Left to Right: Luther T. Clark, MD, former chief Division of Cardiovascular Medicine,
John C. LaRosa, MD, former president, SUNY Downstate Medical Center,
Yvonne Graham, MPH, former Brooklyn Deputy Borough President,
Ruth Browne, ScD, MPH, Chief Executive Director, Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health
Establishing a Brooklyn Institute on Health Disparities
Developing the Brooklyn Center for Health Disparities is a multi-phased project. Phase I – analyzing the need, conceptualizing the structure, and identifying appropriate institutional partners – was completed through a study commissioned by the Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, who has made addressing health issues and health disparities a major focus of his administration. The Report Establishing a Brooklyn Institute on Health Disparities was conducted by the Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, New School University. The report recommended that the Institute be sited at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, the borough's only academic medical center, and work in partnership with the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. SUNY Downstate will serve as a unifying structure providing organizational support and research for Brooklyn's numerous hospitals and community-based organizations
History and Partnerships
A study commissioned in 2003 by The Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz, found that given the racial, ethnic, socio-economic and health status of Brooklyn’s population, there is a significant need for the creation of a center that addresses health disparities. The report further recommended that SUNY Downstate Medical Center be the site for a Health Disparities Center, given the expertise, academic excellence and resources existing at Downstate. As the only medical research institution in Brooklyn, Downstate is especially well-equipped to serve as the academic center to address health disparities issues in this community.
The SUNY Downstate Medical Center, in collaboration with the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health created the Brooklyn Health Disparities Center. Working with the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, a proposal was developed in response to the request for applications issued by National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Funding was obtained in 2004 under the R24 mechanism to establish the Center. Such initiative gave rise to a National Institutes of Health Project EXPORT: Excellence in Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Health Disparities and Training.