Contact: Mary T. Phelan
Phone number: 443.615.9214 (mobile)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug 4, 2022
The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) Yolanda Ogbolu, PhD ’11, MS ’05, BSN ’04, CRNP-Neonatal, FNAP, FAAN, Colleague Professor; chair, Department of Partnerships, Professional Education and Practice; and co-director, Center for Health Equity and Outcomes Research, has received a $2.4 million Pathways to Health Equity grant from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission (CHRC) for a project addressing the inequalities in hypertension and social isolation in West Baltimore will tackle.
The project takes the form of the West Baltimore Reducing Isolation and Inequities in Cardiovascular Health (RICH) Collaborative, which aims to achieve collective medical and social impact by bringing partner organizations together to advance common interventions to improve outcomes of hypertension and social isolation.
UMSON is one of nine winners of CHRC Pathways to Health Equity, which together will invest a total of $13.5 million in new resources in underserved communities across the state. The funded projects will address health inequalities, expand access to health services and improve health outcomes with funding made available under the Maryland Health Equity Resource Act of 2021.
“I’m excited about the West Baltimore RICH Collaborative as it aims to break through fragmentation and silos in social and medical care to advance health equity,” Ogbolu said.
Ogbolu is the principal investigator of this grant, along with co-investigators Shannon K. Idzik, DNP ’10, MS ’03, CRNP, FAANP, FAAN, UMSON Associate Professor and Associate Dean for the Doctor of Nursing Practice program; Kelly Doran, PhD ’11, MS ’08, RN, UMSON associate professor; and Charles C. Hong, MD, PhD, the Dr. Melvin Sharoky Professor of Medicine, director of cardiology research and co-chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
The main objectives of the project include establishing a partnership using nurse-operated health centers, leveraging mobile healthcare, and improving care coordination through a healthcare worker model to reduce the number of patients with uncontrolled hypertension and increase participation. to increase social support groups. Specifically, the project aims to:
- reduce health inequalities
- improve health outcomes
- increase access to primary care
- promote primary and secondary preventive services
- reduce costs and hospitalizations and readmissions.
The RICH Collaborative is a multi-sector partnership between multiple community and faith organizations, academia, and hospitals and hospital-related entities in Baltimore. Partner organizations that work together to achieve the goals of the partnership include:
- A better tomorrow starts today (BTST) consultancy firm
- Ascension St. Agnes Hospital
- Bon Secours Community Works
- Coppin State University Helene Fuld School of Nursing
- Druid Heights Community Development Corp.
- Lifebridge Health Grace Medical Center
- LIGHT Health and wellness
- Empowerment Center of the Ministerial Conference
- University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), Downtown and Midtown campuses
- University of Maryland School of Medicine Cardiology Department
- University of Maryland School of Nursing
- University of Maryland, Baltimore Community Engagement Center
- and two federally qualified health centers,Total Healthcare and Chase Brexton.
The organizations were selected based on their ability to bring together and expand efforts to provide care and services to the residents of West Baltimore. “These organizations are passionate about their community and health equity, and we are ready to embark on a journey to collectively expand efforts to reduce cardiovascular inequalities and social isolation in West Baltimore,” Ogbolu said.
Dana D. Farrakhan, DrPH, MHS, FACHE, senior vice president of strategy, community and business development at UMMC, said the RICH Collaborative is critical in helping West Baltimore’s health challenges.
“We are excited to be part of this grant that will help support our patients and community members after receiving inpatient care, by providing much-needed social and wellness support to address their multiple chronic conditions,” said they. “As an anchor institution, we strive to achieve health equity in West Baltimore with our partners and support our community members to achieve their highest quality of life.”
“Heart disease, the number 1 cause of death worldwide, is a major cause of health inequalities in America, but so much of it is preventable,” Hong added. “Social determinants of health play a huge role in determining how long and how well we live. Through this extraordinary multidisciplinary effort, we aim to improve the lives of our community by addressing specific health barriers, such as social isolation that many feel in our neighborhoods.”
The RICH Collaborative will be implemented within zip codes 21201, 21217, 21223 and 21229, selected for substantial racial disparities in cardiovascular health outcomes and social determinants of health. These communities have a rich and diverse history of strong and resilient people and community organizations that can solve challenges if they are provided with the right resources and support, Ogbolu said. There is evidence of significantly lower life expectancy for residents of West Baltimore neighborhoods compared to wealthier communities, such as Roland Park, just a few miles away.
Among other social determinants of health, including unemployment and lack of access to transportation and technology, evidence shows that a lack of social connections also worsens heart health. Although social isolation gained more attention during the pandemic, research shows that even before the pandemic, it had become a way of life in many marginalized communities, such as West Baltimore. Research has shown that social isolation is as dangerous as smoking and increases the risk of cardiovascular problems, including heart attack and/or coronary artery disease, especially for middle-aged adults.
There is now compelling evidence to suggest that effective, multidisciplinary team-based, culturally competent approaches can reduce hypertension and differences in cardiovascular outcomes. Key interventions to be implemented in the West Baltimore RICH Collaborative include:
- addressing the social factors that hinder health by linking individuals to social resources and a primary care physician
- improving access to care through nurse-led clinics and mobile health services
- and leveraging expert community workers to work closely with individuals to navigate needed health and social services.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore, home of UMSON, is anchored in the west side of Baltimore, along with the University of Maryland Medical Center. Both organizations are involved as community partners to provide programs, services, support, training and activities to promote the empowerment of their neighbors while strengthening West Baltimore’s neighborhoods.
To arrange interviews with Yolanda Ogbolu and other RICH Collaborative participants, please contact Senior Media Relations Specialist Mary T. Phelan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-615-5810.
About the University of Maryland School of Nursing
Founded in 1889, the University of Maryland School of Nursing is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools in the country and ranks among the best nursing schools in the entire country. By enrolling more than 2,100 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the school develops leaders who shape the nursing profession and impact healthcare.
About the University of Maryland, Baltimore
The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) was founded in 1807 as the Maryland College of Medicine, which is now the oldest public medical school in the country. In response to growing social and cultural needs, the mission of the UMB has evolved and grown tremendously. Widely recognized as a premier institution, UMB serves as the academic university of health, law, and social work of the University System of Maryland and is guided by a mission of excellence in teaching, research, clinical care, and public service.
UMB is a thriving academic health center that combines cutting-edge biomedical research, exceptional patient care, and nationally-ranked academic programs. With outpatient funding totaling $682 million in fiscal 2021, each tenured/tenure-track faculty member generates an average of $1.5 million in research grants per year. Its 3,123 faculty members conduct leading-edge research and develop solutions and technologies that impact human health locally and globally. World-class facilities and cores, as well as interprofessional centers and institutes, enable the faculty to explore pressing questions in a highly collaborative manner. As a result, more than 7,200 students, postdocs and interns benefit directly from working and learning with leading experts as they push the boundaries of their field. For an overview of the organized research centers and institutes, visit https://www.umaryland.edu/research/umb-research-profile/research-centers-and-institutions/