Use of Name When Acting in a Johns Hopkins Capacity In a Press Conference Organized by a Patient-Advocacy Group


Your Johns Hopkins title and Johns Hopkins affiliation MAY be used to increase awareness of and raise funds for research and treatment.

Your Johns Hopkins title and Johns Hopkins affiliation MAY NOT be used if there is undue influence by commercial supporters of the advocacy group.

Many Johns Hopkins faculty members have relationships with disease-specific patient advocacy groups, and in general, these relationships serve a valuable purpose.

Appropriate use example
The request: An advocacy group for patients with Lou Gehrig's disease plans to announce a national fund-raising campaign to advance research and treatment. The group receives support from a variety of sources, including individuals and businesses. To announce its campaign, the group plans a press event, with a series of educational presentations. It asks Dr. Yoo, a Johns Hopkins expert on Lou Gehrig's disease, to describe the causes and symptoms. Others, including a social worker, will highlight the toll the illness takes on families. The group has given Dr. Yoo a couple of small research grants in recent years; all their grants are listed in a brochure that will be distributed at the event.

Analysis: Enhancing awareness of a serious disease with few therapies is consistent with the faculty member's and Johns Hopkins Medicine's missions.

Decision: It is appropriate for Dr. Yoo to participate and for the group to cite his title and Johns Hopkins affiliation. Dr. Yoo should disclose that the group has awarded him research grants.

Inappropriate use example
The request: A faculty member was asked by a disease-specific patient advocacy group to participate in what was described as an educational forum for reporters about trends in research. He agreed to participate.

Analysis: Johns Hopkins Medicine staff learned that the "educational forum" was sponsored by a pharmaceutical company whose drug was under review by the FDA and that those invited to the forum were business reporters. The company's public relations firm called the faculty member to coach him on responding to questions about the company's drug. He had not conducted research on the drug, but had advised the company on obtaining FDA approval.

Decision: On learning about the role of the pharmaceutical company in the forum, Johns Hopkins Medicine asked the faculty member not to participate. While he wanted to be helpful to the patient advocacy group, he understood the institution's position and decided not to participate.