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Johns Hopkins Bayview News - Q&A with Selwyn Ray, Community Relations Director

Fall 2015

Q&A with Selwyn Ray, Community Relations Director

Date: November 2, 2015

Selwyn Ray, J.D., community relations director

Selwyn Ray, J.D., has joined Johns Hopkins Bayview as the new director of community relations. In this role, he oversees programs to educate and support our neighbors, evaluates the unique needs of our community, and develops new ways to improve the health of our neighbors and neighborhoods.

Here, Ray answers a few questions about population health and how the community relations department can impact the health of our neighbors.

What is population health? How does Johns Hopkins Bayview impact population health?
Population health is an approach that aims to improve the health of an entire population. It looks at the many factors that infl uence health, including ethnicity, socio-economic stability, education, food access, neighborhood stability, quality of air and water, and unemployment.

Johns Hopkins Bayview impacts population health by engaging local community development corporations and chambers of commerce to address crime, cleanliness, transportation and the general socio-economic condition of the community we serve. These organizations include the Johns Hopkins Bayview Community Advisory Board, Southeast Community Development Corporation, Dundalk Renaissance Corporation and the Greektown Community Development Corporation, to name a few.

What services does the community relations department provide to our neighbors?
Johns Hopkins Bayview regularly evaluates the health needs of our communities through surveys and conversations with civic, business and faith leaders. Once we determine those needs, we develop programs, educational opportunities and screenings to help people stay healthy.

Community relations supports the Medical Center’s efforts by:

  • promoting programs and services offered at Johns Hopkins Bayview
  • providing health screenings for events and organizations
  • hosting and organizing community-based blood drives
  • offering assistance to organizations planning health resource events
  • supplying educational materials for community events

How do you hope to enhance the Medical Center’s relationship with the community?
The most important way to improve our relationship with the community is to educate residents on how to stay well and reduce their need for hospitalization. This is accomplished by engaging the community in proper nutrition and fitness, peer health coaching and innovative community-based health events—integrating the sometimes foreign notions of health and wellness into the fabric of the community’s daily life.

The Medical Center and the community share the responsibility of improving health outcomes. I plan to actively work with community leaders to determine how to create an educated community that takes responsibility for individual and collective health. Informed leaders in faith institutions, schools, families and businesses can help us channel information to every aspect of the community. Through conversations with these leaders, I will identify the challenges to community health and work to address the needs and find solutions.