Dr. Joshua Sharfstein on working at the local level in communities

“It’s important to realize that people have different degrees of connection to the medical system and the public health system. That means that there are some people who are so excited they are banging on the pharmacy door to get the vaccine, and there are some people who have a lot of questions and a lot of skepticism, and some of that skepticism is legitimate based on the way they’ve been treated or the historical challenges that have happened. And I think that work in the short term is all about the local level, not just the local level as in the city, but the block, the neighborhood, really mobilizing the strength of communities for this really important purpose - keeping people alive.”

Dr. Sharfstein is Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement, director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, and Professor of the Practice in Health Policy and Management. Previously, he served as the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Principal Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as Commissioner of Health for Baltimore City, and as health policy advisor for Congressman Henry A. Waxman. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Public Administration.