Public Health giant Ignaz Semmelweis in a superhero pose promoting hand washing
Public health giant Ignaz Semmelweis is depicted as a superhero promoting hand washing.

Brandon Brown, assistant professor of public health, found a novel way to honor the heroes in his field in the current issue of the Journal of Public Health. His article, “Childhood Idols, Shifting from Superheroes to Public Health Heroes,” promotes the use of superheroes in campaigns to teach young children about the vast world of public health – from basic hygiene to emerging diseases. Pioneering physician and cholera foe John Snow is transformed into “the hero of Broad Street” in a poster that raises awareness of the British doctor’s role in bringing about changes in the water and waste systems of London. “Public health figures serve as role models to fight diseases or promote healthy living and serve as an inspiration to improve global health for future generations,” Brown says. “We must strive to realize the imagined world where children idolize heroes that they can become in the future.” Other public health giants immortalized in Brown’s article are Ignaz Semmelweis and Luther Terry. Brown co-authored the article with Melissa Nasiruddin, Alejandra Cabral and Melissa Soohoo.