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Office of Urban Health Equity, Education & Research

Philadelphia, PA

At Drexel University College of Medicine, urban health equity, education and research bridges the gap between health care delivery, medical research and health care education in the Philadelphia community. Our mission is to improve the health of communities through:

  • Equitable partnering
  • Building capacity of human capital
  • Using population-based research to build innovative, effective models of health care delivery, research and education
  • Training a prepared, engaged and effective workforce
  • Disseminating information
  • Advancing health policy

We serve as a central location for physicians, health care providers, students, residents, and public health partners to find or initiate community health projects designed to improve health equity in the city.

Our goal is to provide Philadelphia residents with access to quality health education and care despite the social inequalities that exist in the urban environment. These inequalities, which often create barriers for Philadelphia residents trying to reach their full health potential, include race, gender, nationality, age, religion, sexual orientation, immigration status, language skills, socioeconomic status, and geographical location.

Areas of Focus

We organize community outreach initiatives by several areas of focus. This allows health care providers, researchers, partners, and residents to easily locate the projects in which they wish to participate. Our areas of focus are:

Ethnicity and race

Philadelphia is an ethnically diverse city. We work with multiple groups, in multiple languages.

Vulnerable populations

Some populations have a greater chance than others of exposure to adverse health outcomes and disparities. We work with many different groups to reach those especially susceptible to a variety of health risks.


From the beginning to the end, we understand that a person's needs and concerns change over their lifetime. We are involved with people from various age groups and tailor outreach to the common concerns within each.

Sex and gender (LGBT)

We attempt to bridge the gap created by sex and gender roles as well as health differences. We specifically address issues in women's, maternal, fetal and child, sex and gender medicine/biology and LGBTQ health.

Life condition

Current life conditions such as trauma or rehabilitation affect the health outcomes of many in Philadelphia. We have numerous Drexel experts who collaborate with us. We work with individuals who have life conditions that cause mild to severe effects on their health.


For many people, handling chronic disease is a daily challenge. We educate those who have or are at risk for developing various diseases. Many of our interventions include preventing disease (quitting smoking, increasing exercise, changing behaviors to be healthier). We also provide education and assistance in skills development to help people find new strategies to best manage their conditions and prevent complications.


We work with partners to promote positive trends in wellness, nutrition, exercise and health care access in communities throughout the city.


We work with people and build relationships. Our partner and participants live, work, play and worship in areas all throughout Philadelphia. However, we are especially visible in the Central and North Philadelphia communities.

Social Issues

Social Issues such as hunger and access to health care can be major barriers to positive health outcomes in Philadelphia. We have a number of expert collaborators working on innovations to make a difference. We work in various ways to educate individuals and create awareness of inequalities.

Who We Work With

Urban health equity, education and research activities collaborate with faculty and students from the College of Medicine as well as several partners within the community. People typically involved in our outreach projects include:

  • Physicians and health care providers
  • Residents
  • Students
  • Health educators
  • Researchers
  • Community partners

Are you interested in health equity, education and research in the Drexel community?

Urban health equity, education and research allows faculty and students to quickly and easily locate community service projects taking place throughout Philadelphia. Our goal is to get as many students and faculty members at the College of Medicine as possible engaged in our community, by taking their work in the classroom to local neighborhoods and helping Philadelphia residents reach their full health potential.

Scholars Tracks

The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion sponsors two scholars programs that students can work on over their four years of medical school. Both tracks involve mentored, self-directed learning in an area of interest the student wishes to explore; development of a scholarly project and/paper; demonstrating service leadership; and creating a culturally, linguistically useful patient brochure or blog series.

Health Equity

Why are their inequities in health outcomes? What can you do about it? Students in the Health Equity track explore these issues while working on a scholarly project, delivering leadership in a community setting and creating valuable patient information materials. Scholars attend core sessions on health equity, receive mentorship about projects and collaborations and perform their community service leadership locally or abroad.

Sex Gender

Understanding differences between women and men; girls and boys and subgroup girl's/women's health issues is the focus of this track. Students must attend the Women's Health Seminars Course to qualify for this scholars track. Based upon our institutional history and expertise, we have a number of talented faculty mentors and collaborators nation-wide. Students can work with these individuals or come up with their own mentored projects.

Mothers and Baby Dragons

Mothers and Baby Dragons is a student-initiated project to help women through their pregnancy and afterwards. Students receive training and then serve as health navigators during the process. For more information, please call 215.991.8450.

Coalition for Health Advocacy through Multidisciplinary Problem Solving (CHAMPS)

CHAMPS was founded on the principle that great things happen when creativity is allowed to flourish. With that in mind, every member plays an integral role in defining the organization. CHAMPS teams are currently master in public health and medical students who focus in on health advocacy. The people we reach let us know how we can help them. Issues can range from helping with insurance forms or feedback on a resume, to discussing how to plan for a doctor's visit. Student teams apply to become part of CHAMPS and receive training.

They meet their team member in person or via Google Hangouts and, thus far, work at a women's shelter in the area. A great example of how CHAMPS works was when one student suggested hosting a tea talk with the moms. The ensuing discussion was as memorable as it was moving as the moms connected with one another and shared their own experiences. The conversation moved on to contraception which was a perfect lead for the students to talk about contraceptive methods and promote safe sex practices. Along with the discussion circle, CHAMP team members staff a "kids zone," where they do their best to 'tire out' the kids with games and give the moms a short moment of reprieve so they can get their questions answered.

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