Center on Health Disparities
The Center on Health Disparities is an important extension of Adventist HealthCare's mission to demonstrate God’s care by improving the health of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing.
It was created to raise community awareness about local health disparities, improve capacity to deliver population-based care, and develop solutions to eliminate local disparities in health care.
What are health disparities?
According to the Maryland Department of Health, health disparities are “gaps in the quality of health and health care across different populations. They exist when disease and death affect some communities at a higher rate than others."
Health disparities arise from environmental, social, financial, and political factors that limit choices that support health as well as expose persons to factors that negatively impact their health.
These differences in health are not only unnecessary and avoidable but, in addition, are considered unfair and unjust (Whitehead, 1990). For more on health disparities, please see our brief report from the Research Institute staff.
Education and Training
Increasing cultural awareness and improving patient-provider communication are key elements to building trust and improving quality of care. The Center has developed in-person and online training programs to help healthcare professionals and staff increase their cultural awareness and knowledge, improve their cross-cultural communication skills, learn how to provide proper language interpretation during a medical encounter, and provide quality care to all of their patients. The Center provides consulting and education services to health care organizations also, including Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Priority Partners, Maryland Hospital Association, and Montgomery County Health and Human Services.
The Center provides language interpretation and translation services, and partners with community organizations to make quality health care and services accessible to people in our community.
Part of the Center's mission is to enhance knowledge, dissemination, and implementation of best practices key to eliminating health and healthcare disparities. The Center publishes annual reports in conjunction with a fall health disparities conference to bring community stakeholders together to eliminate health disparities locally. Community organizations throughout Maryland and with similar missions and goals, have established successful partnerships with the Center on Health Disparities. For example, the Center partners with faculty at the University of Maryland to conduct health disparities research and provide culturally competent care training to healthcare providers.
The Center on Health Disparities is always interested in discussing partnership opportunities and expanding its healthcare services, research program, and education and training offerings. For additional information on Adventist HealthCare's Center on Health Disparities, please contact 301-315-3677.