Apr 2019
Apr 2019

Rajiv Rimal named Chair of Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Dr Rajiv Rimal, Ph.D., a leading expert on health behavior change and on social norms, has been named the chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD.

Rimal will assume his new role at the Bloomberg School on August 1.

Rimal's research focuses on the use of social and behavioral theory for disease prevention and harm reduction. Since 2013, Rimal has served as a professor and chair of the Department of Prevention and Community Health at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. Previously, he was a faculty member in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health, Behavior and Society from its inception in 2005 until 2013. Prior to joining the Bloomberg School faculty, Rimal was an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

At the Bloomberg School, Rimal will lead the Department’s faculty and educational programs and broaden its vision for public health impact. The Department’s master’s and doctoral programs offer a wide spectrum of study emphasizing social factors in health, behavioral interventions, health education and communication, and genetic counseling. The Department is home to multiple centers, including the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, the Institute for Global Tobacco Control and the Center for Communication Programs, among others.

“The time is ripe for thinking about health as not an absence of disease, but as a basic human right that emphasizes wellness and prevention of diseases. Social and behavior change is central in that effort, requiring the input from all sectors in society, and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Department and across the School,” Rimal said in a media release.

Rimal has more than 25 years of experience in the conceptualization, implementation and evaluation of health promotion interventions throughout the world. He is the author of the Theory of Normative Social Behavior, which has informed his work to reduce violence against women in public transportation systems in Mexico, improve driver safety among adolescents in Serbia, reduce anemia among women in India and study alcohol consumption among college students in the United States. This theory is also being used in numerous interventions to bring about social change.

Rimal received a Ph.D. in communication from Stanford University in 1995 and a Master of Arts in journalism and mass communication at Southern Illinois University in 1991.

Rimal’s current research includes a project in India, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that uses a social norms-based approach to design, implement and evaluate an intervention to reduce anemia among women of reproductive age. He is also leading studies that aim to understand how people with different political orientations process information about climate change and how mass media and social media can influence people’s attitudes and behaviors related to climate change.

Apr 2019

AAHOA reports record-breaking numbers at annual convention in San Diego, CA

This year's trade show and annual convention in San Diego, CA, marks the largest in the history of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA).

 “Our voice is louder, and more people are listening to what we have to say, and for one simple reason: AAHOA always delivers for its members,” said HP Patel, AAHOA chairman.

Some of the association’s latest figures include the following:

  • AAHOA has grown to more than 18,500 members
  • Now, 45% of AAHOA’s members are lifetime members (more than 3,200-lifetime members were in attendance at the conference)
  • AAHOA’s PAC raised $1.25 million in the 2018 election cycle, a 14% increase from 2016
  • 14,600 AAHOA members engaged in education in 2018, up 100%
  • There were 100 hotel owner-focused webinars in 2018
  • AAHOA hosted 182 events across the country in 2018, including the association’s annual conference, 100 town hall meetings, two national advocacy conferences and more

“We are building on 30 years of hard work, selfless sacrifice and progress,” H P Patel said.

While many things at AAHOA are evolving, some things have stayed the same, said Rachel Humphrey, interim president and CEO of AAHOA, who spoke about the organization’s enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit over the decades.

“It’s an honor to help this association usher in its next decades of greatness,” she said.

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