Christina Bethell, Ph.D., M.B.A., M.P.H.

Headshot of Christina Bethell
  • Joint Appointment in Pediatrics


Dr. Bethell is a Professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health and in the JHU School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics’ Division of General Pediatrics. Her research, education and service work focuses on building and translating the science of healthy development and that advancement of a new integrated Science of Thriving to promote early and lifelong health of children, youth, families and communities.  With roots in community health partnerships, systems change, financing reform, social epidemiology and whole child/family integrated health care, she is the founding director (1996) of the national Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI). Recognizing gaps in data to inform and drive change, she led to advance child and family centered measurement, data and IT based tools to enable family engagement in systems, policy and health care. She is the founding director of the National Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health and the Cycle of Engagement Well Visit Planner approach to preventive and developmental services for children and families . She shaped a widely endorsed national agenda to address childhood trauma and promote healing. She has been featured on National Public Radio, provided testimony to the US Congress, has published dozens of peer reviewed studies focused on informing policy, practice and culture change and has contributed to national efforts that promote relational health as the cornerstone of well-being for children, families and communities. Christina earned an MBA an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley and PhD in public policy from the University of Chicago. She teaches about mitigating adversity and promoting child well-being, facilitates Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and is an avid student of human potential and flourishing as a social change strategy.  She writes poetry, dances and believes that attuned connection with ourselves, life and others is the source of our creativity and joy. more


  • Joint Appointment in Pediatrics

Departments / Divisions



  • M.B.A.; University of California (Berkeley) (California) (1990)
  • M.P.H.; University of California (Berkeley) (California) (1990)
  • Ph.D.; University of Chicago (Illinois) (1996)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

Bethell CD, Blackwell CK, Gombojav N, Davis MB, Bruner C, Garner AS. Toward measurement for a whole child health policy: Validity and national and state prevalence of the Integrated Child Risk Index. Academic Pediatrics (2021), doi:

Bethell CD, Garner A, Blackwell, CK et al Social and Relational Health Risks and Common Mental Health Problems Among US Children: The mitigating role of family resilience and connection to promote socio-emotional and school outcomes. Child and Adol. Psychiatric Clinics of N. A., 2021; 31(1): 45 – 70.

Bergman D, Bethell C, Gombojav N, Hassink S, Stange KC. Physical Distancing With Social Connectedness. Ann Fam Med. 2020;18(3):272-277. doi:10.1370/afm.2538 (2020)

Bethell CD, Jones J, Gombojav N, Linkenbach J, Sege R Positive Childhood Experiences and Adult Mental and Relational Health in a Statewide Sample Associations Across Adverse Childhood Experiences Levels. JAMA Pediatrics. (September 2019)

Bethell CD, Gombojav N, Whitaker RC. Family Resilience and Connection Promote Flourishing Among US Children, Even Amid Adversity. Health Affairs. (May 2019)

Contact for Research Inquiries

Email me

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Courses and Syllabi

  • Evidence and Opportunities to Mitigate Childhood Adversity and Promote Well Being

Activities & Honors


  • Vision Award, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, 1981
  • UCLA Alumni Scholarship, University of California, Los Angeles, 1981 - 1985
  • Annual Leadership Award, Women Health Care Executives of Northern California, 1990
  • Stull Award, University of California, Berkeley, 1991
  • Irving B. Harris Public Policy Fellowship, Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy, 1992 - 1996
  • Family Voices National Angel Award, 2001
  • Health 2.0 REACH Award, Top Finalist for Health IT to Improve Population Health for the Well Visit Planner Innovation, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and Academy Health, 2012
  • MCH National Outstanding Leadership Award, 2012
  • John MacQueen Award, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, 2017
  • Richard D. Krugman Award, EndCAN (End Child Abuse and Neglect), 2022

Professional Activities

  • Commissioner, Commission Member, Maryland Governor’s Commission on Trauma Informed Care., 2021 - 2023
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