Thomas A LaVeist, PhD, an associate professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Dorothy Browne, PhD, a professor of public health and director of the Prevention Sciences Research Center/Drug Abuse Research Program at Morgan State University, will be the principal investigators at the Center. The Center will have offices on both campuses, but they will work collaboratively and share facilities and staff.
LaVeist said, "Understanding why health and healthcare disparities exist and what can be done to eliminate them is one of the most important issues facing public health and medicine. Johns Hopkins researchers have for years been working to address health disparities. However, that work as always been somewhat defuse. The Center for Health Disparities Solutions will bring together the tremendous resources of Johns Hopkins and Morgan State to conduct research, training, and interventions to demonstrate that disparities can be eliminated."
The Center plans to establish a summer institute to educate participants from around the country on how to conduct research on disparities, assist and advise community-based organizations in Baltimore, Md., in creating programs to address disparities, begin a large cohort study to identify precursors of disparities in chronic diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, strokes, and heart disease, and finally, to establish connections with health care advocacy groups to promote their findings.
Johns Hopkins facilities involved in the Center include: The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Health Services Research and Development Center, Welch Center for Prevention, Urban Health Institute, and the Biostatistics Center. Morgan State University resources associated with the new Center are: The Drug Abuse Research Program of the Prevention Sciences Research Center, Public Health Program, the Programs in Social Work and Psychology, and the School of Computer, Mathematical, & Natural Sciences.
Dr. Browne said, "I am excited about the equal partnership conveyed by the establishment of the Center. This partnership brings together Morgan's community-based orientation to practice and research and the experience of Johns Hopkins in examining the vast array of health disparities locally and nationally. It will take these types of collaborations to reduce and eliminate the myriad of health disparities affecting selected communities in Baltimore."
Darrell Gaskin, a research scientist in the department of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Lisa Cooper, MD, MPH, will be the Center's JHSPH assistant directors. Dr. Fernando Wagner, a fellow in the Drug Abuse Research Program and an associate professor of public health, will be the Center's assistant director at Morgan State University.
Link to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health at www.jhsph.edu.