Narrowing the gap in health status of minority populations: A community-academic medical center partnership

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A major challenge in the United States is to narrow the gap in the excess morbidity and mortality rates of minority populations. This article presents a synthesis of the 15-year results of a collaborative program between the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and an African-American community with the highest rates of premature disease and death in Maryland. The program began with an efficacious disease prevention clinical trial with patients and ended with effective population approaches. We transferred key components to community ownership and formally trained community health workers who provided health promotion counseling, monitoring, linkage and referral services. Results indicated significant decreases in morbidity and mortality as a result of improved control of hypertension. This program has begun to decrease the health status gap in an African-American population and has demonstrated long-term sustainability. Current joint activities are directed at several major causes of excess morbidity and mortality, including smoking, obesity, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension, and at plans for programs to control diabetes, substance abuse, and breast and cervical cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-323
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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