote Youth Development. Prior to her work on youth development at the NAS, she had responsibility for the dissemination of Board reports, including From Neurons to Neighborhoods, a report on the science of early childhood development.  She received her MPH from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.
Email: agawad1@jhu.edu

Philip J. Leaf, PhD, Senior Associate Director
Philip Leaf brings expertise in mental health and sociology to the UHI. Dr. Leaf is also a professor in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and director of the Center for Prevention of Youth Violence.  His work focuses on preventing youth violence and promoting positive youth development. Faculty Bio
Email: pleaf@jhu.edu

Pamala Martin, MBA, Institute Administrator
Pamala Martin oversees finance and administrative aspects of UHI. In addition, she has been administratively responsible for the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health in the Bloomberg School of Public Health since 2003.. Before joining Hopkins, she was an administrator for St. Agnes Healthcare where she had responsibility for both outpatient and inpatient services. She has expertise in community based federally qualified health care centers, information technology and financial as well as human resource management.
Email: pcmartin@jhu.edu

Terri Powell, PhD, Assistant Professor
Dr. Powell is a researcher where her goal is to conduct research on the theoretical, practical and policy implications in the areas of African American youth, sexual health disparities and community-engaged research, using varitey of methods and approaches.  In her work she is interested in understanding how school, home and faith settings affect the health outcomes of African American youth.  Dr. Powell is committed in developing, conducting and evaluating effective community preventions for urban, underserved youth and their families.  She received both her MA and PhD from DePaul University.  Faculty Bio
Email: terri.powell@jhu.edu

Eric Rice, PhD, Associate Director
Trained as a cultural anthropologist at Johns Hopkins, Eric Rice provides leadership for the UHI’s Small Grants Program and Third Tuesday Seminar Series. He also co-represents the UHI on the Early Child Development Initiative. Dr. Rice is also assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Education where he coordinates the Masters of Science, Educational Studies program, conducts research about teacher-led charter schools, and trains Northrop Grumman engineers to more effectively volunteer in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) classrooms. Faculty Bio
Email: ericrice@jhu.edu

Natalie V. Wiggins, Program Coordinator
Natalie Wiggins coordinates on- and off-campus events and programs and assists in the development of new initiatives that will match community needs with university resources and vice versa. She is also responsible for working with our communications associate on the graphic design of promotional materials for UHI events and print products. Prior to joining Hopkins, Natalie was a graphics designer and a program coordinator at ARIEL, one of the largest religious Russian-American centers in the DMV tristate area. She received her first B.S. in Government and Business Administration from Belgorod State University, Russia, and her second bachelor’s degree in Web Design from the University of Maryland, University College (UMUC).
Email: nwiggins@jhu.edu

 

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