Public Health On Call Podcast
From the Nominator
"The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health created the Public Health On Call podcast on March 3, 2020, in the early days of COVID-19. The initial goal was to make credible, scientific expertise accessible to the public in quick, clear, and informative conversations.
The primary hosts are Joshua Sharfstein, MD, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement, a faculty member in health policy, pediatrician, and former secretary of Maryland’s Health Department, and Stephanie Desmon, director of public relations and marketing for the Johns Hopkins Communications Programs and a former journalist. Josh and Stephanie tackle complex topics in relatable, engaging ways, bringing real-world perspective and countering misinformation. Lindsay Smith Rogers, associate director of content strategy for the school, produces the podcast and occasionally contributes as a host.
Public Health on Call has succeeded beyond our wildest hopes. Two years in, we regularly see 12,000-15,000 downloads per episode and have more than 7 million downloads overall. The podcast has thousands of regular listeners across the country who report being informed and inspired by our content. In addition to interviews with researchers, public health commissioners, and elected leaders, the podcast has featured patients, clergy, ethicists, frontline clinicians, and former health officials fired for doing their jobs.
Until June 2021, we released as many as two episodes a day. Now, we publish three to four per week. Our team includes producers, hosts, audio engineers, and student interns—all of whom have other jobs and responsibilities at the school."
From the Judges
Impressive reach with more than 12,000 listens per episode. They were really able to respond to the public health issues at the height of the pandemic with timely topics, guests, and helpful partnerships that helped reach wider audiences.