From the Editor
Advocacy as Good Medicine
Johns Hopkins has been an incubator for physician-scientists since its inception, and as an academic medical center, education has always been crucial to our tripartite mission as well.
Lately, however, it seems that many here are adding a fourth leg to that three-legged stool: advocacy.
Dorry Segev, our “transplant titan,” who spent years lobbying Congress to overturn the ban on using HIV organs for transplant, may be among the most visible in this regard. But he is hardly alone.
Doctors from labs and clinical departments across the institution are dedicating their energies on a variety of advocacy fronts: to lobby for increased funding and policy change, to forge partnerships to ensure a broader reach for their breakthroughs and to raise awareness about inequities within the healthcare system.
And rather than focusing narrowly on their particular line of research, our advocates are working broadly to address injustices and improve health on a population level.
Ophthalmologists at Wilmer, for example, have launched a partnership to provide free eyeglasses to all Baltimore City public schoolchildren who need them, in an effort proven to boost reading scores. In cardiovascular health, Lisa Cooper has led efforts to identify—and solve—racial disparities in care, and is now advocating for change on the national level, as Johns Hopkins Medicine’s first vice president for health care equity. There are countless others.
Like Segev, who is now pushing to overcome geographic disparities in organ allocation, today’s advocates never seem to slow down.