Since our formation in 2010, we've made considerable contributions to reduce health disparities through our evidence-based interventions, partnering with health systems and communities, and changing practices and policies to improve population health. We have successfully completed three research studies, developed an active and engaged community advisory board, trained a promising group of health equity researchers, and shared influential new knowledge through published research papers, expert testimony at federal level, and numerous presentations, interviews, and media articles.
Our Center has made strides towards realizing the goal of health equity here in Baltimore, and serves as a model for community-academic partnerships in other urban areas, across the country and globally, plagued by similar health disparities.
Our Research Influence
Published 73 peer-reviewed papers others have cited approximately 400 times (PubMed 2012-2019).
Research outcomes included below have provided valuable input for new health care practices and treatment protocols along with encouraging targeted future research.
Showed that a program providing dietary advice, help with grocery ordering, and $30/week of high-potassium foods increased consumption of fruits, vegetables among African American patients with controlled hypertension who live in a food desert
Showed that clinic-based care management improves blood pressure control BP control among both African-American and white patients and is a cost-effective strategy for African Americans and elderly patients. However, problems with limited reach and challenges with program completion among patients from socioeconomically disadvantaged communities should be addressed in future programs to address disparities in hypertension.
Showed that a context-adapted community health worker intervention is correlated with improvements in blood pressure control among socially disadvantaged African Americans. Neither the addition community health worker intervention further improves BP control.
Our various research studies have directly reached approximately 3100 individuals enrolled to date. RICH LIFE (n=1822), Project Red Chip (care management intervention (n=629), ACT Study (n=159), Five Plus Nuts and Beans (n=123), ADHINCRA (n=240*), still enrolling as of late 2019, Five Plus Nuts and Beans for Kidneys (n=150*), still enrolling as of late 2019.
Funding success highlights Center’s reputation for research effectiveness
Recognition of Center’s expertise, and the demand for the specialized nature of its work, is demonstrated by increased financial support received in the competitive funding arena.
Initial funding for Center formation and long-term research studies: $9.8 M initial grant from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI/NIH) in 2010, $12.2M research grant from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in 2015, $2.46M research grant from National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) in 2016.
Additional funding and partnerships since 2015: American Heart Association, American Medical Association, Bloomberg American Health Initiative and the Johns Hopkins Alliance for a Healthier World (2018 funding for 3 year ADHINCRA Study in Kumasi, Ghana)
Shaping Health Researchers via Training
Enhancing effectiveness of health researchers by delivering knowledge and skills
Developed a mentoring and training curriculum that serves as a model for other Centers and institutions across the country. Learn more from this published research paper.
Our unique trainee mentoring program has trained 118 scholars including medical, nursing, and public health students, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty
The Center’s premiere degree-level course, Applications of Innovative Methods in Health Equity Research, has educated approximately 100 students since starting in 2017.
Trainers have received a teaching award from the Bloomberg School of Public Health for 2017, 2018, 2019.
Engagement with Stakeholders
Two-way Personal Interaction with Communities
Established a robust academic-community partnership with approximately 50 members that has thrived for 10 years. Learn more with this published paper Reaching for Health Equity and Social Justice in Baltimore: The Evolution of an Academic-Community Partnership and Conceptual Framework to Address Hypertension Disparities.
Community partners have shared the benefits of this partnership to the Baltimore community with other communities across the United States, Europe, and Africa.
Convening diverse groups of researchers, health professionals, and community members to exchange ideas that inspire, energize, and improve the effectiveness of interventions.
Since 2015, the Center has held around 40 educational convening events. This includes hosting monthly Jam Session series and co-sponsoring two highly successful symposia in 2019. The Fierce Urgency of Now, Achieving Health Equity Together, and 1619-2019: the Legacy of Slavery for Health Equity in Baltimore and Beyond.
Combined attendance for these events to date is approximately 2000 in person, and 1500 live online viewers.
Advocacy and Education
A selection of informative advocacy materials delivered by the Center. Please see our Online Learning Library for further examples.
Opinion pieces in mainstream media:
New York Times: Don’t Neglect Health Equity. By Lisa Cooper, October 2015
Bloomberg Opinions: Doctors Can Fight Unconscious Racial Bias. By Lisa Cooper, August 2018
Baltimore Sun: Center Director's Baltimore Sun Op Ed: The Public Health Legacy of Slavery. By Lisa Cooper, December 2019
Politico Opinion: A Game Plan to Help the Most Vulnerable. By Lisa Cooper & Joshua Sharfstein, March 2020
Radio and television interviews:
NPR Maryland: Remembering Two Civil Rights and Medical Pioneers. April 17, 2015
NPR Maryland: Confronting Slavery's Legacy In Health And Medicine. December 11, 2019
CNN Newsroom: COVID-19 Interview on Vulnerable Populations. March 18, 2020
Presentations, forum and panels:
Public Policy Influence
The Center has been asked on several occasions to provide expertise to support critical policy changes at state and federal level.
Congressional testimony in support of NIH funding for Health Disparities Research. Profiles of Promise Launch Event. United for Medical Research, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., February 16, 2011.
Congressional testimony in support of PCORI reauthorization and funding. Delivered to US Energy and Commerce Committee, US House of Representatives, as part of a federal hearing "Investing in America's Health Care" June, 2019.
Advice to justify passage of the Maryland Health Improvement and Disparities Reduction Act of 2012. April 10, 2012. Our active participation in the workgroup helped to highlight the impact of disparities in the state and offer evidence-based actions to help combat their effects.
Learn more with this policy overview.
Further Recognition of Impact
Stories of Impact
- Please review our collection of Feature Stories of Impact.
- Perspectives from people affected health equity issues in our Health Equity Voices Series.
- Visit our Media Newsroom to see latest coverage of Center contributions.
Center Awards + Personal Accomplishments
Keep updated on accomplishments by our team members.