Christina D. Bethell, Ph.D., MBA, MPH

Christina is a Professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she advances a new integrated Science of Thriving to promote early and lifelong health of children, youth, families, and communities.

With roots in culturally competent, community-engaged approaches to assessing and improving population health, she is the founding director (1996) of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI); which was founded in Portland, Oregon as a national collaboration to define and advance measuring, collecting data and disseminating actionable information on child, youth and family well-being at local, state, and national levels. Since 2014 within the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Bethell has been leading CAHMI’s work to promote “top-down” (research and data for policy, program design, accountability, and partnerships), “bottom-up” (tools and data for engagement in communities and services) and “inside out” (models and methods for mindful, data-driven partnerships to innovate and improve) efforts to create inspired and lasting transformation in population health and well-being and the effectiveness of systems of care.


As founder of the National Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health in 2003 and the National Maternal and Child Health Measurement Research Network, she continues to catalyze mindful, data-driven community partnerships by developing and liberating data for public use and in systems performance reporting. Family-driven health improvement tools, like the Well Visit Planner (, engage and coach families to reflect on health and needs, select priorities, and align services to leverage family strengths, build trust, consider social context and meet family goals. Dr. Bethell is dedicated to building self, family, and community-led healing of developmental, intergenerational, and community-level trauma. To this end, she initiated and led the design of a recently published national agenda to address childhood trauma and promote healing and well-being. Also related are the Mindfulness in Pediatrics and Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Consortium she launched to support the integration of mind-body-heart and trauma-informed leadership mindsets, skills, and tools into the MCH workforce, programs, and policy.


She earned an MBA and an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Chicago. She has authored over 100 journal articles and works to build knowledge and action. She teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Healing Through Revealing methods and is an avid student of transparent communication, presence, and human evolution. She has earned certification through the NeuroLeadership Institute, writes poetry and dances, and believes that connection with ourselves, life, and others is the source of our creativity and joy.