Harold D Cox, MSSW
Professor of the Practice
Boston University School of Public Health
Community Health Sciences

MSSW, University of Texas at Austin
BA, University of North Texas

Harold Cox is Professor of the Practice in Community Health Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health. Trained as a social worker, he has extensive experience in direct services, administration, and advocacy in a variety of public health care settings, including developmental disabilities, HIV/AIDS, and governmental public health.

Professor Cox has taught classes in leadership and management, managed the MPH practicum program, and co-directed the dual MPH/MSW program. He served for 14 years as the Associate Dean of Practice and was the first director of the Activist Lab, which is a catalyst for engaging faculty, staff, and students in local community affairs. In Fall 2014, he will teach a new course entitled “Homelessness: Stories, Solutions, Advocacy.”

Professor Cox has contributed to the training of thousands of public health professionals through his leadership of the Local Public Health Institute (LPHI), the New England Public Health Training Center (NEPHTC), and the School Health Institute of Education and Leadership Development (SHIELD). His work on regionalization and cross-jurisdictional sharing has helped to redesign the local governmental public health system in Massachusetts and resulted in major legislative funding to support municipal public health departments.

Professor Cox is a board member of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund, an appointee to the Massachusetts Public Health Council. He is the past president of Massachusetts Public Health Association, past president of the Multicultural AIDS Coalition, past chair of the Boston AIDS Planning Council, a past board member of the Boston Public Health Commission, and former member of DentaQuest’s Oral Health Foundation. He has sat on many other advisory committees, including the Massachusetts Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Cross Jurisdictional Sharing Advisory Committee.

Professor Cox received the American Public Health Association's Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Local Public Health, the Rebecca Lee Award for outstanding commitment to public health from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Hilliard award for outstanding achievement from Massachusetts Health Officers Association. He also received the Paul Revere Award for outstanding public health service from the Massachusetts Public Health Association, and an official proclamation from Mayor Marty Walsh designating April 12 as Harold Cox Day in Boston.

Prior to joining Boston University, Harold Cox served for 10 years as chief public health officer for the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was responsible for managing all aspects of the city's health department. During his tenure, Professor Cox led the process to make Cambridge a tobacco-free city. He helped to organize Clean Air Works, a regional initiative including 19 Massachusetts towns to promote smoke-free work environments. This initiative was instrumental in moving Massachusetts to become the 3rd smoke-free state in the country. He worked with the Cambridge Kid’s Council and Agenda for Children to develop programs addressing literacy and out-of-school-time activities. He developed a regional public health consortium to coordinate emergency preparedness and disaster response. He also started the Cambridge Advanced Practice Center for Emergency Preparedness, which developed policies and program implementation for 27 communities surrounding Cambridge. Before working in Cambridge, Professor Cox worked as Director of Client Services for the AIDS Action Committee and in various capacities serving individuals and families with intellectual deficits.

Professor Cox volunteers at the Boston Men’s Homeless Shelter and the St. Mary’s food pantry. He engages in narrative storytelling and has been featured on many platforms, including The Moth, PBS’ Stories from the Stage, Fugitive Stories, RISK, and Story Collider.

Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH)
09/30/2014 - 09/29/2018 (Subcontract PI)
City of Boston/Boston Public Health Commission HHS CDC

PRECEPT program (Practical Experience for Careers through Epidemiology Training)
09/01/2014 - 08/31/2016 (PI)
HHS/Health Resources and Services Administration

Partners in Health and Housing Prevention Research Center
09/30/2009 - 09/29/2015 (PI)
HHS/Center for Disease Control

Dental Services for Low Income Seniors
07/01/2013 - 06/30/2015 (PI)
The Sunshine Lady Foundation, Inc.

Partners in Health and Housing Prevention Research Center
09/30/2009 - 09/29/2014 (PI)
HHS/Center for Disease Control

Partners in Health and Housing Prevention Research Center
09/30/2009 - 09/29/2014 (PI)
HHS/Center for Disease Control

Linking Assessment and Measurement to Performance in Public Health Preparedness Systems
09/30/2008 - 09/30/2013 (Subcontract PI)
Harvard School of Public Health HHS CDC

Regional Emergency Preparedness Partnerships for Health and Medical Systems
02/01/2009 - 01/31/2010 (PI)
Comm. of Mass./Department of Public Health HHS ASPR

Public Health Forum: The Next Milestones
12/07/2007 - 12/07/2009 (PI)
Pfizer, Inc.

Consultation with Massachusetts Public Health Department
01/01/2009 - 06/30/2009 (PI)
AdCare Educational Institute, Inc. Comm of MA DPH

Showing 10 of 14 results. Show All Results


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Cox, H. Lessons From the Kitchen. SPH This Week. 2023. View Publication
  2. Cox, H. The View From My Window. SPH This Week. 2020. View Publication
  3. Cox, H. Moving On: What I've Learned. SPH This Week. 2020. View Publication
  4. Browne T, Keefe RH, Ruth BJ, Cox H, Maramaldi P, Rishel C, Rountree M, Zlotnik J, Marshall J. Advancing Social Work Education for Health Impact. Am J Public Health. 2017 Dec; 107(S3):S229-S235. PMID: 29236540; PMCID: PMC5731074; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.304054;
  5. Cox, H. What It Means To Be An Activist. SPH This Week. 2017. View Publication
  6. Stoto, Michael A.; Cox, Harold; Higdon, Melissa; Dunnell, Kerry; and Goldmann, Donald . Using Learning Collaboratives to Improve Public Health Emergency Preparedness Systems. Frontiers in Public Health Services and Systems Research. 2013; 2(3).
  7. Hyde J, Arsenault L, Waggett J, Mills B, Cox H, MacVarish K, Fried L. Structural and organizational characteristics associated with performance of essential public health services in small jurisdictions: findings from a statewide study in Massachusetts. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2012 Nov; 18(6):585-94.View Related Profiles. PMID: 23023284
  8. Hyde, J, Cox, H, MacVarish K, Wilkinson G. Massachusetts Public Health Practice-Based Research Network: Generating evidence to improve the equitable delivery of public health services across the Commonwealth. Leadership in Public Health. 2012; (Winter).
  9. Koh, Howard; Shei, Amie; Judge, Christine; Elqura, Loris; Cox, Harold; Nick, Gilbert; Burstein,Jonathon; Condon, Suzanne. Emergency Preparedness as a Catalyst for Regionalizing Local Public Health: The Massachusetts Case Study. Public Health Reports. 2008; 123(July).
  10. Wells. A.I., Agosta, J.M. Berliner, S., Cox, H, Bedford, S. . Supporting Pennsylvania Families: Strengthening the Pennsylvania family support system. Cambridge, MA Human Services Research Institute. 1988.

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 10 publications over 7 distinct years, with a maximum of 2 publications in 2012 and 2017 and 2020


2020 Blackstone Community Center: Special Recognition Award
2018 awarded by Mayor Marty Walsh, Boston MA: Harold Cox Day Proclamation
2016 Boston University School of Public Health: Teaching Award
2014 Boston University School of Public Health: Teaching Award
2010 Massachusetts Public Health Association: Paul Revere Award for outstanding committment to public health
2006 Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Rebecca Lee Award for outstanidng public health work
2005 American Public Health Association: Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Local Public Health Work
2004 Massachusetts Health Officers Association: Curtis M. Hilliard Award for outstanding achievement
2004 American Cancer Society: Recognition Award
2003 City of Cambridge: Outstanding City Employee Award
1999 Cambridge Cares About AIDS: Illuminators Award
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715 Albany St Talbot Building
Boston MA 02118
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