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Learn What UHC Working Groups Have Accomplished and Apply to Get Yours Funded Today!

December 6, 2021

The Urban Health Collaborative has funded working groups to promote innovative activities and foster collaboration. A working group is an interdisciplinary collaboration that convenes individuals across multiple roles (including faculty, staff, and students). Working groups are envisioned to incubate new directions and may in some instances result in securing sustainable support to transform into a group of another type, whether as a funded project, network, or lab. Working groups chosen for funding award will focus on one or both of the following themes: climate change and urban health; structural racism and urban health. To see what past working groups have accomplished we have compiled updates below.

The Maternal and Child Health Research, Training, and Practice Collaborative (MCHC)

This working group is a collaboration between UHC, the Dornsife School of Public Health (DSPH), St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to support a broader agenda of improving Maternal and Child Health outcomes in the City of Philadelphia. In the past year, the workgroup conducted interviews with maternal and child health stakeholders throughout Philadelphia to assess their training, research, and informational needs. Earlier this year the group also held a symposium, “Identifying Research and Training Needs to Advance Maternal Health Policy and Equity,” that highlighted innovations in policy and practice to address maternal mortality and to identify data, research, and training needs. The symposium engaged speakers and shared calls to action on the important topic of maternal mortality that included HRSA leadership, Philadelphia policymakers, Philadelphia Department of Public Health leaders, best practice programs, MCHC partners, and DSPH students and faculty.

UHC Community Violence Working Group

The Community Violence Working Group brought together researchers across Drexel University and other key institutions in Philadelphia to develop new ways of understanding and intervening to decrease community violence in urban neighborhoods. The group met throughout the year to discuss community violence and its root causes and effects. From these meetings, they developed a graph of monthly fatal shootings from 2018-2020 in Philadelphia to show the increase in fatal shootings during 2020. This work led to the creation of the brief, “Police Violence is a Public Health Issue.” The working group presented these powerful data to a citywide coalition of city and community leaders who lead violence prevention efforts in Philadelphia.

Migration, Ethnicity, Race, and Health Working Group

During the last year, the Migration, Ethnicity, Race, and Health Working Group (MERHG) created and supported an interdisciplinary network of scholars across the United States regarding migration, ethnicity, race and health and facilitated a space to discuss their work in different levels of implementation as well supported lecturers in different stages of their career development. The group also engaged with community-based organizations and city departments to improve immigrant and minority health in Philadelphia. They organized and facilitated eight events featuring a range of experts along with creating a website to disseminate information. MERGH convened and facilitated 20 town halls with Latino-serving organizations, the Philadelphia public health department, the Office of Immigrant Affairs, and migrant health scholars to respond to the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created for Latino communities in Philadelphia. Visit the MERGH website.

Applications are now open to apply for working group funding. Visit the Drexel Internal Funding Portal to apply.