The authors provide background on the poor health and economic status of the residents of East Baltimore, Maryland - the neighborhood surrounding a significant part of Johns Hopkins University, including the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The president of the Johns Hopkins University established a council on urban health, consisting of a broad array of individuals from across the university and the community to develop a recommended course of action to help deal with these conditions. Based on the recommendations of the council, the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute was established with the mission to marshal the resources of the university and external groups to improve the health and well-being of the residents of East Baltimore and to promote evidence-based interventions to solve urban health problems nationwide. After becoming fully operational in 2001, the institute established three major goals: (1) strengthen research and learning, (2) reduce disparities in health and health care for East Baltimore residents, and (3) promote economic growth in East Baltimore. The article describes the institute's major activities, including community-based participatory research projects, the Journal of Community-Based Participatory Research, and programs for research fellows to promote research and learning; HIV/AIDS counseling and testing centers and a primary care clinic for the uninsured to reduce health disparities; and a technology resource center providing training and job opportunities to promote economic growth. The authors conclude by outlining the next steps planned for the institute.
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