Bloomberg School of Public Health
Members Present: Drs. Steven Knapp, Robert Black, Ron Brookmeyer, Marie Diener-West, William Eaton, John Groopman, Robert Lawrence, Roger McMacken, Edward Miller, Jonathan Samet, Alfred Sommer, E. William Spannhake, Donald Steinwachs, Jonathan Weiner, James Yager and Scott Zeger; and Ms. Robin Fox, staff.
Members Absent: Drs. William Brody, Robert Blum, Diane Griffin, and Martha Hill.
Guests: Drs. Laura Caulfield and Nathaniel Pierce; Professor Stephen Teret; and Ms. Diane Glover.
Meeting Convened: Provost Steven Knapp convened the meeting at 3 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: Minutes of the 891st meeting on December 8, 2004 were approved.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Knapp reported that the search for the dean of the School is continuing. Out of approximately 400 "contacts," 100 candidates will be narrowed to 50 semi-finalists and some will subsequently be invited for interviews. This process will begin in January, however new candidates may still be nominated.
Due to Dr. Weiss's departure from the deanship of the School of Arts and Sciences, a national search for his replacement is being launched. A search committee is being formed and nominations of candidates for the position are invited.
Provost Knapp briefly commented on Dr. Peter Agre's departure from the School of Medicine for Duke University. He then updated the Advisory Board on the new Maryland legislative session now underway in Annapolis. A number of states have provided funds for stem cell research and the Maryland legislature may be considering a similar provision.
Remarks by the Dean
Dean Sommer reported that there are two leading candidates for the chair of the Department of Behavior and Health and that one is making a return visit. A number of exciting academic initiatives are being put into place that will unfold over the next year, including development of coordinated curricula in health economics, health communications, clinical research, and infectious diseases. These interdepartmental curricula will serve the needs of students from diverse departments and academic programs, reduce duplicative course offerings and improve students' schedules. The Department of Surgery has also indicated interest in providing specialized education in clinical and outcomes research for their trainees.
Dr. Sommer then announced that Dr. Samet will receive the Prince Mahidol Award for Public Health in Thailand. The Advisory Board congratulated Dr. Samet on this honor. Dr. Lawrence described the new K-12 award for clinical investigation that will support students in the Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation.
Dean Miller also commented briefly on Dr. Agre's departure. He then updated the Advisory Board on the status of a number of construction projects and longer-term plans to improve the Johns Hopkins Medicine clinical and research facilities. While Johns Hopkins Medicine has been very successful at raising program funds, capital funds remain an acute need. Patient safety is a critical issue. While a number of efforts to improve patient safety in a cost-effective manner have been very successful, much more can and will be done. Dr. Weiner congratulated Dr. Miller on his efforts and the efforts of others to improve patient safety, and remarked that Hopkins is becoming a national leader in this area.
Remarks by the Faculty Senate
Dr. Diener-West reported on the topics discussed at the recent Faculty Senate meeting, including finalizing the "Balance of Effort" recommendations. The Senate will work to educate faculty about and improving the School's intellectual property policy for educational materials and will involve the School-wide Committee on Technology Transfer. This policy may be shared more broadly with the Hopkins community, particularly through the Welch Library.
Dr. Diener-West thanked Provost Knapp for the opportunity for members of the Senate to participate in the dean search process. She asked about making information on faculty promotions more available to the faculty, and suggested a number of ways this might be accomplished.
Dr. Yager then reported on the Teaching Workshop offered on January 19, 2005, where strategies to revise courses in response to information from student course evaluations were explored. Approximately 30 faculty attended the workshop. Dr. Yager then reminded the Advisory Board members that mini-sabbatical time can be used to develop and revise courses, and that faculty should be encouraged to use mini-sabbaticals for this purpose as appropriate. Some resources to facilitate these activities can be obtained through the Distance Education Division.
Institutional Review Board Update
Dr. Pierce joined the Advisory Board. He reviewed the last 14-15 months of activities of the School's Human Research Protection Program. He reviewed the Program's objectives, noting that they include educating faculty, staff and students as well as providing regulatory oversight. Many of the recommendations from Dr. Meinert's committee report of 2002 have been instituted or are underway, including; documenting all Committee on Human Research (CHR) policies and procedures; expanding CHR educational activities; initiating a "bioethics consultation service" for faculty and staff: moving toward a fully electronic data management system to receive and track proposals; and making the CHR website more "user-friendly" and comprehensive. Improved regulatory compliance will be accomplished through different types of audits, and corrective actions in cases of non-compliance will be more uniform.
A number of changes in faculty and staff support have enabled the CHR to provide more efficient and timely service. The size of the two standing CHR committees has modestly decreased, and explicit salary support is now provided to co-chairs and faculty members serving on the Committees. A third committee (Western IRB) has been added to speed protocol review, particularly for multi-site studies. Dr. Pierce reported that CHR staff may now make the determination that a protocol is except from full protocol review; approximately 40% of all protocols submitted are in the "exempt" category. A few new staff positions have been added. The staff is now preparing for accreditation of the IRB, which requires substantial effort.
Dr. Pierce will be stepping down from his position as Institutional Official in June 2005 after which Dr. Steinwachs will take on this responsibility. Dr. Pierce outlined the priority areas for the future, including: improving educational outreach for faculty, staff and students; establishing a mechanism for routine audits of international research; monitoring and auditing student research; continuing to improve the efficiency and speed of the CHR office; and completing the accreditation submission.
Dr. Black asked about the potential overlap or enhancement of the respective roles of the CHR and Data Safety and Monitoring Boards (DSMBs) that often do site audits for international research studies. Dr. Pierce thought that DSMBs and the CHR could interdigitate to some extent with respect to reporting adverse events and that there may be some potential for efficiencies in some, but not all, areas.
The Bioethics Consultation service is intended to serve as a resource for investigators and is not intended to substitute for protocol reviews, rather it can provide bioethics expertise before a protocol is submitted. It will have a trial period.
Dr. Diener-West thanked Dr. Pierce and the CHR staff for the assistance they have provided to MPH students who become involved in human subjects research, and commented that the documents on the CHR website are also helpful resources.
Dr. Sommer and the members of the Advisory Board thanked Dr. Pierce for instituting many positive changes in the School's Human Subjects Protection Program and for the enormous leadership he has shown in this role.
Dr. Laura Caulfield joined the Advisory Board. She reviewed the proposed dual program that would bring together the MPH program and the Registered Dietician (RD) program at the Hopkins Bayview Medical Campus. She described the RD component of the program, which would include approximately one year of clinical dietician rotations prior to entry into the MPH program. Students would be expected to have additional health-related experience prior to application. Dr. Brookmeyer noted that the MPH Executive Board and the Committee on Academic Standards have approved this unique program.
Dr. Brookmeyer then reviewed the rationale for proposing one change in the face-to-face requirements for part- time/internet MPH students. Presently, these students are required to take at least 25 percent (20/80) of course credits in a face-to-face capacity. The program proposes that the requirement be changed to 20 percent (16/80). While several years ago there were fewer internet courses, there is now a greater choice from among required and optional courses. A switch to 16 credits would help students for whom travel to the campus is difficult as they would be able to complete 16 credits in two, rather than three trips. This will also help international students for whom travel to the U.S. presents increasing hurdles. Dr. Brookmeyer reported that the MPH program will evaluate the mix of courses available to internet-based students and will communicate with the department chairs regarding curricular needs.
The Advisory Board voted to approve the RD/MPH program and the revised face-to face course credit requirement, as reflected in the MPH PPM.
Dr. Yager raised the continuing discussion about whether all students should be required to own laptop computers or otherwise have access to dedicated desktop computers. Presently, the School strongly recommends, but does not require, that students have their own computers. Almost all School publications and many course materials are now available on the web. The School provides hardware and software vendors that are competitively priced and also provides basic Information Systems service for students.
The Advisory Board discussed this requirement and agreed that computers should be required for all students. The Board recognized that this requirement will need to be phased in over the next 2-3 years, and that some students may need to seek additional resources such as loans to cover this expense. There was strong consensus that each Public Health student must have a laptop computer or have access to a dedicated desktop computer. Mr. McKenzie and Dean Hradsky will work together to develop an implementation plan.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5 p.m.
GO TO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY BOARD MEETING MINUTES
GO TO JHUNIVERSE
© 2005 The Johns Hopkins University.
Baltimore, Maryland. All rights reserved.