Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions

Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions

The Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions (HCHDS), part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was established in October of 2002 with a 5-year grant from the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD), of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the Centers of Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities, and Training program (Project EXPORT). It is one of the leading organizations striving to eradicate disparities in health and health care among racial and ethnic groups, socioeconomic groups, and geopolitical categories such as urban, rural, and suburban populations. HCHDS conducts multidisciplinary basic and translational research with the goals of advancing knowledge on the causes of health and health care disparities and developing interventions to eliminate them.

The HCHDS also works collaboratively with community- based organizations, historically black colleges, and minority serving institutions to advance knowledge on the causes of health and health care disparities and develop interventions to eliminate them. Specifically, the HCHDS has collaborated with JHU- based organizational entities as well as the National Institute on Aging, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology of the Gerontology Research Center; Shaw University; Operation Reach Out South West (OROSW); and Nora, LLC. The HCHDS has been designated as a national Comprehensive Center of Excellence in Health Disparities by the NCMHD of the National Institutes of Health, and in 2007 was awarded a second 5- year grant to continue its work. The Center has a national focus although much of the actual work takes place in the local Baltimore, Maryland community.


Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities Study (EHDIC) In the summer of 2003 with funding from Pfizer pharmaceuticals, Inc., a team of researchers from the HCHDS interviewed community residents in the southwest Baltimore community. The purpose of these interviews was to gather information on health behavior, psychosocial, utilization and access to healthcare information among individuals who share similar social and environmental conditions. Information was also gathered on housing and community conditions.

College Health and Wellness Study

Overweight and obesity is an epidemic in the United States, particularly among minority populations. This epidemic contributes to the development of chronic conditions that occur later in life such as Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. The center conducted a cross-sectional survey among students graduating from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Participants were 392 predominately African- American seniors graduating in the spring of 2003. Data were collected using a self-administered paper and pencil questionnaire which focuses on weight, weight management activities, weight history, and health status indicators.

The Health Care Equity Program (HCEP)

The Health Care Equity Program (HCEP) of the HCHDS seeks to understand and reduce disparities in health care utilization within health plans. Specifically, HCEP’s primary aim is to assist health plans and employers in identifying, understanding and reducing disparities in health care utilization and health outcomes among their enrollees or employees. HCEP seek to partner with health plans and employer groups to develop interventions to ensure all their enrollees or employees receive the highest quality health care. To accomplish this objective, the HCEP will perform analyses of health plan’s administrative data and conduct surveys of their enrollees and providers to identify and understand the underlying causes of observed disparities. The HCEP will then develop and implement interventions that are specifically designed for the partnering health plan or employer group.

Measuring Trust in Health Care

This is a study to examine the validity of the psychometric properties of a new measure of trust/ mistrust of medical care systems. Trust is the foundation of the interrelationships that make civil society possible and the important of trust within healthcare is no less critical. Patients are inherently vulnerable within medical encounters and must be trustful of the multiple institutional entities and individuals involved in their care. Patients must trust that individual healthcare providers are competent and will have their best interest in mind while making treatment decisions. They must trust that the pharmaceutical companies have developed effective drugs and that the regulatory agencies have adequately monitored them. And, they must trust that the healthcare organization and that its staff will manage their medical information with discretion and confidentially.


Twice a year the HCHDS provides a newsletter detailing the activities and events held by the HCHDS.

Notable Persons

* Thomas LaVeist, PhD, Director


* LaVeist T, Thorpe R Jr, Bowen-Reid T, Jackson J, Gary T, Gaskin D, Browne D."Exploring health disparities in integrated communities: overview of the EHDIC study." Journal of Urban Health. 2008 Jan;85(1):11-21. 2007 Nov 13.

External Links

* [http://www.healthdisparitiessolutions.org Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions]
* [http://ncmhd.nih.gov National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities]

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